Ex-U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. filed nominating petitions today as an independent candidate for the 17th Congressional District on a platform of repealing the 16th Amendment.
After filing his petitions in the 17th district, Traficant said he was going to to the Columbiana County Board of Elections at about noon.
However, Traficant ended up not filing in the 6th, apparently he believed he could not run in both districts. However, an Ohio secretary of state spokesman said there was nothing in state law to prohibit Traficant for running for both seats in the same election.
Should he had won both seats, he would have been certified. Whether he would be seated in both, is a federal issue, the spokesman said.
After filing his petitions for the 17th District in Warren, Traficant said his main goal, if elected, is to repeal the 16th amendment, ratified in 1913. It allows Congress to “collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived.”
Traficant said repealing the amendment would eliminate the IRS.
Traficant has a long-standing grudge against the IRS, and has criticized the agency publicly since his release from federal prison in September 2009. Two of his 10 felony convictions in a 2002 corruption trial were for filing a false tax return.
“I will lead the charge to repeal the 16th amendment to the Constitution and abolish the Internal Revenue Service. I want the Internal Revenue Service to look at me very carefully,” he said, looking into a local TV camera. “I plan to throw you the hell out and give Americans some freedom.”
Traficant's filings today became a bit of a media circus after his camp gave what turned out to be false "tips" about Traficant's filing intentions and press availbility. TV and newspaper reporters followed his trek from Mahoning to Trumbull to Columbiana counties.
Today is the filing deadline for those seeking to be independent candidates for elected office on the November general ballot.
The 17th includes portions of Mahoning, Trumbull, Portage and Summit counties. The 12-county 6th District includes all of Columbiana County and a portion of Mahoning.
Traficant turned in 3,138 signatures; the minimum number required is 2,199 valid signatures.
Traficant would have needed at least 2,230 valid signatures in the 6th district. A Traficant spokesman said Friday that the ex-congressman had more than enough signatures for the 6th district.
When Traficant was in Congress his district included all of Mahoning County and nearly all of Trumbull and Columbiana counties. The district’s lines were changed in 2002.
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, Traficant’s former staffer, is running in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in the 17th District.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson of St. Clairsville is running for re-election in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in the 6th District.