Posts Tagged ‘Traficant’

James Traficant Dies

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

James Traficant, the colorful ex-Congressman from Youngstown, Ohio, died today at age 73. He had been injured on Tuesday when a tractor flipped on to him at his farm near Youngstown.

Mr. Traficant spent eight years at ClubFed following his conviction on charges of tax evasion, bribery, racketeering, and obstruction of justice. After his release in 2009, he ran for Congress as an independent but lost. As a Congressman, Mr. Traficant was known for his bombastic style and his trademark saying of “Beam me up.”

My condolences to his family.

We Won’t Have Jim Traficant to Kick Around

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Well, Election Day has come and gone. Congressional races generally went to Republicans, and the GOP will be the majority party in the House next January. That means that John Boehner of Ohio will be the next Speaker.

Mr. Boehner had no trouble winning his district (he got over 65% of the vote). However, Jim Traficant will not be heading back to Congress. Mr. Traficant, who was convicted on tax and corruption charges a few years ago, lost his bid to be elected to Congress. He received just 16% of the vote in Ohio’s 17th District. The current Congressman, Tim Ryan, was reelected with nearly 54% of the vote.

It would have been fun for tax bloggers to have Mr. Traficant in Congress. Fortunately, Ohioans apparently were sane last night.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner!

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Our favorite convicted tax felon has made the ballot in Ohio. James Traficant has seven signatures more than required and will be running as an Independent for Congress in Ohio’s 17th Congressional District. The Mahoning County Board of Elections will reportedly meet today and approve his name to be on the ballot; the Trumbell County Board of Elections will meet later this week and do the same.

For those who don’t remember the bombastic former Congressman and convicted felon, James Traficant was known for one-liners; “Beam me up” was one of his favorites. Back in 2002 he was indicted on federal corruption charges. He was convicted of ten counts including bribery and tax evasion. He was released in 2009.

Somehow this Congress deserves to have Jim Traficant. I’m not sure the American people do, though.

Traficant to Run as an Independent

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

James Traficant is leaving the Democratic party. He is now planning on running as an independent in the May Ohio primary. The Associated Press noted that he doesn’t like the Congressional leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Traficant Update

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

It’s been a month since I’ve written about James Traficant, the once and possibly future Congressman and convicted felon. Mr. Traficant has been in the news in the last week, though. First, he announced a location for his proposed Indian Casino. Mr. Traficant’s company, Traficant Co. LLC, has an option to purchase a 72-acre parcel in Lordstown (in Trumbell county, near Youngstown).

There are a few obstacles standing in the way of Mr. Traficant’s casino. There are no recognized native American tribes in Oho. And the casino will have to be approved by lots of levels of government. But Mr. Traficant has never let obstacles bother him.

Meanwhile, tomorrow is the deadline for Mr. Traficant to file papers and run as a Democrat or Republican in the Ohio Congressional primary. Mr. Traficant is apparently considering running in the 6th and 17th congressional districts in Ohio. The primary itself is schedule for May 4th. If Mr. Traficant announces tomorrow, I’ll let you know.

Traficant: Let’s Abolish the IRS

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Convicted felon and former (and possibly soon-to-be) Congressman James Traficant hit the airwaves. Mr. Traficant was on the radio in Cleveland. While he still hasn’t decided which Congressional race he’ll enter, he did call himself a “bitter man.”

CQ Politics said his targets included everything from the current administration and Congressional leadership, the Federal Reserve, foreign aid, and the Tax Code. Mr. Traficant would like to abolish the IRS and replace our current Tax Code with a flat tax.

As my friend Scott, a resident of Youngstown, continues to state that Traficant will win, we’re likely to hear his trademark “beam me up” in the future. There will be at least one very entertaining Congressional race in Ohio this year.

That’s Entertainment!

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

When I last wrote about James Traficant, the former Congressman who went to ClubFed after being convicted on ten counts of tax evasion, bribery, racketeering, and obstruction of justice, Mr. Traficant was debating whether or not to run for Congress next year. Well, the wait is over.

