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« Stirfry

Traficant, darling of the Republicans?

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published October 31, 2009

Is former Congressman-turned federal inmate-turned Tea Bagger James A. Traficant Jr. contemplating a bid for Congress? If his public behavior since his release from federal prison after an eight-year stint is any indication, Traficant, the shameless self-promoter, is running for something. The only political offices that are available to a convicted felon like him are at the federal level — U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate  and President.
Of those three, Congress seems the most likely — especially since he has become a hero to the folks, mostly Republicans, who have been organizing the so-called Tea Parties in the area.
The following e-mail sent recently to this writer appears to give credence to the chatter about Traficant’s political future:
“[A]pparently Sonny Smith is joining Dave Johnson by going whole hog for Traficant. … he told one of our people that he’s going to put his money behind Traf to run against Tim Ryan next year. He’s saying that people talk about Traf being a so-called ‘felon’ but it’s Ryan who is the crook. The Republicans at least in Mahoning and Columbiana are going for Traf. Not sure who Craig Bonar in Trumbull will back but I think he likes Bill Johnson from Poland who also is talking about running for Congress.
"What a weird world.”
Clarence “Sonny” Smith is chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party. Smith is a major financial contributor to state and national GOP candidates; David Johnson is chairman of the Columbiana County Republican Party and also a major contributor to GOP candidates; Craig Bonar is chairman of the Trumbull County Republican Party.
Congressman Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Niles, represents the 17th District, which encompasses Trumbull County and a large portion of Mahoning County. Ryan has earned a reputation on Capitol Hill as a rising star in the Democratic caucus and is a strong supporter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As a result, he has secured a seat on the powerful Appropriations Committee and has been successful in bringing hundreds of millions of dollars to the district.
Ryan enjoys widespread popularity. The best thing that could happen to Traficant’s critics is for the ex-con and ex-congressman to run against the incumbent. Traficant would have his political clock cleaned and then he might be shamed into getting out of the public spotlight.


1Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

Ryan, a rubber-stamping yes-man for the Democratic-Socialist Party (DSP), must go. He must go for the sake of the Valley and the Nation.

Rather than protecting us, he has enabled the DSP to unbelievably spike the federal deficit this year to $1.75-trillion dollars – by far the largest in U.S. history. Conservative estimates are that the entire US debt will double within a decade under DSP rule.

He has trafficked in false information, and fear and smear, accusing President Bush of reinstating the draft. He has endorsed Chris Dodd for President, after he received a sweetheart deal from Countrywide.

Is Traficant the best candidate to represent the 17th district, of course not...but nearly anything is better (and less dangerous) than our DSP yes-man.

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2saddad(655 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

Lets see--after the Republicans destroy the American economy the Democrats attempt to straighten the mess out and you-nonsoc-whine about current spending. Nobody with half a brain is thinking like you. You are what 75% of Americans consider a plain old a$$hole.

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3valleyred(1103 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

Real classy calling people tea baggers...

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4Jbreed2011(37 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

Interestingly enough, Ryan has cosponsered H.R. 1207 aka Ron Paul's Audit the Fed bill. I've gotta atleast give him credit for that.

This is nothing but another shameless attempt by De Souza to smear Traficant.

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5rocky14(839 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

Do you remember when the Republicans ran,and won on Term Limits in 1993? They lied---and when they won,they forgot all about it.
Traficant started voting with the Republicans about half way through his 18 years in office.
The only one's who will vote for an ex con are the same one's who think he will bring the steel mills back.

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6JD010101(137 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

Hey Bertram your mother's a tea bagger. Now go look up what that means and then maybe next time you wont use gutter talk in an op-ed article.

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7UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm supporting Jimbo for Timmy Ryan's congessional seat. What has Timmy done for the valley? NOTHING!!! Name one positive thing.

The valley needs to be part of the TEA party, not the ones looking from afar.

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8tookie(64 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

Unionforever shows his usual ignorance. Tim Ryan, in slightly more than 6 years in Congress, has brought more than $125 million to the 17th district, much of it to forge new opportunities for economic development. He's also shown what a politician in the Mahoning Valley can really be: smart, honest and looking to make opportunities for the future, not dwell in the past.

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9andersonathan(687 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

Time for Ryan to go . I do not care if he brings a billion to the valley. Any one is better than the rubber stamping pelosi butt kissing congressmen you have now.

It may sound stupid but I am ready to vote out any incumbent across the board.

Sadad if you still think Bush wrecked this country you need help and should not be able to vote under the heading mental capacity to small to think.

Term limits and FairTax@ www.fairtax.org

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10Max(98 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

"It may sound stupid but I am ready to vote out any incumbent across the board."

Not stupid at all. In fact, it makes more sense to me than most of the nonsense that spews from Bertram's columns.

The fact that he calls Tim Ryan a "rising star" is the most comical comment yet. There is not a person I know in the Valley who isn't disgusted by his blatent butt-kissing of Nancy Pelosi due to his "relationship" with her daughter. That, my friends, is the only reason his "star" is "rising". He is worthless and self-serving.

I agree -- time for Ryan to go!

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11Progress(58 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

If bertram would stop writing about Jim, maybe he wouldnt be as popular.

Unless, Bertram has man love for Jimbo???

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