Eliza Newlin Carney

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

 

Recent Articles

Trump’s Assault on the ‘Administrative State’

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster FBI Director James Comey pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing: "Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation." democracy_rules.jpg A mong those alarmed by FBI Director James Comey’s firing last week are surely many federal workers, who may see it as emblematic of Donald Trump’s deliberate attack on the nation’s 2.7 million civil servants. Trump’s eagerness to fire government employees, for political or other reasons, has been on display since his campaign pledge to freeze federal hiring and end “waste, fraud and abuse.” Presidential chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon put it more bluntly following Trump’s election, pledging the “ deconstruction of the administrative state .” Some of Trump’s firings, such as his dismissals of Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and federal prosecutor Preet Bharara, have raised questions about his motives. Like Comey, Yates, and Bharara—who...

Lobbying for Foreign Interests -- and Not Reporting It

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. D onald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey has thrust foreign governments’ growing influence on American politics and policy—and U.S. officials’ failure to police it—front and center on Capitol Hill. The immediate question facing Congress is whether to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s role in the U.S. presidential race, something Democrats demand and GOP leaders reject. But the Russia probe has also shed light on another problem that worries lawmakers on both sides of the aisle: the secrecy that shrouds foreign influence peddling. In theory, U.S. lobbyists representing foreign governments and interests must register and disclose their activities with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), a 1938 law written to stop Germany from using American firms to spread Nazi propaganda. In...

Shareholders Demand Disclosure -- and Republicans Push Back

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta House Financial Services Committee Chairman Representative Jeb Hensarling speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, during the committee's hearing on overhauling the nation's financial rules. rules-logo-109_2.jpg C orporate political spending has spiked noticeably in the business-friendly Trump era, but so has the pressure on corporations to fully disclose the money they pour into politics. Shareholders have filed dozens of resolutions this proxy season that call on companies to explain and account for their political spending. In January and February alone, shareholders filed 90 resolutions relating to political activity, including one that comes before the Berkshire Hathaway board on May 6. By one estimate, such resolutions numbered 105 in 2016. But Republicans on Capitol Hill, under pressure from business lobbyists, have introduced legislation authored by Texas Representative Jeb Hensarling that would silence most shareholders as part...

Should ‘Dark’ Money Power the Resistance to Trump?

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez Members of the Orchard City Indivisible Group raise their hands in support of a fellow member who spoke before the city's council against the policies of President Trump in Campbell, California. rules-logo-109_2.jpg W hen a pair of former Democratic Hill aides put out a Donald Trump resistance manual dubbed the Indivisible Guide in December, they deliberately set out to emulate the hyper-local tactics so successfully deployed by the Tea Party. Not lost on the authors of the guide, which went instantly viral and garnered $1 million in contributions to fund a group dubbed the Indivisible Project, was that Tea Party organizers had run afoul of the Internal Revenue Service for allegedly diving into politics while seeking tax exemption. Pressured by Republicans following a critical inspector general report, the IRS later apologized for improperly targeting Tea Party groups, but the flap exposed the perils for nonprofits that enter the political fray. Undaunted...

100 Days of Corruption

President Trump’s first 100 days have been marked by ethics controversies, lawsuits, federal investigations and public outrage over his business conflicts.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
AP Photo/Susan Walsh President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. rules-logo-109_2.jpg O ne of the many things that sets apart Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office from those of any previous president is his near-total disregard for all Executive Branch ethics rules and conventions. The absence of transparency, the real and apparent conflicts that expose Trump and the first family to accusations of self-dealing , and the president’s unusually heavy reliance on billionaire CEOs, Wall Street insiders and special interest lobbyists, all take the potential for White House corruption to a level unseen since Watergate. Trump bragged on the campaign trail that he was not beholden to wealthy donors, and pledged to “drain the swamp” in Washington. But unlike previous presidents, Trump has failed to release his tax returns or put his business assets in a blind trust . Members of his family, including his daughter, Ivanka—now an official White House adviser—continue...

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