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Traficant bash becomes a hot ticket despite expectation he won’t show



Published: Wed, August 26, 2009 @ 12:07 a.m.

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Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio arrives on Capitol Hill Monday, July 15, 2002 before the House Ethics Committee. In an uphill fight to keep from becoming only the second House member expelled from Congress since the Civil War, Traficant opened his second defense this week against official misconduct. He was convicted in court of bribery, tax evasion and racketeering charges

About 1,000 tickets to the Sept. 6 event are sold.

YOUNGSTOWN — Ex-U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. is a polarizing figure in the Mahoning Valley, but he sure can sell tickets — even to an event he quite likely won’t attend.

About 1,000 tickets are sold to a Sept. 6 welcome-home appreciation event for Traficant, said Linda Kovachik, the event’s organizer and a former Traficant staffer.

Traficant gets out of a federal prison Sept. 2 after finishing up a term of more than seven years for racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice and tax evasion.

Traficant, who has told friends that he wants to stay out of the spotlight when he is released from prison, is unlikely to attend the event.

But that hasn’t stopped the brisk sale of tickets to the $20-a-plate event at Mr. Anthony’s banquet hall in Boardman, Kovachik said.

“I’m overwhelmed by the response,” she said.

About 200 tickets remain for the event, which will be from 3 to 7 p.m. at the hall, 7440 South Ave., Boardman.

Kovachik, who was by Traficant’s side during most of his federal corruption trial, said he told her as he was taken away to prison: “People will forget about me.”

The response to the “Jim Traficant Appreciation Dinner” will “hopefully build his morale,” Kovachik said.

The event — and coverage of the event’s preparation — has drawn criticism from those who say Traficant caused the Mahoning Valley more harm than good, and the publicity attracts negative attention.

Someone who wants to remain anonymous donated $200 to the event to buy 10 tickets for Traficant supporters who are unemployed, Kovachik said.

To make the event more fun, Kovachik said, those wanting those free tickets need to call her — and should be expected to dress like Traficant.

In fact, Kovachik said, all partygoers are invited to dress Jimbo-style. But if you don’t own skinny ties, bell-bottom pants and denim suits — all Traficant trademark clothes — the dress is casual.

Tickets are available by contacting Tony Trolio at (330) 757-2779, Kovachik at (330) 788-8923 or Dominic Marchese at (330) 924-5200. No tickets will be sold at the door.

skolnick@vindy.com


Comments

1Leonardo(4 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Debate Traficant all you like, but bringing 1,000 people downtown(ish) can't be all that bad.

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2valleyred(1102 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Downtown? Mr. Anthony's is in Boardman.

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3Tugboat(759 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Lemmings. Some most likely running for office this Fall. I would hope Mr. Skolnick takes note of them. Will this event make a profit? Where will those proceeds go?

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4Leonardo(4 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

My bad. I was thinking Anthony's on the River

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5EliotNess_DC(86 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

C-SPAN will never forget Traficant ...

nor will C-SPAN ever forget what Detore told Congress about the Cafaro Company's tax fraud, political palm-greasing, and Torricelli money-laundering ...

nor will C-SPAN ever forget what Detore told Congress about prosecutor Morford's efforts at witness tampering and intimidation:

http://www.c-spanarchives.org/library...

What remain to be initiated are DOJ and Congressional investigations of those obstructions of justice -- for which, by the way, there is no statute of limitations.

See you at the party!

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6EliotNess_DC(86 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

I wouldn't glorify a criminal.

There's a difference between a "felon" and a "criminal" ... a felon is someone who has been convicted of a felony ... a criminal is someone who actually committed a crime.

Just because Traficant was convicted of felonies doesn't mean that he committed crimes.

I know personally the juror who publicly recanted his 'guilty' verdict in light of the Detore testimony that was kept away from Traficant's trial.

And we have it from credible sources that some other jurors have also privately expressed concerns about their 'guilty' verdicts.

No problem ... technology will now allow the Traficant case to be put online in video, website, and eBook format so that you can decide for yourselves.

Meanwhile you can watch the C-SPAN video linked above ... it's the testimony that changed jurors' minds.

See you at the party!

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7ohiostatejeff(2 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

If he were still in office, we would have a voice... instead of Tim Peolosi...

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8steelerman09(111 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I love all you people who are so excited that Traficant is getting out of jail. You know he says he wants to stay out of the spotlight, but I have talked to some friends in the news media and there is already talks of either a half-hour "talk-show" type TV broadcast featuring Jimbo or an hour long radio broadcast, in which he will host. I am sure all you Traficant fans will tune in religiously!

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9johnRofUtah(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Formerly of Austintown. Leave it to Y-towners to have a bash for this clown. Traficant not a total crook is like trying to say Obama isn't a communist. Wake up Y-town - you're a total disgrace and laughing stock - I found out about the bash from a guy I work with (I work in Utah) who thinks, as do I, that only morons would hold a party for this guy.

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10F15A(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

The Feds hung him out to dry! Just like Ron Paul, Jim knows what a farce the federal reserve/IRS mob are, and unfortunately he lost the battle in the kangaroo court system.

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