Satirical drama from independent writer-director John Sayles. Bumbling, incompetent Dickie Pilager (Chris Cooper) has been chosen by his corrupt father, Colorado Senator Jud Pilager (Michael Murphy), to represent their party in an upcoming gubernatorial campaign. Seen as the 'user-friendly' candidate, Dickie is shamelessly manipulated by those who control the local party. During a photo opportunity while fishing in a Colorado river, Dickie starts to reel in a dead body, and Dickie's ruthless campaign manager Chuck Raven (Richard Dreyfuss) hires investigative journalist Danny O'Brien (Danny Huston) to look into possible links between the corpse and the Pilager family's many enemies. Danny's investigation sees him becoming deeply involved in the shady world where corporate interests and politics meet, and where democracy has become as corrupt as any dictatorship.