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. begalalaland

    This man is aiming to low, as a democrat with a prison record, he could be one obama's top czars, or if he didn't pay his taxes he could be a cabinet officer. If he decides to run for Congress, he can sit right next to Charlie Rangel.

    September 14, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Randolph Carter, the beer czar from the death panel

    Wow! Good luck with that, Sparky. Have a nice day!

    September 14, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  3. Franky

    Not only Washington doesn't wanna see you but I don't wanna see you!! What are you, an idiot? Talk about being disillusioned with his future and his chances. And if he does run, he ain't gonna go nowhere, that I can guarantee you. I don't know where he got these advisers and decisions regarding him making a bid or running for a seat. He's gotta be smarter than that.

    And is true, he no longer represents Ohio voters, get that in mind Mr. Trafficant.

    Even his name sounds like a mobs name for that matter. He will lose if he decides or thinks about it, put that in the bank!!!

    September 14, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. Bob in Pa

    Beam him back to jail. He obviously didn't lean anything from his first visit.

    September 14, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. disgusted

    I don't think so. No incumbents either. These guys are taking our money and the money from corporations and guess who they are fighting for. Not us. Time for a third party.

    September 14, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Fed up

    You have got to be kidding!! Aren't there some sort of laws that keep Felons from running for office.

    September 14, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. John

    I can't wait for Charles Manson to be paroled so he can also become a member of Congress. Then Traficant might have a colleague with similar character. Why are criminals allowed to run for public office? Even more alarming is why people vote for them? I'm sure there are enough law abiding citizens who can fill those seats.

    September 14, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I'm googling a law book as we speak. Felons cannot vote, but Traficant can run for Congress? It' almost poetic, isn't it?

    September 14, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    He might as well, at least everyone knows he is a crook just like the rest of the politicians and lawyers and lobbyist in Washington DC.

    September 14, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. Randolph Carter, the beer czar from the death panel

    Why does he have a dead possum on top of his head in the photo? Have a nice day!

    September 14, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. RealityKing

    James Traficant will make a great addition to the progressively corrupt 111th liberal Congress.., at least he's honest about wasting our childrens futures.

    September 14, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. hal9000

    he'd fit right in with Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Alcee Hastings, & John Murtha.

    In a democracy, the people always get the government they deserve.

    September 14, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. elliott

    He would fit right in with the other convicts in Washington.

    September 14, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Mattison

    The democrats already have enough criminals in Washington right now, we dont need anymore.

    September 14, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Dennis

    Can a convicted felon run for congress? I guess the only diffence from him and those in office is that they haven't been convicted yet.

    September 14, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their follishness.

    LIke foul mouth Sarina Williams and the drunken bum of a singer who interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance of her award at the music awards. This man needs to set down and shut up. The two, Sarina and the singer need to be black balled.

    September 14, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. Randy

    How can this convicted FELON run for public office? Are there no laws left in America that keep LIARS, THIEVES and THUGS out of office?

    September 14, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. jenn

    I can't believe they let him out of jail with his appalling toupee and 70s sideburns. That alone is criminal.

    September 14, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. S Callahan

    Pride is what usually preceeds a downfall....foolish is what come after the fall

    September 14, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. Roger

    What an idiot.

    September 14, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. Rami

    I like James Traficant I think he's awesome, a crook? far from it this guy has nothing on bush administration and the financial industry in this country I want him to be back in congress we need more people like him that tell it like it is. I can see why they kicked him out of the house of represenativies in the first place it's because he was not a team player well all that I have to say about that is to bad James Traficant is who he is and he is not going to change if I could vote to get him back in congress I would hell he should even run for president go James go!!!!!

    September 14, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. DEB

    DemocRAT's , RATpublicans and IDIOTpendant's ! For all you voters who support corruption. For all of you voters who want to put in office cheats and thieving individuals to support your corrupt causes. One day karma will smile upon you too !

    September 14, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. Martie

    Being a Dem this time round, of course he can return to Congress. Who would stop him????

    September 14, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  24. Bad day for news...

    Great job CNN. There is another video catching ACORN in the act, this time in NYC, where the ACORN president said in earlier remarks, that the investigative journalists had been unsuccessful. Your top story is Kanye West at the VMAs last night. Great journalism!

    September 14, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. LW In Texas

    He needs to join the G O P, they are his kind....

    September 14, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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