September 14th, 2009
01:22 PM ET
5 years ago

Traficant mulling another run for Congress

Former Democratic Rep. James Traficant told CNN Monday he may make a bid to return to Congress.
Former Democratic Rep. James Traficant told CNN Monday he may make a bid to return to Congress.

(CNN) - Former Democratic Rep. James Traficant, who only days ago was released from a federal prison after serving seven years on a bribery and racketeering conviction, told CNN Monday he may make a bid to return to Congress.

"I'm not sure at this point," Traficant told CNN's John Roberts on American Morning when asked if he wanted to seek a return to the body that, in a near unanimous vote, voted to expel him more than seven years ago.

"Both parties would not want to see me in Washington, believe me… I was very controversial down there," he said. "I'm the guy that changed the burden of proof in a civil tax case and had a bill moving forward that would finally, with the fair justice act, allow these people in the Justice Department to be charged and investigated and prosecuted for crimes."

Traficant also brushed aside recent criticisms from the mayor of Youngstown, Ohio - his hometown - that the former congressman is no longer representative of Ohio voters.

"I think I did a few things around Youngstown that helped Youngstown and improved Youngstown," said Traficant. "So I'm going to have a lot of…opposition if I do run, but quite frankly, I don't give a damn.

"You know, beam me up, I'm ready if I decide to run," Traficant also said, using his trademark closing like from Star Trek.


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soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Just Me

    I kinda like this crook. He is real. LOL

    September 14, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Charles

    No. This man should not be allowed to hold any position of authority.

    September 14, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Jane/Seattle

    NO! It is truly amazing to behold the double standards in this country. Minor offenses of ordinary folk is never forgotten, but guys like this think they are above the law. This man has little Integrity and should find another way to earn his living. Sorry, but we deserve folks who respect our laws. Hopefully, we can get all of these self-servers out of government. Peace

    September 14, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. RWM

    And why would Mr. Traficant not make a perfect candidate? He would fit right in with the tax dodgers, thieves and voter defrauders already populating our high government offices. What are the odds he will be re-elected by a convincing margin of votes?

    September 14, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Obama's divisiveness is destroying America

    No doubt if he runs for office again – Democrats will embrace him...

    Politics is full of scum like him. What I do not understand is how people will look the other way on what scumbags like him have done and yet act out with astonished disgust over a "You Lie" shout.

    Particularly when Obama does in fact lie through half truths and ommissions.

    September 14, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. DEB

    CNN, don't you have better things to report on ? Why are you giving any airtime to corrupt ex-con's ?

    Please report on people who are doing good for this country instead of giving any time to people who want to bring down this country.

    September 14, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Donald Marks

    Washington could use more than 1 James Traficant right now. Americans are losing faith in our government each passing day. A failed bailout. Rising deficit. He was a finger pointer and we need more representatives like him. Representatives being key word here.

    September 14, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Vlad

    How can he run for office again? As a convicted felon doesn't he automatically lose certain privilidges such as the right to vote, the right to hold public office, etc.?

    September 14, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Moderate Democrat

    GOP has their embarrassment that just won't go away (actually, all republicans are an embarassment to americans) so we were bound to get one that was bad, and here he is.

    I can say this though, Traficant on his worst day in history is 100 times better then ANY republican on their best day ever.

    September 14, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. Pat F

    Yet another corrupt Democrat. It's very ironic. Democrats, the working class heroes, get tripped up when they steal from the public coffers.

    But Democrats' whole political philosophy is based on stealing from the population to increase their power, so I guess we should not be surprised.

    September 14, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. timmer

    No way,man. The people of America deserve better than this retread! There are a ton of criminals-to-be just waiting for the chance to abuse the power of their office. Of course, we Americans like things that are shiny and new and we want new crooks in office–not an old dude from prior episodes. You know like when they change the cast of Dancing with the Stars or Survivor every season, we want some new dudes ripping us off....go back to lawyering or whatever disgraced politicians do when they lose their office....

    September 14, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. Sam

    Trafficant PLEASE do us a favor and change your party affiliation to Republican, if for no other reason than so all the wing nuts will be in the same political party.

    September 14, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Karen, Arkansas

    All those years in prison and he still has that crazy hair do...gosh will the man ever learn to comb his hair?

    September 14, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Tom Amlie

    Why the heck not? His return would probably improve the average ethical standards of the House.

    September 14, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. Peggy

    Wouldn't you think after a conviction they should be BARRED FOR LIFE from running again??????????

    September 14, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. Arkay, MI

    Mike Sanford set a precedent by not resigning his seat and this crook wants to run for congress. I think the public are getting desensitized slowly to accept less from our politicians.

    September 14, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. DJ

    He shouldn't be alllowed to even be photographed until someone fixes that awful hairdo.

    September 14, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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