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Traficant stays defiant: ‘They had to cheat to convict me’

Published: Sun, September 6, 2009 @ 6:15 p.m.

By David Skolnick

BOARDMAN -- As defiant as ever, ex-U.S. Rep. James Traficant Jr. criticized the federal government, particularly the FBI and IRS, in a 15-minute speech today at an event to welcome him home from prison.

Traficant made no apologies for his actions to the crowd of about 1,200 at Mr. Anthony’s banquet hall.

“I wouldn’t change one thing,’ he said. “They had to cheat to convict me.”

Traficant also said, “I was a quarterback, a congressman, and I’m a convict. I have one hell of a pedigree.”

The former congressman quoted Nelson Mandela as saying “If you want to know the true nature of a country, you must go through its prisons. I’ve seen America, and I don’t like it.”

While not being specific, Traficant also criticized the U.S. government for its ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Our children are being shipped back in body bags,” Traficant said.

He added that because people fear the government, they are not critical of it.

He said he vows to be vocal about what he sees are injustices perpetuated by the government.

Traficant also promised to make some “significant statements’’ when he appears on the Greta Van Susteren show on Fox News network 10 p.m. Friday.

Earlier reports from event organizers that said dinner patrons would need to pass through metal detectors were incorrect. There were no metal detectors.

The event is scheduled to continue at the South Avenue banquet hall until 7 tonight.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.


1Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

He didn't mind supporting our decimation of Yugoslavia so that the Albanians could have Kosovo . They have blasted most of the Christian Churches in Kosovo that stood for centuries into rubble . In thanks the Albanians tried to attack our soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey .

I have nothing against pulling out of Afghanistan as there is nothing of value in the country for us to waste our time and our Soldiers lives. Iraq is not in the same league . We should pull back to protected bases and protect our investments in their oilfields.

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2Attis(1128 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

The first person Traficant mentioned tonight was Nelson Mandela, another prophetic leader who was unjustly imprisoned for challenging abusive government. How fitting. It would even be more fitting if Traficant, like Mandela, were elected President upon release. The dream lives on.

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3alentown(12 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

Mandela 'fought humbly'. He was a Communist and the reds are humble about nothing.

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4commyliberal(94 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

Well the only good thing about the Traficant supporters is that they are old people. Soon they will die & Jimmy will have to relocate to Florida.

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5Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

The reality is Traficant was right, no matter how you slice it. Convict or not, what he says about intrusive government is not far from the truth. Look no further than all the crap we see going on in D.C. today, and how this current administration has pushed the bounds for what the government has control over. The fact is the people of the Mahoning Valley are conservatives, even though they may associate themselves with the Democratic Party. If Tim Ryan is the future, than God help all of us. At least Traficant could think for himself.

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6MVP(67 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

Notice he didn't say "I'm innocent". Instead he complains about how the government gathered its evidence. He was a thief and a liar and a tax cheat who accepted bribes and all he can say now is he wasn't able to get away with it. Sad, pathetic and still a buffoon.

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7BR(1 comment)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

All the political leaders in the valley that spoke out against Trafficant,better hope that someday jimbo is not there challenger,Because they will be losers on election day.(Hagan- Ditzler-half ass Betras)

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8MVP(67 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

This is why this Valley will never thirve. The brain-washed, uneducated outnumber the informed free thinkers. For all of those who would vote for "Dimbo" for congress, let me ask you a simple question. Who would he ally with? NO ONE! Nobody at any level of government would want their name linked to his because they know the scorn that would bring on them. They will not risk their careers and he will be shunned. With no allies you have no one to co-sponsor bills and no influence to get on committees and THAT is where the work is done. But no, you fools would rather have the bluster of an idiot screaming "beam me up Scotty" on the house floor rather than someone with a brain working to break this area out of it's death spiral.

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9Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

The Traficant era is now history. Sticking his neck out to further JJ Cafo's business dealings with the government had caused Jim to lose his freedom and political power . Now is the time to capitalize on the past by opening up a Traficant museum and art gallery . The logical location would be on route 46 at exit 223 off I 80 . There is plenty of traffic there going to the truck stops, strip joints and restaurants . The tourists would have an added attraction and he would compliment the area .

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10jtamarkin(37 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

Yes Stan, big lap dance discounts for those wearing Jimbo masks...maybe a massive Buford Pusser-style bobbing head way above the 46 bridge over 80...it could be The Museum of Horrifying Hair, and the art could be dubbed Nazicant.

Nelson Mandela?! Jim, how difficult was it for you to cite the observations of a black man? (Maybe you'll now start singing Al Jolson and Streisand in public?)

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