(Interview published by IVN on April 23, 2018)
“Hollywood for ugly people.”
It’s not a phrase coined by Michigan independent congressional candidate Cooper Nye. However, Nye says he can see why some people have come to view Washington, DC this way after working in the nation’s capital.
Cooper Nye is running in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District, which is currently represented by Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Trott.
How a Netflix Documentary Inspired a Candidacy
Nye says his decision to run for Congress was in some ways triggered by a Netflix documentary called, Saving Capitalism, and its analysis of the popularity of outsider candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
“It really clicked for me that this is a platform that has more viewers than cable television. People are attuned to this, and they really want an alternative,” Nye said in an interview for IVN
It was clear to him that the two parties were fracturing, and people want someone they can trust to fight for them.
“Hollywood for Ugly People”
Nye said he went to Washington after graduating from college to find something worth fighting for. Instead, he got first-hand experience on why some people call DC “Hollywood for ugly people.”
“Talking heads on T.V., actors in Congress, and lobbyists on K Street, worship the same things—money, power, prestige. Elites enrich themselves and crush competition. Politicians put party before country. And the media produces spectacle instead of substance,” his website says.
Nye noted in that the greed in Washington has left Congress in the hands of “20-year-olds” because of the fundraising expectations party leaders put on their caucus.
“The members themselves spend 3-7 hours a day fundraising or going to different meetings with associations and so on, and [the aides and interns] are running this country, they’re getting paid nothing to do it, and there is not enough time in the day where any human being could possibly master all of these complex areas of law,” says Nye.
Those who watch Last Week Tonight with John Oliver may remember the top story he did back in 2016 about congressional fundraising, during which he cites a report from The Hill that says members of Congress can spend “25-50% … of their time fundraising.”
The Road to November
Cooper Nye launched his campaign a couple weeks ago, and says he feels good about his experience so far.
“Everywhere I go, I’m finding people who want to get involved, cause everyone after the 2016 election is like, ‘Man, we need to do something different,’” he says. “There is a real appetite for engagement I’ve never seen around here.”
He says he is a “moderate independent,” which means “not having the answers before you think about the problem.”