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. GI Joe

    He could move to Nevada and take Ensign's place once he starts his jail time.

    May 3, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. rufus

    Alcee Hastings is proof that crooks can be elected.

    May 3, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. Mickey, NY

    As an ex-con, he'd fit in more with the GOP...

    May 3, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. Ken in NC

    He should fit right in with the rest of the crooks in Congress.

    May 3, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  5. Paul from Phoenix

    According to his criminal resume, he is a perfect fit next to Charlie Rangle.

    May 3, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    Why is anyone giving this felon the time of day?

    WE NEED TERM LIMITS FOR CONGRESS!!!

    May 3, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. j

    Hey, he`s a perfect fit -- and, he`s already familiar with the system.

    May 3, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. Chas in Iowa

    He'll fit in fine with the rest of the crooks up on capital hill.

    May 3, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. normajean

    As a Democrat, I would like to see this man dissapear from the scene and would hope that no one in the party will vote for him. He has a criminal record for a reason and rehabilitation only goes so far. He is NOT a proper candidate for any political office.

    May 3, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. thomas

    Love his hair

    May 3, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Ron in California

    Birds of a feather...He is just re-joining his crooked cronies.

    May 3, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  12. doug

    He always has been and always will be one of the most honest Democrats in America.

    May 3, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. jerseylou

    Sorry....Mr.Ex-Con don't call us,we will call you if we need you! Maybe that wig of his is putting just a little to much of a strain on that brain of his. If this guy thinks he can bang the tax payers again he is insane!

    May 3, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. MSH, Miami, FL

    I still can't figure out why he wears that dead opossum on his head...

    May 3, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. vette gal

    What in the world is wrong with those 3138+ people that signed to put his name on the ballot. Did he get those from the cons he was in prison with? Why would anyone want to put another dishonest person in a position of power? Don't we have enough already!

    May 3, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. DorisV

    Wasn't aware that ex-cons can run for political office. Hope the voters don't support this good ole boy.

    May 3, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It's a sorry day in America when we tolerate ex-cons running for public office. Open the prison doors and let them all run for office.

    May 3, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Glennis

    Perfect. Congress as a whole is a disgusting, slimy, corrupt, self-serving bunch already. Why not one more. The fools who elected him the first time around will probably send him back. But he really should do something about that rug he's wearing.

    May 3, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. Steve- Illinois

    If this gut gets elected to dog catcher, there is no hope for us!

    May 3, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. jean

    Perrfect example of what is wrong with our political system. Oh well he fits right in with the rest of the democratic party and what they have become. Traficant's conviction for bribery in particular will work well with the politics of Reid, Pelosi, Nelson, Landrieu and their dem cronies; can anyone say "Louisiana Purchase" or "Cornhusker Kickback"?

    May 3, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. Steve- Illinois

    guy not gut

    May 3, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. Jeff Spangler

    If prison builds character, he's got it in spades. Seems like he also has a tad of mental disorder or substandard intelligence.

    May 3, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  23. If it quacks like a duck.........

    Ya know.......I heard Palin had a twin brother, and they were separated at birth!!! Looks like they found the same hairdresser!!

    May 3, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. SocialismBad

    What a wonderful example of a Democratic politician.... complete with jail time served. Many more of the current DemocRATic crowd need to do some jail time. (Dodd and Frank to name a few)

    May 3, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. Ted

    there he goes, wanting to get back at the feeding trough of soft money in Washington with his goofy haircut.

    May 3, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
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