It was with much chagrin that I learned Congressman James Traficant of Ohio would be speaking to the College Republicans at GW. After reading The Hatchet article on Feb. 15, entitled “House Democrat addresses CRs” (p. 1), I feel compelled to ensure that people know the truth about this so-called “maverick.”
James Traficant is a Democrat representing Youngstown, Ohio, a city long known for the infiltration of organized crime and corruption into politics. Traficant is not free from the massive corruption that plagues Youngstown. He has been under investigation by the FBI for nearly two decades since he undisputedly received nearly $200,000 from an alleged member of an organized crime family while serving as sheriff in Youngstown.
Traficant has also been subject to repeated investigation by the FBI for corruption while serving as a member of Congress. His self-promoted reputation as a maverick who uncovers government conspiracy and corruption is nothing more than an ironic attempt to distract attention from his own corrupt activities that will one day most likely send him to jail or have him removed from Congress.
It is a sad irony that some people view Traficant as an avenue to reform when he represents all that is wrong with politics in the United States. Traficant states, “No matter how much hypocrisy there is, you have to tell it like it is.” All the while, he has eluded looming questions about his own personal integrity and criminal activities. For him to criticize fundraising actions by the Democratic Party is the epitome of hypocrisy.
James Traficant is an embarrassment to Ohio, the United States, his political party – which he has utterly abandoned in terms of ideology – and now, to GW for hosting him as a guest speaker. He is a Democrat only in name, not in reality. Therefore, his prominence as a “bipartisan” is erroneous. The day will come when Traficant’s “alleged” illegal dealings will catch up with him, and his chapter in the corrupt histories of Youngstown, Ohio and the U.S. Congress will cease.