Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Traficant no longer on the ballot - but...

NOW THAT THEY'VE barred Jim Traficant from the the 17th District congressional ballot, you'd think that his small band of anti-government knights would find a more productive line of work in the Youngstown-Warren area. After spending 7 years in prison for corruption, a felony even in these free-flowing-cash days, he chose to run as an independent but failed to assemble a minimum number of valid signatures. Did he ever! A third of the 3,138 submitted signatures were invalidated by the Trumbull County Board of Elections. Most of those that were erased came from people who didn't live in the district. Such law-abiding technicalities have long had a monstrous effect on candidates who don't count was well as they should.

Still Traficant's loyalists don't consider the board's action a slam-dunk - not at all. "It's not over!" Linda Kovachik, Traficant's campaign coordinator, advised the Youngstown Vindicator. She said the decision will be appealed ASAP. On the other hand, the law is on Traficant's side, allowing him to run in the 17h District while he lives in the 6th. I know. It can be confusing.

To no one's surprise the decision was met by outrage by the Traficant team, with all sorts of conspiracy theories entering the debate. One Democratic precinct committeeman blamed the party's county chairman, David Betras, of shenanigans. "He hates Traficant and he hates me," the Traficant man fumed. Others raised Nancy Pelosi's name. Some said Traficant was the victim of the Cafaro family "Political Machine". Finally, there was one fellow, in a reflective moment, who said he was "conflicted" by Traficant's action. "I don't know what to think of him any more," he lamented.

Traficant or no Traficant, we all have days like that. As for the object of all of this commotion, there has been no word on where JT' s hanging out in uncharacteristic silence these days.

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