February 23rd, 2010
02:16 PM ET
12 years ago

Traficant will launch independent congressional bid

(CNN) - Former Democratic Rep. James Traficant, who in September was released from a federal prison after serving seven years on a bribery and racketeering conviction, told CNN Tuesday he will launch an independent bid to return to Congress.

"I will be running for congress…as an independent," Traficant told CNN's Kyra Philips. "I have been a Democrat all my life, and quite frankly I am disgusted with both parties. I hate to say this. My father is rolling over in his grave, a truck driver."

The former eight-term congressman, who represented Youngstown and its surrounding suburbs, did not indicate which district he would run in, but Ohio television station WFMJ reports Traficant is eyeing a campaign in either the state's 6th or 17th congressional districts.

The 17th district, the seat Traficant formally held, is currently represented by Rep. Tim Ryan - a 36-year old former aide to Traficant who is considered to be a rising star in the Democratic Party. Ohio's 6th congressional district, which encompasses Ohio's southeastern boarder with West Virginia, is currently represented by two-term Democrat Charlie Wilson. The seat was formally held by Ted Strickland, the current governor of Ohio.

"I see the Democrats are completely controlled by foreign interests and big lobbying money. The republicans are too, but the democrats more so. I hypocritically cannot accept that," Traficant also told CNN.

Traficant has until early May to file as an Independent in either district.

Filed under: 2010 • James Traficant • Ohio • Popular Posts
soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. Steve (the real one)

    If ex-felons cannot vote (in most cases) how in the world can they even run? If this guys gets elected, something is very, very wrong with the system!

    February 23, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Angry White Male

    What is it with scumbag Dems and the bad hair?

    See Blago.....

    What an utter peice of trash this man is. I'm sure he fits right in with the Dem corruption. It's amazing he's not from Chitcago.

    February 23, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. Seriously?

    Your kidding, right James? If not, you are the biggest egomanic I have ever heard tell. YOU just got out of prison for bribery and racketeering, asshat. What you say, may or may not be accurate, but you are one of the last persons who has the right to say so. You have forfited that right. Got it? Now take a big spoonful of STFU and get lost.

    February 23, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. stormerF

    A former convict,just what we need more criminals in political office.

    February 23, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. Jackalope

    The dude with the wombat on his head has re-invented himself as a teabagger!

    February 23, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Jane/Seattle

    Since this government is filled with crooks, extortionists, warmongers, predators and thugs, I guess it follows that a former convict could fit right back in! Peace could happen if we had some ethics in our elected officials! With apologies to the innocent here. We need to weed them out.

    February 23, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. irene



    February 23, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. John in Tampa

    I'd like to believe a person who has done their time should have a clean slate. But for a person who did time for bribery and racketeering to want to RE-enter POLITICS, that sounds pretty iffy.

    February 23, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Mike in NYC

    This guy is on AIPAC's bad side, big time, but he's got nothing left to lose. The most dangerous kind of person.

    Keep a workin', Big Jim.

    February 23, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. TF

    "The seat was formally held by Ted Strickland, the current governor of Ohio."

    I think you mean "formerly"....

    February 23, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. Voice of Reason

    Will the dead 'varmint' that lives on top of his head also be running as an independent?

    February 23, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. notews

    "...I hypocritically cannot accept that,"

    so he is being a hypocrite for not accepting big lobbying money or "foreign interests"?

    February 23, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Grog in Ohio

    Ugh... what an embarrassment to all Ohioans.

    February 23, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. File under "Sarcasm"

    What's one more crook in Washington? Given some of his recent statements, they could put him in the same office as Alan Grayson and have a daily pool as to who comes up with the wackier remarks.

    February 23, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. Thomas, Baton Rouge, LA

    Just what we need. Another criminal in congress. Brilliant.

    February 23, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. sam

    Why not?! Nearly all of those currently serving in the US Congress belongs in prison for the outrageous fraud they continue to perpetrate on the American public by not doing the job they have been elected to do - so this idiot will be very much at home should he be successful in his bid.

    February 23, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. freedom1

    My my, CNN censors are hard at work removing remarks that contain NO objectionable material but offend only them. They don't like it when you remark about them. tsk tsk

    February 23, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. An Army Veteran

    I have noticed that there is a huge push by the Republican party. The tea party, the GOPride (a homosexual group that supports Republicans), and I even recieved an email about an online avatar march on Washington against tax raises that was supported by some Republicans.

    The huge push is in response to Obama and his office. But Obama has asked Republicans to compromise and make the best decisions for the American public. The truth is that Republicans don't want a compromise because the Republican party is lead by people who have a larger in-come and they don't want to share their money.
    Here are some numbers from the exit polls in 2008 Presidential Election .
    Income less than 15k 73% Dem. 25% Rep.
    15k-30k 60% Dem. 37% Rep.
    30k-50k 55% Dem. 43% Rep.
    50k-75k 48% Dem. 49% Rep.
    75k-100k 51% Dem. 48% Rep.
    100k-150k 48% Dem. 51% Rep.
    150k-200k 48% Dem. 50% Rep.
    (from Polical Science, Texas State University, Professor Ben Arnold)

    It is more than obvious from these numbers that the higher income individuals are the Republicans. The real reason Republicans have this huge movement is to try and gain support so that they can maintain their current financial status.

    Epicurus said that one should withdraw from politics and I now see why after following politics recently. It is because its a never ending push for the upper class to keep their status and the lower class to try and gain more equality, especially finances. Thats what we have today Democrats, the lower class, and Republicans, the upper class, which is more than obvious from the previously stated numbers.

    I applaud Obama in his efforts to better the country and to truly support the American public over-all, not just a small number of Republicans that have a larger voice because they have the money to support that voice.

    I once considered myself a Republican conservative, but now, after what I have seen recently, would be disgusted with myself for continuing to affiliate with those beliefs. If we are to survive as a country we must pull together and support everyone over-all, not just the few wealthy individuals.

    Our country's government was heavily influenced by philosophers and radical thinkers of their time like John Locke,John Trenchard, and Thomas Gordon (Trenchard and Gordon wrote the Cato's letter influencing the ideas of future American govt.) (Professor McWilliams, Texas State University) who believed in the thought of true equality, not just the rich governing the poor.

    Our framers intented for politicians to be trustees (trustee-in regard to a legislator, one who acts according to hs or her own conscience and the borad interest of the entir society) but Republicans seem to be no more than just delegates (delegate-a legislator who is an agent of the voters who elected him or her and who votes according to the views of constituents regardless of personal assessment). If you are an elected official you have the obligation to society to be a trustee.

    Greed is human nature and human nature is the most common and durable source of a faction (faction-a group of people, without regard to size, working for what they want whose interests are adverse to those of the rest of society). This faction of Republicans needs to re-assess their goals and who they really represent if they want actually support the American public from my perspective.

    The lower income include people like me, a former Army veteran who served in Iraq. I recieve financial aid from the VA and need the financial assistance. Those are the kinds of people that make up the lower class. I don't have the ability to conduct public speeches in front of large groups of people because its hard enough just to make it financially. My concerns aren't the raising of taxes but rather paying rent next month.

    A Veteran

    February 23, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. wethepeople

    'i hypocritically cannot accept that'

    LOL he admits his action to not accept is a hypocritical one.

    he is a crook and he is criticizing others for corruption. how funny is that?

    February 23, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. Al

    It really makes no difference where mr. Traficant is , either in or out of prison. Once a crook , more than likely always a crook. This guy knows where the big bucks are. The lobbists will love him. If the taxpayers in Ohio feel comfortable with him,,,,,put him in office. Would these same taxpayers want him to be their banker

    February 23, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Republicans is smart in the head area

    I think his hair should run an independent campaign from his independent campaign. It's obviously an alien parasite with a mind of it's own. Only explanation for why he thinks he stands a chance to be elected.

    February 23, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Texas Granny

    Is this guy Traficant a total nut or what?

    February 23, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Just tell me WHY an ex con can run for office maybe this is part of the reason our government is broken just maybe its not a good ideal to let criminals do the peoples work .

    February 23, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. CHUCK

    Give me a break. What makes you think anyone would vote for criminal like you. Sorry, but we have enough crooks in Congress already. No need to add any more. I wish you luck?????

    February 23, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. GWA

    One more crook in office. Why is this news?

    Seriously, if this guy gets elected that says more about the people than it does about him. If we, as a people are so uneducated and easily "misled" by these politicians, we deserve what we get. Do we really want to elect a guy who was convicted of the very thing he says the democratic and republican party are doing? This is sort of like putting a serious drug addict in charge of the confiscated drugs from a police raid?

    I hope Ohio steps up and shows they are more sophisticated than the average American sheep.

    February 23, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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