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Traficant t-shirts discredit us

By Tyler S. Clark (Contact)

Published January 11, 2009

The Vindicator recently published a front-pager highlighting a Poland t-shirt shop selling "Welcome Home Jimbo" shirts. In the article, Tony Trolio says, "He's been a friend. I don't condone what he did, but wanted to show support," Trolio said. "Most people support him. I think if he ran again he'd get elected."

Apparently, we've learned nothing.  There are some who suggest that all politicians are corrupt, so why should Traficant be singled out? The profession of politican, while it may be rife with temptations for the corruptible, does not excuse corruption. This should be least accepted where that individual should have been fighting honestly for the interests of his constituents rather than stealing from them and other public servants in his employ.

Traficant is a disgrace and should suffer the dishonor he has earned, rather than manufactured folk-hero plaudits. That this store also peddles Youngstown Murder Capital paraphernalia just shows that their heart is in the money rather than the Valley. There are a wide variety of things I'm prepared to accept in the name of commerce--denigration of my home is not one of them! 

Until we overcome the negativism that pervades our community, we won't progress to capture our full potential. We must acknowledge the corruption in our past by name and create a new ethical standard to which we'll hold our leaders. Those who forgive and forget the most grievous and public corruption and mob-snuggling that has plagued our community will deserve no better than that.


1susantravoli(1 comment)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

These are great points.

Personally, I won't do any business anymore with Trolio T-shirts, and I'm pushing for the sports team my son is on to cancel their future orders.

I encourage others reading this to do the same and not support Trolio's business.

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2Tugboat(759 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Tyler wrote: "That this store also peddles Youngstown Murder Capital paraphernalia just shows that their heart is in the money rather than the Valley."

Could the same be said about the Vindicator itself for printing the front-pager?

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3aeparish(669 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Welcome Home Jimbo t-shirts are not 'exactly what's wrong with the Mahoning Valley.' Grump, I normally agree with what you say for the most part, but this is not one of those instances.

I can't believe that people are making such a big deal out of a t-shirt! There are way more important issues surrounding the Valley that are more of a problem. If you wanna talk about crooks -- look around. It's not just the politicians anymore. This entire area is full of them on the streets! I'm sorry, but Jim's coming home does not scare me -- I'm worried about the real criminals around here (the ones that are actually dangerous).

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4tylersclark(182 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

@aeparish I agree that there are more important issues, and we can talk about those, too. That doesn't excuse political corruption or make Traficant and his legacy any less dangerous.

Corrupt policies and bribed officials can kill as many people as a gun.

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5aeparish(669 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

They can... but did they?

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6apollo(1227 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I think the T-shirts are great idea. It provides a method of telling the imbeciles among us.

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7lucy(135 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

This is nice: "We must acknowledge the corruption in our past by name and create a new ethical standard to which we'll hold our leaders."

Acknowledging corruption does not mean taking pride in it, but that seems to be/have been the local Zeitgeist.

Apollo, snap!

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8projectgeniene(87 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

There seems to be a fantasy of leadership & achievement built up around Traficant's tenure of serving the county either as sheriff or congressman. It is amazing how the fans of Traficant have built him up into a mythical, heroic figure. I remember interning for Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 1993. I was often asked "Why don't you work for your hometown local congressman?" When I replied it was James Traficant, the response was always an "Oh." or "Him?" or "Okay, I get it." Not once did anyone on Capitol Hill say "Oh, he's such a great guy who really makes a difference!" It is a free market but I agree with Tyler to not purchase anything from Trolio's again.

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9valleyred(1103 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I'd be interested in purchasing a t-shirt, the only bad part for the those making them is: HE ISN'T COMING BACK NOW UNTIL 9/2 LIKE ORIGINALLY PLANNED.

Traficant did more good than bad for this area. And that is coming from me, a Republican, talking about a Democrat.

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10projectgeniene(87 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Thank you Erplane!!!!

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11Cbarzak(110 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Maybe the white elephant will do better this year due to the Pavlik fight so few locals will be able to attend. ;-)

I'm not even a boxing fan, and I was disappointed. :(

Agree with Lucy--Apollo, snap.

But Tyler is right: you have to recognize a pervading attitude in this area--that all politicians are corrupt, that politics in general is corrupt--and realize that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. As long as we believe that to be true, for us, for the politicians coming out of this region, it will be true. If we change our beliefs, we can change our standards, and if we change our standards, we can change the standard of life here.

I expect better than Jim Traficant, who my grandmother campaigned for wholeheartedly during his tenure. I will say this: I think he's a misunderstood man. I believe he meant to do good for this valley, but because of the pervading sense of corruptness in politics, he believed he could only accomplish good for us by being corrupt. I forgive him for this, since it's a belief that can overwhelm the best of intentions.

Now let's move on to something better.

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