Eliza Newlin Carney

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


Recent Articles

Nonprofit Structure Backfires on 'Our Revolution'

The group set up to carry on Bernie Sanders's progressive movement has gotten off to a bumpy start, in part because Sanders backers set it up as a tax-exempt organization.

AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File
AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. rules-logo-109.jpeg O n August 24, Senator Bernie Sanders stood before a crowd of supporters gathered in a community arts space in Burlington, Vermont, to unveil the next phase of his progressive movement. “Tonight I want to introduce you to a new, independent nonprofit organization that is called Our Revolution, which is inspired by the historic Bernie 2016 presidential campaign,” said Sanders at the event, which was livestreamed to some 300,000 supporters. The group, Sanders declared, “will be fighting at the grassroots level for changes in their local school boards, in their city councils, in their state legislatures and in their representation in Washington.” But the enthusiastic applause that greeted Sanders in Burlington contrasted sharply with the messy controversies and bad press dogging Our Revolution even before its official launch. On the same...

Controversy Versus Corruption

(Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster)
(Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster) Hillary Clinton speaks to the media at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York on August 18. rules-logo-109.jpeg T his summer’s never-ending Democratic email disclosures have shed an increasingly unflattering light on the privileged relationship that big donors enjoy with Hillary Clinton and with party officials. Major Clinton Foundation contributors sought and in some cases received expedited meetings with Clinton when she served as secretary of state, according to the latest batch of emails released by the conservative group Judicial Watch. The July WikiLeaks release of Democratic National Committee emails also detailed the special rewards , such as VIP roundtables and receptions, that party officials showered on top-tier contributors. The disclosures have been jarring on several fronts. The DNC emails enraged backers of Bernie Sanders not only because they revealed how top party officials sought to sabotage his primary challenge to Clinton, but...

Trump to Political Pros: You’re Fired

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, and Republican vice presidential candidate Governor Mike Pence walk toward supporters after Trump arrived via helicopter in Cleveland, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. rules-logo-109.jpeg O f all the people taken aback by a Republican convention that has featured angry floor revolts, attacks on the the popular GOP home state governor, and a plagiarism scandal that drew a tardy and inconsistent response, the most traumatized may be the party’s political consultants. Much has been made of the many senators, erstwhile former GOP White House candidates, former presidents, and Republican Party elders, including the entire Bush family , who have stayed away from Cleveland this week. But news stories have largely overlooked the hundreds of political professionals who have been watching in horror as Donald Trump, now the party’s official nominee, broke every rule in the conventional political playbook. Trump’s impulsive,...

Convention Cash More Controversial Than Ever

For this year’s conventions, the political parties are collecting bigger checks under more relaxed rules, even as voter anger mounts over special-interest corporate money.

(Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster)
(Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster) President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden celebrate their nominations on stage at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. P olitical conventions have long been notorious for being rules-free zones where corporate donors may funnel fat checks to little-regulated host committees in exchange for exclusive cocktail receptions, briefings, and special-access events with candidates, party officials, and lawmakers. rules-logo-109.jpeg But this year, the Republican and Democratic National Conventions have taken this wide-open fundraising to a whole new level. The checks are bigger. The disclosure is scantier. Both parties will inaugurate a number of dubious “firsts”—the first conventions with no public funding; the first conventions funneling six-figure checks into new, high-dollar party accounts; the first conventions in many years staged as early as July, to leave more time for general election fundraising. For Democrats, it...

Trump’s Shaky Shakedown

AP Photo/John Minchillo
AP Photo/John Minchillo Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Sharonville Convention Center, Wednesday, July 6, 2016, in Cincinnati. rules-logo-109.jpeg H aving done no fundraising, zero advertising , and little traditional organizing for the bulk of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump is finally starting to act more like a conventional candidate, at least when it comes to asking for money. Trump and the Republican National Committee this week announced that 80 additional GOP bundlers have signed on to their joint fundraising effort, essentially quintupling the number of people helping round up money for Trump and his party. In May, the billionaire businessman held his first official fundraiser with the RNC. In June, he announced with much fanfare his first emailed fundraising solicitation. Trump’s belated pivot to fundraising has raised questions over how he will reconcile his quest for checks with his earlier claim that he’s blissfully independent of big donors. In...