"Kick 'em in the Crotch," James Traficant, Dead at 73

Categories:  News & Politics    Opinion
Sunday, September 28th, 2014 at 12:15 AM
Kick 'em in the Crotch, James Traficant, Dead at 73  by Jim Wertz
James Traficant in defense of himself.

Former Ohio Congressman James Traficant died Saturday in Youngstown at age 73. Last Tuesday the former Congressman evidently had a heart attack while driving a tractor on his farm causing him to fall from the tractor and become lodged under it. He had been hospitalized since the accident.

Traficant was a nine-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives who was expelled from Congress in 2002 after being convicted of corruption charges.

Traficant was only the second person expelled from Congress since the Civil War.

Traficant reached national notoriety in 1983 when he was tried of federal corruption charges, accused of taking $100,000 bribes from organized crime while serving as mayor of Mahoning County, Ohio. He defended himself at trial and was acquitted. The following year he was elected to Congress.

Traficant will be remembered as an eccentric, someone who walked on the fringes while marching down the center of America’s most hallowed institution.

He used colorful language. He had awesome hair.

If you don’t believe it, check out this 2002 video of his hearing before the House Ethics Committee where he threatened to kick a Justice Department official “in the nuts” if he didn’t stop introducing what Traficant called “hearsay evidence.”

 

Jim Wertz can be contacted at jWertz@ErieReader.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @Jim_Wertz.

Erie Reader: Vol. 6, No. 19
Now Available — Pick It Up Today

CURRENT

100 years of drama, music, laughter, and family. 

A longtime local car-parts sculptor gets Ripley’s acclaim for his delightfully out-there art.

A call to save nursing jobs and chemotherapy infusion services at the Regional Cancer Center. 

Stop by VegFest 2016 and discover the fun in a plant-based lifestyle.

On Sept. 25, Mary Halvorson brings her current duo project, Secret Keeper, featuring bassist Stephan Crump, to Erie’s PACA.

IN THIS ISSUE

100 years of drama, music, laughter, and family. 

A longtime local car-parts sculptor gets Ripley’s acclaim for his delightfully out-there art.

A call to save nursing jobs and chemotherapy infusion services at the Regional Cancer Center. 

Stop by VegFest 2016 and discover the fun in a plant-based lifestyle.

On Sept. 25, Mary Halvorson brings her current duo project, Secret Keeper, featuring bassist Stephan Crump, to Erie’s PACA.

The Colony Plaza parking lot will transform into an outdoor shopping and socializing event called Parking Lot Palooza.

This is the fourth album for Cleveland punk quartet Signals Midwest, and it might be their best yet. 

Fairness and justice take center stage in our commonwealth.

Handy emojis for Erie texting.

Audit looming? No problem. Just use accounting ‘adjustments,’ like the Department of the Army.