The Intercept, a left-of-center publication, has published a new article that tries to connect U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) to slavery and segregation.
The article, which The Intercept published late last week, links Cooper to what it calls “a segregationist political dynasty on his father’s side” and slaveholders on his mother’s side.
Members of Cooper’s communications team did not return The Tennessee Star’s requests for comment on Wednesday about the article.
The article said Cooper “has stoked the ire of Nashville progressives from his long-held conservative perch within the Blue Dog caucus.”
“He has raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars from the defense industry over the course of his career, and he currently serves as chair of the House Subcommittee for Strategic Forces. Leading the committee overseeing space weapons, nuclear arms production, and missile defense, Cooper emerged as one of the most vocal supporters of former President Donald Trump’s Space Force, the sixth branch of the U.S. military,” according to The Intercept.
“Cooper’s unique allegiances and history of hyperconservative political positions have put him at odds with the moderate Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., whose leadership he voted against in 2019.”
The Intercept then faulted Cooper and said that he “has hardly made combating inequality, racial or economic, central to his political project.”
Members of the Knoxville-based Justice Democrats announced in April that Nashville resident Odessa Kelly will oppose Cooper. Her platform advocates the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.
Kelly accused Cooper of siding with the rich and powerful. In an emailed press release, Justice Democrats described Cooper as “a corporate Democrat” who has held office for more than three decades and is “out-of-touch” and takes hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporate PACS.
Justice Democrats formed in the wake of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s presidential election. Justice Democrats’ stated goal is to change the Democratic Party from within by electing more progressive candidates.
Cooper has represented Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District since 2003.
Robby Starbuck, the son of Cuban refugees and a Republican, announced late last year that he will run against Cooper in 2022.
Starbuck said at the time that his approach to campaigning and representing constituents will differ greatly from Cooper and past Republican candidates. He attributed his unique approach to his background.
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