Eliza Newlin Carney

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


Recent Articles

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...

Don’t Blame the Voters

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump clamor for autographs a rally Wednesday, June 29, 2016, in Bangor, Maine. rules-logo-109.jpeg W hat ails democracy, and who is to blame? Faced with the disruptive impulses that have given rise to Donald Trump and more recently to Great Britain’s disastrous exit from the European Union, a chorus of commentators has laid the blame not on out-of-touch elites, but on average voters. The real problem, we hear, is not that economic and political systems have concentrated power in the hands of too few, but that voters have too much sway over the process. In a widely-circulated New York Magazine article last month, Andrew Sullivan blamed a “hyperdemocracy” born of ever-expanding freedom and egalitarianism for the rise of Trump. The danger of “democratic wildfires” was precisely what led the Founding Fathers to establish checks and balances in the form of tightly circumscribed voting rights, the Electoral...