Eliza Newlin Carney

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

 

Recent Articles

Redistricting Fuels Big Money Arms Race

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta Activists rally for a fair elections outside the U.S. Supreme Court democracy_rules.jpg T he partisan gerrymandering case known as Gill v. Whitford that the Supreme Court heard Tuesday is just the beginning of a multimillion-dollar redistricting war between Republicans and Democrats over who gets to draw legislative and congressional district lines in 2021. The money is being raised through a hodge-podge of legal trusts, tax-exempt groups, and political action committees that in many cases operate outside the federal campaign-finance rules. That means that many donations are not subject to contribution limits or disclosure requirements, thanks in part to a little-noticed and arguably nonsensical Federal Election Commission ruling that in 2010 found that redistricting is not related to federal elections. “It’s an absurd fiction, but it gives the parties permission to raise unlimited money and to not disclose where that money is coming from,” says Paul Ryan...

The GOP’s Big Problem Is Big Money

AP Photo/Butch Dill
AP Photo/Butch Dill Senator Luther Strange speaks to supporters as he concedes the Republican primary runoff for U.S. Senate to Roy Moore in Homewood, Alabama. democracy_rules.jpg T here are lots of explanations for why Republicans have backed themselves into a corner both legislatively and politically, unable to either enact an agenda or to contain a populist uprising that now poses as great a threat to GOP incumbents as it does to Democrats. The most obvious issue is that the GOP’s intransigence, anti-government attacks, and culture wars have unleashed a monster that Republicans can no longer control. But another, less apparent, problem that helps explain the GOP’s vicious cycle of paralysis and unpopularity has to do with big money. As the champions of campaign-finance deregulation and unrestricted corporate spending, Republicans on Capitol Hill are now more in tune with their billionaire conservative donors than with the average GOP voters who rallied behind Trump. This shows up...

Facebook Fiasco

AP Photo/Noah Berger
AP Photo/Noah Berger Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks in San Jose, California democracy_rules.jpg F acebook’s disclosure that it sold up to $150,000 in ads to Russia-based social media trolls during the 2016 election has revived a potentially explosive debate over whether the government should regulate political ads on the internet. Lawmakers mulling new regulations are sure to get an earful from both free speech advocates and foes of secret spending. Just this week, House and Senate Democrats urged the Federal Election Commission to “promulgate new guidance” on how ad platforms can better prevent illegal foreign spending. But most everybody agrees on one thing: Facebook has been shirking its public responsibilities, even as its power and revenues mushroom. Facebook has partially mitigated the damage by announcing that it would release 3,000 ads to government investigators. “I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in remarks...

Kobach’s House of Cards

AP Photo/Holly Ramer
AP Photo/Holly Ramer Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner at a meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity on September 12, 2017, in Manchester, New Hampshire. democracy_rules.jpg C onservatives who have long stoked the myth of widespread voter fraud are discovering what happens when you get a national platform for your conspiracy theories: The house of cards starts to collapse. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach won a megaphone for his disputed voter fraud theories as vice chairman of President Trump’s “election integrity” commission, but he was forced to eat crow at the panel’s second public meeting Tuesday in New Hampshire. Having claimed in a Breitbart column that New Hampshire’s Senate race “was stolen through voter fraud,” Kobach faced such a torrent of evidence to the contrary that he publicly equivocated, wondering aloud “if it’s even possible to condense what is really a complex legal issue into...

GOP to Latinos: Drop Dead

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP) Republican Senators Cory Gardner, John Barrasso, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, John Thune, and Majority Whip John Cornyn on September 6, 2017 democracy_rules.jpg T he Republican Party has now officially abandoned Latinos. It’s not clear how much of a political price Republicans will pay for this, but we may find out as early as next year, when midterms may coincide with a GOP-authored mass deportation. Sure, there are Republicans who want to find a legislative fix during the six-month window that President Trump has given Congress to act before he yanks legal protections from 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. These “Dreamers” have been working and studying here legally since 2012 under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But who really believes that this GOP-controlled Congress can enact a bill to save DACA by this spring? Republicans have killed or blocked immigration legislation...

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