September 14th, 2009
01:22 PM ET
10 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. Scott, Tucson

    When the Dem's put this crook back in office, maybe he can take over Charlie Rangle seat on the Ways & Means committee.

    September 14, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Darth Vadik, CA

    A thief is a thief is a thief, we don't need another one in congress, its full of them already.

    September 14, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. Larry - Hazleton, pa

    Mr Traficant can do as he wishes – lord knows he would be no worse than at least 50% of those in office today – but this begs the questions is he on parole? and is a felon allowed by law to serve in congress? and could the congress if elected stop him from being seated? if you know the answers please post – thanks

    September 14, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. Fair is Fair

    If anyone is looking for their lost skunk... it's on Trafficant's head.

    September 14, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If I were him, I wouldn't be jumping into the limelight. Wait some time before being in the spot light again and build up some crediablity. Doing that will make it harder to dispute that you are just in it for the money and being bribed again.

    September 14, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. Michael

    Oh please. Don't be an idiot. Oh, too late.

    September 14, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. Marilyn

    He won't get a shot at running again until we know what he's hiding under that "buffant" hairstyle!

    September 14, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Some republican guy

    Star Trek reference, huh? OK, I'll play. Why does he have a dead tribble on his head? Have a nice day!

    September 14, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. John

    Can convicted Felons run for the Congress???

    September 14, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. Terry from Texas

    We paid Traficant's salary while he was in office, paid to prosecute him, and paid to keep him in prison for 7 years. We don't have anything to show for that money. Surely the good voters of Ohio can find another person to represent them.

    September 14, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  11. Leno

    His rants on the floor of congress were a perennial fav. A complete and total nut case. No worse than the republicons in congress – and more sense than to yel at a president that he is lying when he saying something true...

    At least trafficant was not in favor of the lunacy most republicons support, crazy as he is.

    September 14, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. Jim

    This guy is seriously delusional.

    September 14, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. Jackie in Dallas

    Beam him up, is right! Right into the looney bin. Weren't those charges considered felonies? And am I not right in assuming that if you are convicted of felonies you cannot vote? And if you cannot vote, can you still run for office?

    Wikipedia states: "In the United States felons often face additional consequences, such as the loss of voting rights in many states; exclusion from certain lines of work and difficulty in finding a job in others; prohibition from obtaining certain licenses; exclusion from purchase and possession of firearms, ammunition and body armour; and ineligibility to run for or be elected to public office."

    I wonder, can anyone find out if that is true in Ohio? If it is, he's just blowing smoke...

    September 14, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. carlos, that one

    if i lived in ohio, i would certainly vote for you mr. traficant...........and vote out the c-street evil sinners and all, if it could be done, of the pathetic corrupt satanic repugnants...........they are the lowest echelon in society...........not even fitted to dwell in a pig's sty, why you may ask.....simply because the pigs would! i am being nice

    September 14, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. Matt

    Mr. Traficant is another crook from Youngstown, Ohio. I should know because I lived through those Traficant years. He did nothing in Youngstown, Ohio. Look at it now, it's shameful, he and the other Democrats who ran Youngstown those years are and were(most are dead) crooks all of them. That's why I had to raise my family elsewhere. Youngstown, Ohio the place that I was born, was destroyed by the likes of Taficant and all his cronies.

    September 14, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. Fannie Upton

    Traficant would be fine in today's Washington, except he should trim his hair up quite a bit.

    September 14, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. Bill

    maybe he should take that ridiculous looking rug off his head for starters

    September 14, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |

    so whats the problem

    everyone in dc should have a criminal record

    he just happens to have gotten it out of the way

    September 14, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. Bob in Pa

    At least he had that pet on his head to keep him company in prison.

    September 14, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. Cynic

    The US Congress needs more mavericks like Traficant. I've never been convinced that he committed those crimes,

    September 14, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. Sam I Am

    Left or Right, this kind of stuff should not stand. He's an idiot with a bad toupee.

    September 14, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. JAY

    If he did get elected again ( the man lives in the twilight zone)
    he and rangel would have a lot in common.

    September 14, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. zydeco D

    Is he running with or with out the hair pice. The guy has no shame.

    September 14, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. GI Joe

    We have enough crooks in Congress already.

    We need to get rid of the Dems and Reps that do NOT represent us - but take money from Financial and Insurance companies to get more money for corporate America.

    If we don't get rid of the crooks now, we never will. BOTH PARTIES.

    And do NOT elect any more of them. Send a message, people.

    September 14, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. Farrell in Houston

    Say it isn't so.

    September 14, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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