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Traficant saga continues

Published: Fri, August 13, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Skolnick (Contact)

On the side

A hot streak: It’s been a good seven days for Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras.

A successful Chairman’s Dinner on Thursday, and recognition from the Ohio Democratic Party last Saturday at its annual dinner as the Large County Chairman of the Year.

It was only five years ago when the state party honored then-Mahoning Democratic Chairwoman Lisa Antonini, Betras’ predecessor, with its prestigious woman of the year award.

Betras should hope history doesn’t repeat itself.

About six months after Antonini was named the party’s woman of the year, she had a huge falling out with party leadership.

Antonini blamed Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern for the problems claiming he “took a stand against me” because she didn’t support him in the December 2005 chairman race. Redfern said Antonini abandoned her responsibilities after that vote, and “wouldn’t support the Ohio Democratic Party” during her final 31/2 years as Mahoning chairwoman.

“The secretary of state has high-paid attorneys. I feel just let them handle it.”

That quote came from Christ Michelakis, a Trumbull County Board of Elections member and ex-county Democratic Party chairman, on how to resolve the eligibility of ex-U.S. Rep. Jim Traficant as an independent candidate for the 17th Congressional District seat.

The reality is the Ohio secretary of state is highly unlikely to make any sort of ruling on Traficant’s eligibility.

That office will almost definitely kick the matter back to the Trumbull board, which is going to have to make a decision.

Despite what some people say about Traficant and his supporters — and I’ve been critical of how they handled his nominating petition issue — they seem to know quite a bit about election law.

As an independent candidate for Congress, Traficant needs valid signatures from at least 1 percent of those in the 17th Congressional District who voted in the last gubernatorial election.

The district includes portions of Mahoning, Trumbull, Portage and Summit counties.

The original number was 2,199.

Traficant’s petitions ended up being 103 signatures short of making him an eligible candidate.

But Traficant’s supporters were able to prove that number was too high, and some signatures ruled invalid by boards of elections were legitimate.

The revised number of signatures Traficant needs is 2,154.

When the signatures were rechecked and rechecked and rechecked Traficant fell 31 signatures short of having enough to get on the ballot.

Traficant’s supporters contend there are more than enough valid signatures that were incorrectly ruled invalid by the boards of elections.

Michelakis and Republican Craig Bonar, two Trumbull board members, voted not to certify the new petition number.

Voting to certify, which would disqualify Traficant, were Democrat Ralph Infante and Republican Kathi Creed.

Traficant supporters want another review, particularly of 62 signatures ruled invalid in Mahoning County that they claim are legitimate even though they don’t match the signatures from the voters’ registration cards.

One more review by the elections boards might be a pain to them, but with Traficant so close, he deserves another examination of his petitions.

After all, the numerous rechecks found more valid signatures.

We’ve already heard claims by Traficant supporters of conspiracy by elections officials to keep the convicted felon off the ballot.

If he’s disqualified, we’ll hear more.

Ideally, enough signatures will be found to put Traficant on the ballot so he can proceed to get soundly defeated by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat, in the November general election.


1valleyred(1102 comments)posted 5 years ago

At first I thought it was the end of Traficant, but the more I am hearing about this and after seeing the feud the other day at the Trumbull Election HQ, I am beginning to think some of these people really are out to ensure Jimbo is not on the ballot.

My God if people signed the petition and it checks with their address... then it should be LEGIT!

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2ytown1(395 comments)posted 5 years ago

I say let him on the ballot, he will lose for sure, then he can go away for good, all of this is playing into his hand of getting free publicity for his campaign without having to pay for it or give equal time to the other candidates.

Jimbo should go to Florida with Mickey and live a quiet existence and quit embarrassing the Mahoning Valley any longer.

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3author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years ago

What if he wins?

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4Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 5 years ago

Voting for Timmy Pelosi is the equivalent of setting afire the only house you have to live in.

After all he's done...porkulus...explode the debt...attempt to massively raise taxes by voting for the electricity tax/Cap-and-trade...smear and lie about Bush 43...vote for socialized medicine and thereby raise premiums and lose access to medical care for his District...be an advocate for the DSP agenda rather than his constituents....after all that you're GDR I'd vote for a non-violent convicted felon who's served his debt to society. I'll take his wacky demeanor over the destruction of America anyday.

What if he wins you ask?! Than maybe we have a shot at surviving as a Nation.


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5ytown1(395 comments)posted 5 years ago

author50, are you truly delusional?

You do not have to answer that, your previous question already gives us a clue.

And for nonsocialist, you ramble like Nunya, maybe you two are one and the same?

I do truly believe we need change, not just his kind of nonsense. He would be totally useless to the Valley. His victory would only be a victory for Jimbo sticking it to the Man, that is all.

The sucking sound of any government assistance in this Valley would be so loud, you would think somebody finally flushed this toilet of a place.

You could just post to whoever is left please turn the lights out when you leave.

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6Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

Traficant saga continues ? Let's get behind the scenes . The JJ Cafaro saga continues . With the Cafaro Organization in control Jimbo's going back into politics is a predetermined fiasco . The sky is the limit of their capabilities on keeping Jimbo out . They don't want to take a chance on the voters deciding at the polls if he runs .


JJ Cafaro did the crime and Jimbo did the time !

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7Attis(1011 comments)posted 5 years ago

Why the roaring silence from Columbus? SOS Brunner has had the Traficant case in her hands for well over a full week now, and still no decision. What's she waiting for? The evidence is clear: The BOE have screwed up repeatedly to deny Traficant access to the ballot. Traficant clearly has more than the sufficient number of valid signatures and should never have been disqualified to begin with? Why the delay tactics? Are they waiting until the election is over to put Jim on the ballot? What a bunch of incompetent and corrupt party animals!

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8Melewski2020(1 comment)posted 5 years ago

Ytown1, I dont know if you have noticed it, but "the man" has been sticking it to the us for a long time. Offshoring jobs, ruining the value of our currency, never addressing the illegal immigration problem. Not to mention being taxed from the womb to the tomb. We do need a change, barrack obama wasn't it! I would love to have someone finally stick it to "the Man" The two party system is broke and Jim has supported the working class people since day 1! In Nov, Vote Tarficant

I also encourage everyone to read this congressional record from march 17 1993,


This happened a long time before Stimulus and bailout and our road to recovery. (paved with good intentions) Oh wait its a jobless recovery thats right, we are doing better today than we were back then

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9ytown1(395 comments)posted 5 years ago

Hey Melewski2020,
You fail to realize that given the fact that Jimbo is a self serving egotistical jackwad, he only cares what is in it for him, he only plays all of you dimwits like a cheap violin when his ego needs a little lifting, do you really think he has a china mans chance of winning? I think not, that is why I would prefer that they put him on the ballot and let him lose an embarrassing race and move on with his life and quit making the valley the joke on capital hill and the in the media elsewhere around the country.

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10captainlinger(639 comments)posted 5 years ago

why does the number-of-comments-indicator on the webpage continually vary about this story? plus, you can't access the number of comments reflected. maybe the board of elections is responsible for counting the comments...

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11Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

captainlinger :

"why does the number-of-comments-indicator on the webpage continually vary about this story? "

The abacus calculator has gone awry . Somebody spilled a soda on it and the beads are sticky .

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121970mach1(1005 comments)posted 5 years ago

"why does the number-of-comments-indicator on the webpage continually vary about this story?"
1. I have noticed that happens quite a bit here. Very odd.

"plus, you can't access the number of comments reflected. maybe the board of elections is responsible for counting the comments..."

2. That is very amusing.

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