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« Stirfry

He says he's keeping his powder dry

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)


Published September 27, 2009

Want to get under David Betras' skin? Tell the chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party that he's afraid of Congressman-turned-criminal James A. Traficant Jr. which he why he hasn't publicly joined the thinking people in the Mahoning Valley in urging the ex-con to stay out of the public spotlight. Traficant has served seven years and a month in federal prison after being convicted of 10 criminal charges, including racketeering, bribery and tax evasion.

The chairman of the party that put Traficant in office — county sheriff and congressman — would be striking a blow for good, honest government by speaking out. But Betras' comments since the ex-con came home could best be described as politically bland. Very uncharacteristic for someone who is drawn to a microphone like a moth to a flame.

Ask him why he isn't speaking out and he offers this: "If Traficant attacks any of the Democratic officeholders, I'll come out firing." Until then, Betras will keep his powder dry.

Good politics or political cowardice? You decide.

 


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