Eliza Newlin Carney

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


Recent Articles

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...

The Democracy Prospect: Bracing for a Costly, Ugly Ad Blitz

Matthew Putney/The Courier via AP
Welcome to The American Prospect ’s weekly roundup highlighting the latest news in money and politics . The 2016 campaign’s big money ad wars have been joined in earnest, and it’s getting ugly out there. The ads are noteworthy not only for their high cost and volume, but for their patently false content, particularly in the GOP column. Unfettered by the truth-in-advertising laws that constrain commercial advertising, the leading Republican candidates have pulled out all the stops. And as on the campaign stump this election, the facts appear to have taken a holiday. One whopper ad from the Ted Cruz campaign accused Marco Rubio of backing an immigration plan that “would have given President Obama the authority to admit Syrian refugees, including ISIS terrorists,” a claim that drew “Four Pinocchios” from The Washington Post ’s Fact Checker, which accused Cruz of elevating the “ridiculous” to “new heights of absurdity...

Gun Lobby Starting to Meet Its Match

Rex Features via AP Images
With his declaration this week that voters should oust members of Congress who block gun safety laws, President Barack Obama has thrown down the political gauntlet to one of the nation’s most influential and deep-pocketed special interests: the gun lobby. Americans who back gun safety must be “just as passionate” as gun lobbyists, urged Obama at a Tuesday press conference to unveil ten executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence. He called on “voters who want safer gun laws, and who are disappointed in leaders who stand in their way, to remember at election time.” It’s a tall order, given the National Rifle Association’s $348 million budget , and its legendary knack for mobilizing millions of members to exert grassroots pressure on lawmakers. The NRA and its gun rights allies spent $12 million on lobbying in 2014, compared with just $1.9 million by gun safety groups. Second Amendment defenders also have showered millions on elections in...

Political Money in 2015: More Secrecy, Deregulation, Voter Anger

AP Photo/Alan Diaz
A swirl of contradictions defined political money trends in 2015, a year dominated by unfettered super PACs and secretive groups, but also by candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who rejected big outside money and still managed to fire up voters. Congress set the tone even before the year began by quietly slipping a rider into omnibus spending legislation late in 2014 that blew the lid off the limits on contributions to the national political parties. The previous party contribution cap had been $64,800 per election cycle, but the new rules allow parties to pocket as much as $1.6 million from a single individual for special accounts that pay for conventions, recounts, and buildings. GOP leaders promptly set about scooping up six-figure contributions from CEOs, financiers, and lobbyists for those special party accounts. Republicans moved to exploit the new, higher party limits much more swiftly than Democrats: the Republican National Committee alone has collected more than...