September 2nd, 2009
04:40 PM ET
9 years ago

Hundreds of tickets sold for Traficant tribute dinner

Traficant was released from federal custody Wednesday.

Traficant was released from federal custody Wednesday.

(CNN) - He may have left federal detention quietly, but - like almost everything else about James Traficant - the former congressman's Youngstown, Ohio homecoming promises to be a little bit over-the-top, and impossible to ignore.

A special "Traficant release night"-themed home game by the area's minor league baseball team, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, was canceled after a wave of criticism.

But a welcome home banquet for Traficant - what supporters are calling "an appreciation dinner" - will be held Sunday afternoon at a local banquet hall, where a representative said the venue was expecting 1,200 guests.

One of the organizers, Tony Trolio, told CNN that 1,200 was the official capacity crowd for the event, but that roughly 765 tickets had been sold as of midweek. The agenda is slated to include musical performances - including an appearance by an Elvis impersonator - and a PowerPoint presentation chronicling highlights of Traficant's congressional career.

Trolio said Wednesday he is "90 percent sure" Traficant will attend the tribute. Traficant himself could not be reached for comment.

The nine-term Democratic congressman was released Wednesday after serving just over seven years in federal prison for charges that included racketeering, obstruction of justice, tax evasion and bribery.

Trolio, who owns a t-shirt store in Traficant's hometown of Poland, Ohio, told CNN later in the day he'd been seeing a major surge in demand for one of his star products: a shirt bearing the former congressman's likeness under the legend "Welcome Home, Jimbo."

The daily sales pace for the shirts, which debuted earlier this year, recently increased tenfold - from just over 5 to around 50 per day, according to Trolio. "We're probably at about 900 (sold) at this point," he told CNN Wednesday. "It really picked up the last two weeks."

Filed under: James Traficant
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Idiot_Pelosi

    DUMOcrats supporting and funding a CROOK.

    No news here.

    September 2, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. I can see Canada from my house!

    He always voted with the GOP.

    This is almost as bad as welcoming home the Lockerbie Bomber. I do want to know one thing, though:

    Will Joe the Plumber be there to welcome him?

    September 2, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. Deuce


    September 2, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Typical Democrats.

    September 2, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    And who says crime doesn't pay? This is a fine example of our nation's elected leadership.

    September 2, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Tina, NC

    That has to be the worst toupee in the history of toupees!

    September 2, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. randy

    Democrats ruleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, God i love them sad he had to leave all of his voting block back in prison.

    September 2, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. fideauxdon

    Good. They might clear enough to buy him a new rug.

    September 2, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. Rafael

    I love this guy! He should run again...

    September 2, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Jackie in Dallas

    At least he did his time. How much time has Foley done for solicting an underage male page?

    There is an old saying:
    "The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves." - Plato

    If we consistently continue to elect officials by their party affliation, instead of by their actions, if we continue to depend on sound bites and pundits for our opinions, we get the government we deserve. Our only recourse is to study the candidates in depth, ask questions, or put our lives where our mouths are and run for office ourselves.

    Of course, another quote, this one by Henry Kissinger, says it even more succintly: "Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation."

    September 2, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. Tom in Wisconsin

    Leave it to the liberal media to portray this American Hero as a crook. He's a hard-working, God-fearing.....wait, he's in the democrat party? What I meant to say was that this guy is a typical dem. They all are crooks and he should fry. The liberal media is trying to make this guy a hero...

    September 2, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  12. Bates

    Those classy Democrats. Just like the Lockerbie bomber coming home.

    September 2, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. Moderate Democrat

    Ok...I demonize the immoral and corrupt portions of the republican party (which is all of them, down to the very last one), so it's only fitting that I realize this is in poor taste.

    He was convicted, there should be no party. The main reason being: if every corrupt politician had a 'getting out of prison' party....the republicans would be on a 24/7 365 day a year party tour.

    September 2, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. J.P.

    Democrats in action. Sleazy and downright tacky.

    September 2, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  15. Ohio homecoming promises to be a little bit over-the-top

    they really have absolutely nothing else to do in Ohio, I'm from Ohio, they love Jerry Springer

    September 2, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. Keith in Austin

    Typical! Honoring a proven Felon! No wonder people think All politicians are crooks. This is such a travesty.

    September 2, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. patriotic enemy of the state

    loved trafficant and his hair. beam me up! i am gop too.

    September 2, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. Joel in Ohio

    What is funny shamed GOP Tom Delay is forgiven by these tools who are calling the Dems crook. My god please look in the mirror first.

    September 2, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. J

    He made mistake, he paid his due, time to move on.
    unlike some GOP leader who still hanging on the office even have been call to step down.

    September 2, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  20. John W. Racine, WI

    Just what the great state of Ohio needs: The glorification of a FELON!

    September 2, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  21. Grrr-awful-o

    Wow! A corrupt democrat that's just in it for our money. That's never happened before.

    September 2, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. Joe Terrogano

    Mafia connections?

    September 2, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  23. unshrub

    He is a crook, a bum, and a convicted criminal and he shoud be treated as such.

    September 2, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. Prevaricator

    The Mafia rules people! Wonder which God Father will be there.

    September 2, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. big papa

    ...Move along...

    ...nothing to see here...

    September 2, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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