MAHONING VALLEY AFL-CIO won't ask Traficant to resign
The congressman should not consider the vote a victory, the union's president said.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Greater Youngstown AFL-CIO voted not to ask indicted U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. to resign from Congress.
But its president said Traficant, of Poland, D-17th, should not view the unanimous vote as a victory.
"No, I don't think so," said Larry Fauver, who heads the 12,000-member union. "I think the congressman has enough problems. We felt we should leave it alone and let the courts make the decision."
The nearly 45 union delegates at Monday's meeting voted against a resolution seeking Traficant's resignation.
Opposing decision: The Trumbull County Federation of Labor, which represents 18,000 members of more than 50 labor unions -- including the AFL-CIO -- in Trumbull and Geauga counties, called on Traficant last week to resign.
The reasons the federation made the resignation request are Traficant's indictment on 10 felony counts, including bribery, racketeering and tax evasion; his decision to act as his own attorney in that case; and the fact he is the only rank-and-file congressman not to sit on any House committees.
A Traficant spokesman called the vote "a political maneuver that isn't good for the area." Traficant, whose federal trial is set to begin Feb. 4, 2002, has no intention of resigning.
The federation vote prompted the Greater Youngstown AFL-CIO to consider taking similar action, Fauver said.
"With that and the problems he's having, we thought we'd talk about it," he said. "We talked about it, but we decided to take no action."
The union did not endorse any candidates in last year's congressional primary and general election. But it has supported Traficant in previous elections, Fauver said.