Eliza Newlin Carney

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


Recent Articles

For Trump, It’s Payback Time

Government by state-sponsored vendetta looms

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File
In his nine-city victory tour following Election Day, Donald Trump might have been expected to ditch the mean-spirited, personal attacks that had defined his campaign, and sound a more presidential note. After all, in his election night acceptance speech , Trump had exhorted the nation to “bind the wounds of division,” and had graciously thanked Hillary Clinton “for her service to the country.” Instead, the president-elect’s “thank you” swing through key battleground states was vintage Trump. In Cincinnati, he declared : “We did have a lot of fun fighting Hillary, didn’t we?” as the crowd chanted “Lock Her Up!” In Salt Lake City, he lashed out at popular Utah independent candidate Evan McMullin, calling him only “that guy,” and asking: “What the hell was he trying to prove?” In Hershey, Pennsylvania, he mocked CNN chief national correspondent John King, who had predicted Trump’s loss...

Jill Stein Pulls Back the Curtain on America’s Voting Chaos

AP Photo/Paul Sancya
rules-logo-109_2.jpg Let’s acknowledge that Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein’s now-halted bid to recount the vote in three Rust Belt states served principally to earn her a lot of free media and fatten her political fundraising email list. Stein failed to furnish any evidence of the “hacking” and “security breaches” that her many press releases and public comments alleged , but she did scoop up $7.3 million from more than 160,000 donors in less than three weeks. Nevertheless, Stein’s arguably self-serving drive to recount votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin performed an important public service. As Stein noted this week in a press call to mark the end of her recount effort, she did spotlight some troubling weaknesses in the nation’s election system. Voting in America continues to be plagued by malfunctioning machines, byzantine rules, and insufficient cross-checks and audits to ensure that ballots are properly...

Republicans Gear Up to Eviscerate the Campaign-Finance Rules

AP Photo/Molly Riley
rules-logo-109_2.jpg Donald Trump’s ethics conflicts and billionaire-heavy cabinet appointments are making news these days, but an even bigger special-interest bonanza is on the horizon, when Republicans make good on their plans to knock down what remains of the campaign-finance laws. A Supreme Court that includes a Trump appointee will likely uphold a constitutional challenge to the 14-year-old ban on soft (unregulated) money that is now wending its way to the high court. Contribution limits, long reviled by Republicans who now control Capitol Hill, are on the chopping block . Most alarmingly, Trump has pledged to end the ban on partisan political activity by charitable groups, raising the specter of what one tax expert has called “Charity PACs” that would operate in total secrecy while handing wealthy donors a federal subsidy. This last plan, which is also part of the Republican Party platform and the centerpiece of a House GOP bill , was actually the one specific...

Will Trump’s Administration Be an Ethics-Free Zone?

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
rules-logo-109_2.jpg Vice President-elect Mike Pence did his best to put a Band-Aid on Donald Trump’s hemorrhaging credibility when he reportedly removed lobbyists this week from the White House transition team, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to fix Trump’s ethics mess. Having pledged, in his words , to “send the special interests packing,” have an “honest, ethical, and responsive” government, and, yes, “drain the swamp,” Trump has now reneged on one of his core promises to voters within days of winning election. He’s stacked his transition team with Wall Street, K Street, and corporate insiders, he’s peddling an unconvincing ethics reform plan that’s going nowhere on Capitol Hill, and he’s handed his business empire over to his children in a supposed “blind trust” that ethics experts say does nothing to end conflicts of interest. “Warning to Trump voters: You may have just...

Defending Democracy Just Got a Whole Lot Harder

AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File
rules-logo-109_2.jpg For democracy advocates, this year’s presidential race offered plenty of fuel to stoke their overriding fears: that big money is drowning out ordinary Americans, and that ballot restrictions are violating voting rights. But the presidential race that will install Donald Trump in the White House has also exposed fresh democracy threats on a host of new and disturbing fronts. Once honored as the American political system’s watchdog, the media see their credibility and efficacy in tatters. The head of the FBI violated rules against public comment on pending investigations and interfering in an election. A national political party cast aside its most treasured principles to rally behind a candidate uniquely unqualified to serve as commander-in-chief. Dirty tricks exposed the nation to national security threats from Russian hackers, and to hoaxes aimed at suppressing the vote. And the nation’s civic institutions were helpless to stop an outpouring of...