Eliza Newlin Carney

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

 

Recent Articles

Crashing the Party

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks, as Republican presidential candidate, Senator Ted Cruz, listens, during the Republican presidential debate sponsored by CNN, Salem Media Group and the Washington Times at the University of Miami, Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Coral Gables, Florida. This article appears in the Spring 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine . Subscribe here . I n an election defined by Donald Trump, the polarizing billionaire poses the ultimate political Rorschach test. Trump has thrust the GOP into pandemonium, a civil war, a realignment, an existential crisis—so we hear. To some, Trump is sui generis, a blank slate who offers no clue to where the Republican Party is going. To others, Trump is the GOP’s “Frankenstein monster,” the natural end point of the party’s long and self-destructive slide. Trump is a “wrecking ball” swinging through both political parties. Trump will prevail by winning over working-class whites;...

Big GOP Senate Spending May Fall Short

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, center, walks with Senator Pat Toomey, left, to the Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, February 10, 2016. rules-logo-109.jpeg “ Money doesn’t matter” has emerged as a popular catchphrase in this turbulent and unpredictable presidential campaign, and the same refrain may soon take hold in the fight for control of the Senate. Money does matter , of course, in setting policy agendas, winning special access, and especially in swaying elections down the ballot. Still, this year’s Senate races pit Republicans flush with fresh cash against Democrats whose donors aren’t giving as much to super PACs—and Democrats still look favored to win. Democrats are hardly penniless, of course. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has outraised its GOP counterpart so far, and Democrats in some closely watched Senate races, including those in Colorado and Florida, have outraised their GOP opponents. The Senate...

Will Trump Finally Join the Money Chase?

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump smiles as he speaks to his supporters at a campaign event in Tampa, Florida, Monday, March 14, 2016. rules-logo-109.jpeg O ne of the most extraordinary moments in Donald Trump’s characteristically hyperbolic primary victory speech in Florida this week was his riff on the “vicious” and “horrible” barrage of “mostly false” TV ads attacking him, which he said carried a price tag of “over $40 million.” The actual total spent by the half-dozen conservative groups assailing Trump was closer to $35.5 million , but Trump was right about one thing: Amidst the ad blitz, his poll numbers went up. Even as he described the “disaster” of presiding over a golf awards ceremony as anti-Trump ads blared in the background, Trump marveled at the ads’ reverse effect: “I don’t understand it.” Neither do many of the GOP leaders, operatives and donors now casting about for a Plan B in their thus-far futile and costly campaign to stop...

The Campaign-Finance Reform Wish List

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP Images
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP Images Move to Amend holds a rally at the Supreme Court to "Occupy the Courts" and mark the second anniversary of the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court case on Friday, January 20. 2012. P ublic cynicism about money in politics has become so reflexive and deeply ingrained that the stock refrain from voters, candidates, political experts, election lawyers, and even many reform advocates is “Nothing will ever change.” Public financing? It will never happen. Disclosure for secretive political nonprofits? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will never allow it. A reversal of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling? Pie in the sky. And don’t even dream of expecting the Internal Revenue Service or the Federal Election Commission to actually enforce the rules. Both agencies have decisively demonstrated their utter impotence to police campaign violations. But what if the 2016 election created a surprise opening for democracy...

Big Money Turned Upside Down

Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa via AP Images
Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa via AP Images Following her victories in the Democratic primaries on "Super Tuesday," Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke at a rally for her supporters, many representing local unionized labor, at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City on March 2, 2016. rules-logo-109.jpeg W hen it comes to political money, the 2016 presidential general election campaign appears likely to become a contest between convention and chaos—between a consummate establishment fundraiser and a party renegade who thumbs his nose at big donors and at the consultant class. The rule-breaker, of course, is billionaire businessman Donald Trump, who as a largely-self financed candidate has trumpeted his independence from special interest donors and Wall Street-backed super PACs. Trump’s $25 million campaign account is far smaller than those of his GOP rivals, yet wall-to-wall media coverage has helped him win one primary after another, including seven on Super Tuesday...

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