Sense of Deception



James Traficant: Former Rep., Convicted Felon Plans to Run Again as Independent

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The infamous former Democratic Rep. James Traficant is launching a new bid to return to Congress and unseat one of Ohio’s current Democratic House members.

Traficant, who recently finished serving seven years in prison on bribery and racketeering charges, will run as an independent, he said on CNN today.

“I have been a Democrat all my life, and quite frankly I am disgusted with both parties,” he said. “I hate to say this. My father is rolling over in his grave, a truck driver.”

Traficant’s spokesman told the Associated Press that Traficant may target either Ohio’s 6th congressional district, currently represented by Democrat Charlie Wilson, or the 17th district, which Traficant formerly represented and is now represented by Democrat Tim Ryan.

“I see the Democrats are completely controlled by foreign interests and big lobbying money,” he said on CNN. “The Republicans are too, but the Democrats more so.”

Traficant was released from prison in Sept. 2009 and currently works as a talk radio host for Ohio station WTAM. After his 2002 conviction, he was expelled from Congress, making him the second House member since the Civil War to be removed from office for unethical conduct.

Traficant still has strong support in the Youngstown, Ohio area, the Washington Post reported after his release from prison. A thousand people reportedly planned a “welcome home” dinner for him while hundreds bought “Welcome Home Jimbo” t-shirts. The former congressman was known for his wacky hair style and colorful speeches, which often included “Star Trek” references.

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