Eliza Newlin Carney

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


Recent Articles

The Mainstream Faces of Hate

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) A White House staffer records President Trump speaking at a meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity on July 19, 2017, in Washington. democracy_rules.jpg W hen it comes to hatred and discrimination, white supremacists and neo-Nazis stand in a class by themselves. But the public condemnation heaped on far-right nationalists, and on President Donald Trump for pandering to them, should not be reserved just for the nation’s most blatant racists. For most Americans, it’s instinctual to reject those who wave Ku Klux Klan–style torches or banners bearing swastikas. But what about the racists who boast law degrees and sparkling resumes, and sport suits and ties? These haters, too, have flourished in the Trump administration. And their policies of bigotry, safely cloaked behind mainstream-sounding think tanks and federal commissions, can do as much or more damage as the thugs on the street. This is particularly true in the arena...

Is the Democratic Party’s 'Better Deal' Good Enough?

AP Photo/Cliff Owen
AP Photo/Cliff Owen House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, accompanied by Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, unveil the Democrats new agenda. democracy_rules.jpg I t’s a good thing for Democrats that the “ Better Deal ” agenda that party leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi unveiled on Monday will not be their only campaign message as they head into the 2018 midterms. There’s nothing exactly wrong with Democrats’ plan to raise wages, train workers, invest in infrastructure, and break up monopolies that hurt competition. It’s just that the whole rollout, staged in the white, working class town of Berryville, Virginia, had a self-consciously scripted air about it. It’s easy to see why voters at the party’s base want their leaders to show more passion and grit. That’s why House Democrats’ recent moves to force debates on ethics and accountability issues deserve special notice. In a new package of bills and in a series of...

Kobach’s Looking-Glass Commission

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik Vice President Mike Pence, left, accompanied by Vice-Char Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, right, speaks during the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity on July 19, 2017. democracy_rules.jpg T here was a surreal quality to the presidential “election integrity” commission’s first meeting on Wednesday, which was streamed live from a government building next to the White House, but was not open to the public. President Trump strode in to declare that “this is not a Democrat or Republican issue” and hail the “bipartisan” nature of a commission that’s headed by two Republicans and dominated by GOP members. He pledged a “very transparent process” that “will be open for everybody to see,” on a commission that’s already been sued for violating the disclosure and open meeting requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The commission’s official chairman, Vice President Mike Pence, quoted Ronald Reagan calling the right...

The FEC’s Moment of Truth

(Sipa via AP Images/Olivier Douliery/Abaca)
(Sipa via AP Images/Olivier Douliery/Abaca) The Federal Election Commission in Washington, D.C. democracy_rules.jpg T he question of whether Donald Trump and his team violated campaign-finance laws remains front and center in the rapidly expanding Russia probe. But wherever federal and congressional investigations lead, the danger posed by foreign interference in U.S. elections goes beyond the Trump campaign. It’s alarming enough that the president’s son, campaign manager, and son-in-law met last year with a Russian lawyer said to have damaging information to share about Hillary Clinton. Even more alarming, though, are the American election vulnerabilities that the Russia scandal has exposed. It’s already come to light in recent weeks that Russia targeted and sought to hack into voter databases in 21 states, a disclosure that has set election officials on edge. Less discussed but equally concerning are the campaign-finance loopholes that make it all too easy for foreign actors to...

Is the Kobach Commission Violating the Law?

(AP Photo/John Hanna)
(AP Photo/John Hanna) Kris Kobach answers questions after the launch of his campaign for governor on June 8, 2017, in Lenexa, Kansas. democracy_rules.jpg T he Trump administration “election integrity” commission’s request that all 50 states turn over voter files containing sensitive personal information is not only a threat to election security and to Americans’ privacy and voting rights—it may also be illegal. In separate letters and court filings, several privacy, civil liberties, and voting rights groups have accused the commission and its de facto leader of violating no fewer than half a dozen federal statutes. These include laws that protect privacy, constrain government information-gathering, and dictate how presidential commissions must conduct their business. Commission Vice Chair Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, also stands accused of violating the Hatch Act by using his position on the panel to advance his gubernatorial bid. The most serious challenge to the...