Published September 13, 2009
David Johnson is a well-known business owner in Columbiana County and is one of the leading conservative Republican politicians in the state of Ohio as chairman of the county GOP. Johnson's philosophy when it comes to business is well known: Leave us alone and stop taxing us
And that prompts the question: What is he doing embracing James A. Traficant Jr., the former congressman-turned-criminal who led the charge while in Congress to tax the overseas profits of American companies? The answer: It's all about political expediency.
Johnson wants to unseat 6th District Democratic Congressman Charlie Wilson — the district includes Columbiana County and a bunch of other counties — but knows a Republican challenger would have a tough time next year against the millionaire businessman.
However, with Traficant in the race as an Independent — even though he's a convicted felon he can still run for Congress — the GOP's chances of victory would be much improved in the toss-up district.
Indeed, Johnson would not object to Traficant's winning the seat because he knows the mercurial politico would be a thorn in the side of the Democratic majority in the House, even though he's a registered Democrat.
You've got to give Dave Johnson credit. He certainly knows how to play Traficant and he's been doing that ever since the federal convict was released from prison on Sept. 2.
Politics does make strange bedfellows.