Eliza Newlin Carney

Eliza Newlin Carney is a weekly columnist at The American Prospect. Her email is ecarney@prospect.org.

 

Recent Articles

Another GOP Voter Fraud Claim Falls Apart, and Democrats See an Opening

democracy_rules.jpg The latest overblown Republican claims of voter fraud have been thoroughly debunked, now that a federal judge has blocked a massive voter purge in Texas, and accused GOP election officials there of creating a “mess” that intimidated vulnerable voters. But instead of eating crow, Republicans are doubling down. In Texas, even as a federal judge intervened, Republican state senators were advancing a bill that would erect fresh barriers to registration and voting. And President Donald Trump, having tweeted in January that the supposed illegal voting in Texas was “the tip of the iceberg” told GOP officials this week that they needed to be “careful” in upcoming elections, “because I don’t like the way the votes are being tallied.” Nevertheless, GOP voter fraud claims and voter restriction efforts could come back to haunt Republicans in 2020. In Texas, the debacle that began when GOP Acting Secretary of State David...

Voter Turnout Is Surging -- And Mitch McConnell Is Terrified

democracy_rules.jpg Recent findings that voter turnout broke a century-old record last year and could cause another “100-year storm of voters ” in 2020 must play on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s worst fears. Not only did the annual America Goes to the Polls report, put out by Nonprofit VOTE and the U.S. Elections Project, show historic jumps in Latino and youth voter turnout. The report also found that voter-friendly policies, such as same-day and automatic voter registration, are vastly boosting turnout. The top ten states with the highest turnout—averaging 61 percent—were also the ones that made it easiest for voters to cast ballots. By contrast, the ten lowest-ranking states had turnout averaging in the low forties. This is one of the leading reasons McConnell is so hostile to HR 1, the package of democracy reforms that House Democrats recently approved unanimously, with nary a GOP vote. The legislation does far more than facilitate voting,...

Campaign Reforms May Never Pass, But the Low-Dollar Revolution Has Already Begun

democracy_rules.jpg A sweeping anti-corruption bill marching toward approval in the House is not expected to make it past the Senate, but Democrats may not need legislation to get at least part of their wish: a small donor revolution that dilutes the power of big money. A centerpiece of the “For the People Act,” officially HR 1, which recently sailed through the House Administration Committee and may come to the floor for a vote within a matter of weeks, is a plan to match low-dollar campaign contributions with public funding. The public matching funds would tilt policy influence away from moneyed interests and toward average Americans, say the bill’s advocates . Republicans have derided the bill, which also includes voter protections and tighter lobbying and ethics regulations, as a power grab by Democrats who want to rig the rules in their favor. But Republicans are quietly scrambling to catch up with Democrats in low-dollar fundraising, which was pivotal to the 40...

Trump’s Inaugural Was a Hot Mess from the Start, and Now It Puts Him in Legal Peril

democracy_rules.jpg President Donald Trump faces danger on multiple fronts as federal subpoenas and convictions pile up , and House Democrats dive in to scrutinize everything from his Russia dealings to his business practices, bank records, and tax returns. But Trump’s biggest legal peril may come from offenses that, while unsexy and often overlooked, make the simplest, strongest case against him: campaign-finance violations. It was illegal campaign spending in the form of secret hush money that will soon send Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen to jail. The Trump campaign’s alleged violations range from soliciting foreign money and assistance , breaking disclosure rules , and illegally coordinating with not one but two super PACs that backed him. The latest political money disclosures implicating Trump, however, could prove the most damaging. The Trump Inaugural Committee has faced questions for two years about how it managed to raise a record $106.7 million without...

House Democrats Want to Reorganize Congress. They Shouldn’t Stop Halfway.

democracy_rules.jpg When the House approved a package of rules changes at the beginning of this year aimed at making Congress work better, not many people took notice. It’s easy to see why. House Democrats unveiled their new rules alongside a sweeping democracy reform bill that would overhaul the political money, ethics lobbying and voting rules. Inevitably, Democrats’ “For the People Act” overshadowed their new procedural rules, as did the government shutdown that dragged on for 35 days. But Democrats’ efforts to improve Congress as an institution, making the House more efficient, productive, transparent, and accountable, could prove as important in their own way as their more ambitious anti-corruption package. These House rules changes look more timely than ever in the wake of the recent shutdown, which has left lawmakers eager to find some way—any way—to escape their predictable and never-ending cycle of budget brinkmanship. One measure...

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