Eliza Newlin Carney

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


Recent Articles

Political Money: New Best-Selling Book Genre?

AP Photo/Danny Johnston
AP Photo/Danny Johnston Members of Arkansas Democracy Coalition and other groups rally at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas, Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Speakers at the rally called for a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling. rules-logo-109_2.jpg Books about who pays for American elections rarely hit the bestseller lists, but a rash of new titles tackling the once-obscure topic of campaign financing signals that publishers now regard political money as popular fare. Whether your cup of tea is juicy details about the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, like those New Yorker writer Jane Mayer dishes up in her 450-page narrative Dark Money , or rigorous legal analysis along the lines of what Richard L. Hasen delivers in Plutocrats United, the newly hot genre of political money has something to offer. For progressive organizers, California writer and activist Derek Cressman’s When Money Talks: The High...

The Democracy Prospect: How Big Money Has Hurt the GOP

AP Photo/Morry Gash
Welcome to The American Prospect ’s weekly roundup highlighting the latest news in money and politics . One of the ironies of the rules-free campaign system ushered in by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC ruling six years ago is that the Republican Party, which has championed and encouraged political money deregulation, has in some ways paid the highest price for it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, threw his full support behind the Citizens United challenge at the time, even joining in oral arguments via constitutional lawyer Floyd Abrams before the Supreme Court. GOP leaders and their allies, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have mounted multiple legal challenges to campaign finance restrictions and even disclosure rules, which they argue violate the First Amendment. On the surface, the brawling GOP presidential primary that has thrust the controversial Donald Trump to the front of the Republican pack has nothing to do with Citizens...

Citizens United Fuels Movement for Overhaul

(Photo: AP/CQ Roll Call/Bill Clark)
Progressive activists tend to cast the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, handed down six years ago today, as a historically destructive decision ushering in an era of corruption and even oligarchy. In a statement typical of many condemning Citizens United on its sixth anniversary, Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer called it “one of the worst and most damaging decisions in the Court’s history.” But for advocates of campaign-finance restrictions, the high court’s 2010 decision to reverse longtime curbs on independent corporate and union spending may turn out to be something of a political gift. The ruling has given voters fed up with the political system a concrete focus for their anger, and helped push the issue of money in politics from the margins to the mainstream. The surging popular concern over political money has set the table for a serious discussion of what’s wrong with the system and how it...

The Democracy Prospect: Democratic Party Rifts Go Public

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall Democratic National Committee chair, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks before a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, November 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. Welcome to The American Prospect ’s weekly roundup highlighting the latest news in money and politics . Until now, ideological clashes between grassroots activists and national party leaders have largely played out on GOP territory. But Democrats, too, are weathering disputes between rank-and-file organizers and national party leaders, and these have started breaking out more publicly in recent days. Progressive anger at their party’s establishment, and particularly at Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, found a concrete outlet this week in the persona of Tim Canova. A liberal economist and champion of Wall Street reforms, Canova announced a primary challenge to Wasserman Schultz in Florida’s 23 rd Congressional District. In an...

Can Obama Salvage His Democracy Agenda?

Olivier Douliery/Sipa USA (Sipa via AP Images)
rules-logo-109.jpeg Having dropped the ball on virtually every good government proposal that he pledged to enact when he first ran for office, President Barack Obama has now zeroed in on an unlikely new target for his democracy agenda: redistricting reform. As policy issues go, redistricting is usually about as exciting to voters as watching paint dry. Yet in sketching his vision for “a better politics” during his final State of the Union address this week, Obama placed redistricting reform at the top of the list. "I think we’ve got to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters and not the other way around," declared Obama . In a significant departure from his prepared remarks, he added: "Let a bipartisan group do it." It was one of the few specific policy proposals in a speech long on soaring rhetoric and short on detailed plans or solutions. Obama pledged to travel the country to promote a redistricting...