Congressman: Spacey’s Frank Underwood Not Far From Washington Reality

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This piece, written by reporter Travis Perry, was originally published by Kansas Watchdog on April 30.

OSAWATOMIE, Kan. — Fictitious Congressman Frank Underwood is manipulative, vindictive, ruthless and captivating in the Netflix breakout hit, “House of Cards.”

Adding a final variable to the mix, Kansas U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo says Kevin Spacey’s character isn’t entirely inaccurate.

“(Underwood is) a caricature, but there are folks who are back there (Congress) whose desire is to just continue to be there,” Pompeo said. “They accumulate power for the sake of accumulating power, instead of accumulating influence in order to achieve an agenda, something you want to get done for your constituents.”

The Sunflower State 4th District Republican Congressman added the analytical remarks at the tail-end of an interview with blogger Bob Weeks, who runs WichitaLiberty.org. Weeks’ conversation with Pompeo originally aired Sunday.

Pompeo and his wife, Susan, have so far only made it through season one of the critically acclaimed political thriller — no spoiliers — and while he says it’s just a TV show, it’s tinged with bits of truth, with regard to whipping votes and drumming-up support behind an issue.

But earlier this year, actress Robin Wright, who plays the cool and calculating Claire Underwood on the Netflix series, said there could be more truth to the show than some let on.

“In Washington, (I) had a couple of people – politicians approach me – and I said, ‘Can you tell me what is inaccurate about the show?’ And they said, ‘Well, I have to tell you tell you it’s about 99 percent accurate, if we’re talking about … It’s like an instruction manual almost for D.C.,’” Wright told National Public Radio. “What’s the 1 percent? And he said: ‘You wouldn’t get an education bill passed that fast.’”

Check out Pompeo’s comments in the video below:

Franklin Center

for Government & Public Integrity, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting new media journalism, started the Watchdog.org project in September 2009. The project is a collection of independent journalists covering state-specific and local government activity.

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