(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."
DUMOcrats supporting and funding a CROOK.
No news here.
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?
And who says crime doesn't pay? This is a fine example of our nation's elected leadership.
That has to be the worst toupee in the history of toupees!
Democrats ruleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, God i love them sad he had to leave all of his voting block back in prison.
Good. They might clear enough to buy him a new rug.
I love this guy! He should run again...
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."
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...
Those classy Democrats. Just like the Lockerbie bomber coming home.
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.
Democrats in action. Sleazy and downright tacky.
they really have absolutely nothing else to do in Ohio, I'm from Ohio, they love Jerry Springer
Typical! Honoring a proven Felon! No wonder people think All politicians are crooks. This is such a travesty.
loved trafficant and his hair. beam me up! i am gop too.
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.
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.
Just what the great state of Ohio needs: The glorification of a FELON!
Wow! A corrupt democrat that's just in it for our money. That's never happened before.
He is a crook, a bum, and a convicted criminal and he shoud be treated as such.
The Mafia rules people! Wonder which God Father will be there.
...nothing to see here...