Not Satire: Van Huss hosting 'Nacho Libre' watch party for Capitol Hill colleagues, staff

Zach Vance • Feb 24, 2019 at 12:42 AM

It might read like satire, but it’s not.

A Northeast Tennessee lawmaker has formed a parody caucus named after his favorite movie, “Nacho Libre,” and all 132 members of the Tennessee General Assembly, whether Democrat or Republican, are invited.

Last Monday, state Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, announced on the House floor that he and state Rep. Debra Moody, R-Covington, would host a “Nacho Libre” watch party with pizza to boot on Feb. 25 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Cordell Hull building.

He also asked any lawmaker or staff wanting to attend to RSVP first so he could order enough pizza.

Two days later, on Feb. 20, Tennessean Capitol Hill reporter Natalie Allison tweeted out that Van Huss was hand-delivering “Nacho Libre Caucus” flyers to lawmaker’s offices. 

Rep. Micah Van Huss announces from the House floor he is holding a Nacho Libre watch party next Monday night in the legislative office building and needs people to RSVP so he can order pizza. #tnleg

— Natalie Allison (@natalie_allison) February 18, 2019

Ok apparently Rep. Van Huss is hand delivering the Nacho Libre flyers to offices this morning. Really doing some grassroots mobilizing to try to get people to come watch the movie with him. #tnleg

— Natalie Allison (@natalie_allison) February 20, 2019

Speaking to the Johnson City Press last week about his effort to pass legislation banning abortions from the point a fetal heartbeat is detected, Van Huss provided some context on the “Nacho Libre Caucus.”

“We’ve got the Nacho Libre Caucus; Rep. Moody and I are hosting it next Monday night. And we’re going to get together, have some pizza and watch “Nacho Libre,” one of my favorite movies,” Van Huss said.

“I just like “Nacho Libre.” I just like that (type) of comedy, it’s like “Napolean Dynamite.” It’s just some off-the-wall humor, and I like it.”

Van Huss also said no taxpayer dollars would be involved in hosting the event, and unfortunately, the public is not invited to the exclusive assembly.

“All 99 (House) members and 33 senators have received an invitation and their staff members. So everybody is invited that is members and staff. I can’t invite the public because then I’d have to hire security,” Van Huss said.

“Getting to know our colleagues is really important and (being able) to work together really well down here. Of course, it’s bipartisan. But, getting to know your colleagues is always a good thing, in my opinion.”

Starring Jack Black, “Nacho Libre” hit theaters in 2006. The movie centers around the exploits of Ignacio, or Nacho, as his friends call him, who is a cook in a Mexican monastery where he grew up.

The monastery serves as a home to orphans, but there is little money to feed them properly. Nacho, played by Black, eventually develops a grand idea to raise money by entering a Lucha Libre wrestling tournament with his partner, Esqueleto. Since the church forbids wrestling, Nacho tries to disguise his identity with a mask.

One reason Van Huss might enjoy the movie so much is that wrestled — for sport, not for entertainment — during his high school days at David Crockett High School. More recently he served as a coach for the David Crockett wrestling team.

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