Yesterday, Mr. Traficant attended a meeting of the Biz Society in Youngstown, Ohio. He told the meeting, “I’m going to run.” The only question is which of three districts he will run in: the 17th, 16th, or 6th Congressional Districts (in Ohio). The 17th encompasses Youngstown and surrounding areas in the Mahoning Valley; the Akron/Canton area is in the 16th District; and Poland, Boardman, and Columbiana County are in the 6th District. Mr. Traficant is circulating nominating petitions in all three districts.

Mr. Traficant hasn’t decided if he’ll run as a Democrat, Republican or Independent. He doesn’t plan on raising much money (that’s probably a good thing given his prior legal troubles).

Scott Harker, who has co-authored two books with me, lives in Youngstown. He believes that Mr. Traficant will win if he runs; Mr. Traficant is still extremely popular in Youngstown. “I want to get these suckers!” Traficant thundered. “You are being addressed by a very bitter guy.”

His Campaign Slogan: “What About My Ten Convictions?”

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

I’ve written about James Traficant before. Mr. Traficant is the former Congressman who represented the Youngstown, Ohio area for more than 17 years. He was known for his bombastic style. He’s also known for spending eight years at ClubFed for convictions on ten counts of tax evasion, bribery, racketeering, and obstruction of justice. And he wants to run for Congress again.

I could comment that perhaps Congress deserves Mr. Traficant. After all, we’ve had William “Cold Cash” Jefferson with his cash in the freezer. Mr. Traficant still maintains he’s innocent. He wants to bring an Indian casino to the Youngstown area…even though there are no recognized Indian tribes in Ohio. Well, a little thing like laws didn’t stop him during his first 17 years in Congress….

Bertram de Souza of the Youngstown Vindicator thinks that Mr. Traficant should follow Ashley Dupre: “Just as Ashley Dupre, the hooker who brought down New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer, has become an advice columnist for the New York Post, Traficant should offer to write an advice column — about political corruption.”

If Mr. Traficant does run for Congress it will certainly be entertaining.

Tax Fraud Night at the Ballpark Canceled

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Well, it was a bad idea to begin with. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the Class A (short season) affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, have canceled Wednesday’s James A. Traficant, Jr. Release Night. The actual cancellation was made on August 14th.

The Youngstown Vindicator reported, “‘It’s been a fun couple of days,’ Smith said with sarcasm in his voice.’ That’s Dave Smith, General Manager of the Scrappers.

But for those of you with tickets to see the Scrappers battle the Jamestown Jammers on Wednesday, don’t despair. It’s still All You Can Eat Wednesday at Eastwood Field in Niles, Ohio.

Tax Fraud Night at the Local Ballpark

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Minor league baseball teams have all sorts of promotions. Back in June I went to a Las Vegas 51s game on $1 beer night. On that night, the 51s drew a good-sized crowd.

Of course, some promotions aren’t so successful. The most infamous baseball promotion in history is almost certainly the Chicago White Sox’s Disco Demolition Night; the White Sox ended up forfeiting the second game of a doubleheader because of a riot by fans.

The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are the Class A short-season affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. They play their home games in Niles, Ohio (near Youngstown). On September 2nd the Scrappers host the Jamestown (New York) Jammers. The promotion for that night is James A. Traficant, Jr. Release Night (as well as all you can eat Wednesday).

Do you remember Mr. Traficant? He’s the bombastic former Congressman from Ohio who is currently finishing up an eight-year sentence for tax evasion, bribery, racketeering, and obstruction of justice. The Scrappers already had Jim Traficant Night seven years ago. Back on August 14, 2002, the day Mr. Traficant began his prison sentence, hairpiece wearers and sons of truck drivers received free admission to see the Scrappers.

This morning’s Youngstown Vindicator notes that the Scrappers are having second thoughts about honoring Mr. Traficant’s release. Dave Smith, the General Manager of the Scrappers, notes that Mr. Traficant is a “polarizing figure.” I’d say a convicted felon is a better description. Mr. Smith told the Vindicator, “It’s not a huge celebration party with bells and whistles and balloons. We got flooded with e-mails and phone calls, and that forced us to reconsider it. It’s likely we won’t do anything at this point.”

No matter what, Mr. Traficant will have a dinner in his honor in nearby Boardman, Ohio on September 8th. That in itself says something about the community in Youngstown.