Eliza Newlin Carney

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


Recent Articles

Should ‘Dark’ Money Power the Resistance to Trump?

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
rules-logo-109_2.jpg When a pair of former Democratic Hill aides put out a Donald Trump resistance manual dubbed the Indivisible Guide in December, they deliberately set out to emulate the hyper-local tactics so successfully deployed by the Tea Party. Not lost on the authors of the guide, which went instantly viral and garnered $1 million in contributions to fund a group dubbed the Indivisible Project, was that Tea Party organizers had run afoul of the Internal Revenue Service for allegedly diving into politics while seeking tax exemption. Pressured by Republicans following a critical inspector general report, the IRS later apologized for improperly targeting Tea Party groups, but the flap exposed the perils for nonprofits that enter the political fray. Undaunted, the Indivisible Project sought and won IRS approval in January to organize itself as a 501(c)(4) social welfare group, and has just spun off a 501(c)(3) charitable arm dubbed the Indivisible Fund to train citizen advocates...

100 Days of Corruption

President Trump’s first 100 days have been marked by ethics controversies, lawsuits, federal investigations and public outrage over his business conflicts.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
rules-logo-109_2.jpg One of the many things that sets apart Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office from those of any previous president is his near-total disregard for all Executive Branch ethics rules and conventions. The absence of transparency, the real and apparent conflicts that expose Trump and the first family to accusations of self-dealing , and the president’s unusually heavy reliance on billionaire CEOs, Wall Street insiders and special interest lobbyists, all take the potential for White House corruption to a level unseen since Watergate. Trump bragged on the campaign trail that he was not beholden to wealthy donors, and pledged to “drain the swamp” in Washington. But unlike previous presidents, Trump has failed to release his tax returns or put his business assets in a blind trust . Members of his family, including his daughter, Ivanka—now an official White House adviser—continue to promote their own private business interests around...

The Women’s Hour

(Photo: Susan Platt campaign)
rules-logo-109_2.jpg For New York lawyer Alessandra Biaggi, the moment of truth came on election night, as she gathered with fellow Hillary Clinton campaign workers in a room beneath the stage of Manhattan’s Javits Center, and watched her young, female interns cry their eyes out. “I just remember looking at them,” recalls Biaggi, 30, and thinking: “I am going to run for office.” For New Jersey businesswoman Christine Chen, the tipping point came after Election Day, when she was struggling to explain to her two young children that a man she considered a bully would now be president. “It wasn’t congruent with everything I was teaching, and I really asked myself if there was more that I could do,” recalls Chen, 36. Soon afterward, she says, “I sent an email to my entire family and said: I’m going to run for office.” Virginia consultant Susan Platt has devoted much of her career convincing women run for public office, but...

Pro-Gorsuch Ads Backfired

Conservatives spent millions on ads to pressure Democrats to back Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, one key reason many are now voting against him

AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File
rules-logo-109_2.jpg Undisclosed political money has been a key factor in the fight over Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation, both as a tool for big-spending conservative groups, and as a flash point for Democratic opposition. Close to two dozen of the Senate Democrats who have vowed to block Gorsuch have denounced both the more than $10 million spent—with no disclosure—to promote him, and Gorsuch’s own failure to endorse political transparency. On campaign-finance issues, Gorsuch appears to fall to the right of the late Antonin Scalia, who favored deregulation but who staunchly defended political disclosure . Gorsuch also has regarded contribution limits to candidates’ campaigns, one of the few remaining pillars of the campaign-finance regime, in a more critical light than the Supreme Court has. “This issue has galvanized the Democratic caucus,” says David Donnelly, president of EveryVoice, which joined with 121 civil rights,...

A White House Without Rules

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
rules-logo-109_2.jpg So many ethics complaints have now been lodged against the Trump administration that it’s getting hard to keep track. The billionaires running cabinet agencies, the White House advisers accused of self-dealing, and the president’s own failure to divest from his increasingly lucrative business holdings have all drawn so much notice that Americans may be tempted to tune out. But the story of Trump administration ethics conflicts is not going away, and every new revelation sheds disturbing light on a White House culture that celebrates self-enrichment, and that treats the president’s inner circle as literally exempt from the rules that lay out a precise code of conduct for executive branch officials. The White House’s freewheeling attitude toward presidential advisers, in particular, poses special dangers and has rung alarm bells on Capitol Hill and in the federal Office of Government Ethics. The latest complaint comes from Citizens for...