Friday, July 19, 2002

The Last Angry Congressman

The process has been followed, the papers filed, and now we’ve come down to the finale we all expected but never wanted to witness. James A. Traficant, Jr., the working man’s hero and the voice of the people, is about to be expelled from the House of Representatives. Despite his inspiring history of fending off federal prosecutors, this April his luck finally ran out when he was convicted on nine of ten federal charges, including bribery, racketeering and tax evasion. The Honorable Gentleman from Ohio has vowed to fight on, pursue the appeals process, and conduct a vigorous campaign for re-election as an Independent.

Defiant is the word everyone seems to be using for his reaction, a state of mind illustrated by the following quote, delivered to the House Ethics subcommittee that soon after voted to recommend his expulsion: “I will take with me a file, a chisel, a knife, I will try and get some major explosives, try to fight my way out," Traficant said of the possibility of his incarceration. "And then when I get out I will grab a sword like Maximus Meridius Demidius [the Russell Crowe character from Galdiator] and as a Gladiator I will stab people in the crotch." He has suggested that if the House votes to expel him and his convictions are overturned on appeal, the members would look like fools. Indeed they would – I advise them to hold off until his appeals are exhausted or he is vindicated.

To weigh in on Traficant’s behalf, feel free to contact his friend and colleague Steve LaTourette (R-OH) at his Washington, D.C. office, 202-255-5731, or drop by in person at Room 2453 of the Rayburn House Office Building.


No comments: