May 8, 2010
Former Democratic Congressman James Traficant who released last year after serving a seven year sentence wants his old job back. On Monday Traficant filed the paper work to run as an independent candidate for in Ohio’s 17th District Congressional District, which is currently held by Traficant’s former aid Democrat Tim Ryan. About the election, Traficant said “maybe it’s time money doesn’t dictate an election.”
A Book by Michael Collins Piper titled “Target: Traficant” presents evidence that Traficant was framed by the Justice Department. He was set up on false charges of bribery, filing false income tax returns, obstruction of justice, racketeering, and conspiracy to defraud the United States, and was ousted from Congress. He was offered a plea bargain but refused to plea guilty to crimes he didn’t commit. Traficant said “they had no physical evidence against Traficant.” He added “Seven people said they bribed him. They had no crime against Traficant. They taped every phone call he ever made, probably. Since 1983.”
About his experience in prison, Traficant quoted Nelson Mandela stating “if you really want to know the truth about a nation, you’ve got to go through their prisons,” and added “Believe me, he’s right. And I learned an awful lot about America going through the prisons.” His personal experience behind bars have shaped his views on reforming our nations prison system. He said “these nonviolent offenders….Instead of spending all that money in prison, send ‘em home. You don’t need to be in prison in America like this.”
While a democrat, Traficant earned the reputation of an independent populist making a lot of powerful enemies within his own party and powerful special interest groups, notably the Israeli Lobby. He was able to win 15% of the vote in 2002 running as an independent despite being in prison. His District is in economic distress due to jobs going overseas and the financial crisis which makes it ripe for Traficant’s economic populist message against Unfair Trade deals, illegal immigration, and corruption on Wall Street. Traficant supports the abolition of the income tax and stated that “I want the Internal Revenue Service to look at me very carefully. I plan to throw you the hell out and give Americans some freedom.
Since his release from prison he hosted his own local talk show and has been a frequent guest on shows throughout the country. He was the main speaker at a recent Tea Party and is a popular figure within that movement. However he says that he is not the Tea Party Candidate.
Traficant’s platform calls for the deportation of illegal aliens, brining home the troops from overseas and instating them on the border, a flat 25% consumption tax to replace the income tax, and the abolition of the Department’s of Energy and Education. He has the powers that be dead set against him but he has proved than he is willing to sacrifice is own personal well being for his country and the truth.