May 3rd, 2010
11:21 AM ET
12 years ago

'Beam me up' to Capitol Hill

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/02/art.trapicant2.0902.gi.jpg caption=" Jim Traficant is hoping to move from prison back into elected office."]

Atlanta (CNN) – "Beam me up, Scottie," to Capitol Hill, so says former Democratic congressman turned ex-con Jim Traficant.

Traficant, who served seven years in prison for charges that included racketeering, obstruction of justice, tax evasion and bribery, filed papers Monday to run again for Congress – this time as an independent.

Traficant is one of the more colorful lawmakers to serve in the House in recent times. While in Congress, Traficant often recited the famous Star Trek line, "Beam me up Scottie," from the House floor and relished the attention he received for being out of step with the typically button up, conservative Capitol Hill.

If he qualifies for the general election, Traficant is likely to face off against one of his former congressional staffers, Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat who now holds the seat. The Ohio primary is Tuesday, when Democrats and Republicans will choose their candidates for the midterm elections. The non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report currently rates the race as "safe" for Ryan to win re-election. Ryan crushed his Republican opponent in 2008.

Listen: CNN Political Editor Mark Preston on Traficant

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To ensure that his name is on the November ballot, Traficant needs 2,199 of the 3,138 signatures he submitted Monday to the Trumbull County Board of Elections to be validated. His eligibility will be announced before July 15, Kelly Pallante, director of the Trumbull County Board of Elections, tells CNN.

The district Traficant is seeking to represent is in the middle of the "Rust Belt," an area once supported by the steel industry that has now fallen on hard economic times.


Filed under: Jim Traficant
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Ken

    Seems like he fits the mold for a member of Congress: Criminal record, bribes, stealing. As the group waisting tax payer money at every turn, he will fit right in.

    May 3, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. john

    He should get along nicely with all the other law breakers we have in DC.

    May 3, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. Luke Brown

    This guy is a joke. He makes a mockery of public service. If the people of Ohio want a laughing stock for a Congressman, then they deserve him.

    May 3, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. Joe Magaratz

    Voted for him 9 times....NEVER AGAIN!

    May 3, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Wisconsinite

    Guess anybody can run as an "independent". This should be a wake up call to voters, though. Don't just fall for the whole "independent" label when casting your votes! I realize, for some, that is a clarion call to "vote out all incumbents! both parties need to go!" yada yada yada. Make sure you know WHO you're voting for and WHAT they stand for otherwise your vote is no better than those who vote strictly along party lines.

    May 3, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    "Beam me up, Scottie," to Capitol Hill, so says former Democratic congressman turned ex-con Jim Traficant.

    A Star Trek reference? How appropriate, considering he has a flock of tribbles living on top of his head. Have a nice day!

    May 3, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    It is so sad to see someone like this even able to run for elected office.

    If people elect him, then we can certainly lump Ohio, into that same questionable arena of corruption, that has long existed, in Chicago.

    May 3, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. Ruty

    Just what this country needs. More crooks in Washington.

    May 3, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. phoenix86

    Sounds like he is a perfect fit for the Obama administration.

    May 3, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Traficant, who served seven years in prison for charges that included racketeering, obstruction of justice, tax evasion and bribery, filed papers Monday to run again for Congress
    --------------------------------

    ?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You gotta love politics!

    You get busted for selling a couple of grams of cocaine, and when you come out FROM UNDER the jail, your own grandmother won't hire you because you are a felon. I'm not sure but can you even vote once you become a felon? Anyway..... this guy serve seven years for bribery, et al and he gets to run for congress!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ain't America GREAT??!!!!!!

    May 3, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Jim go back to your cell, yard time is up.

    May 3, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    ...So I guess all convicts should be told: when you leave jail and NO ONE will HIRE you because you have a record, return to your life of crime....run for CONGRESS!!!!!

    May 3, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    This is a joke right? How can a convicted felon even be considered a serious candidate? Oh that's right a felon would be among his peers in Washington.

    May 3, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. A Kickin' Donkey

    Have some decency and DO NOT RUN.

    May 3, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. Debbie from Arizona

    Can a convicted felon run for office? If a convicted felon can not vote, how can he run? The good people of Ohio need to be very careful, we already have enough crooks in Congress.

    May 3, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Larry

    He might get one vote ... his own

    What intelligent person would vote this crook back into office

    We would sure like to "Beam" you anywhere but to our capitol Jim

    May 3, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. Bill, Bloominton IL

    and he should make it. Overall illinoians are not very bright.

    May 3, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. Mike S

    Really? This man has no shame.

    May 3, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. KateHikes

    My god, elect this man, Ohio!! He speaks the truth about the Zionist criminal enterprise and the nefarious power of the jew. Time to take back our country!

    May 3, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. STEVE R

    the voters in this country are so dumb, this guy will be in office somewhere.................if you dont pay taxes or have a criminal record, you should not ever be allowed to be elected to public office

    May 3, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. Mayday

    Another classy Democrat. Check out that wig...

    May 3, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    holy crap! They wont vote for an atheist, but they'll vote for a guy convicted of serious fraud charges?? How dumb can you get?

    May 3, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. Nicholas M Cummings, Rochester, MA

    He should fit right in on Capitol Hill...

    May 3, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. Big Al

    Humphrey Bogart never said "Play it again, Sam." James Cagney never said " You dirty rat." Ed Sullivan never said "Really big show" and Bill Shatner (aka Captain Kirk) never said "Beam me up, Scottie."

    I know the above posting is about as nerdy as you can get, but give let iit slide.

    May 3, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. Jefe

    Why is CNN using a picture of him from 1973?...what? That IS a recent picture? Ok, I change my question: Where is the barber shop nearest to wherever he is now? Please send him there.

    May 3, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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