Jim Traficant said a lot more about his political views than about his political future Saturday, when the former Ohio Democratic congressman and convicted felon hosted his first weekly radio program on a Cleveland station.
“I am a very bitter man,” said Traficant, who has said he plans to run for Congress this year, nearly eight years after Congress expelled him in July 2002 following his conviction on bribery, racketeering and tax evasion. He finished his seven-year sentence last September.
Traficant spent much of his three-hour program fielding calls from sympathetic listeners — many from northeastern Ohio, the area he represented in Congress for nearly 18 years — but also from faraway areas like Omaha, Los Angeles and Canada. As he did so often in the “one minute” speeches he delivered on the House floor, Traficant railed against current government policies, sometimes in coarse language and attaching his signature “Beam me up!” expression of indignation at government policies.