Associated Retired Aviation Professionals

     Volume 1, # 32                        July 19, 2000
John DeVries, Editor/Publisher
Copyright  @ 2000              USA Political Research

1984 was a very depressing political year.  Ronald
Reagan, a staunch ideological conservative and won-
derfully skilled actor, won re-election to a second
term, and carried 49 states.  A politician whom I
considered to be closely related to the anti-Christ
was wildly popular, and I grieved bitterly.

1984 did produce some good political news. James
Traficant was elected to the U.S. House from
the Youngstown, Ohio area.  Traficant brought a unique
history.  He was elected Sheriff of Mahoning
County (Youngstown) in 1980.  The Youngstown
economy had been dominated by the steel
industry for 100+ years..when the steel plants
were humming, the Mahoning Valley was prosperous..
but its steel economy collapsed in the early 1980's..
virtually every steel plant in the Youngstown area
shut its doors, and Mahoning County writhed in eco-
nomic torment.  Hundreds of unemployed steel-
workers faced foreclosure on their homes, but
Traficant refused to deliver the eviction papers.
Traficant spent several days in jail for his
willingness to stand with the desperate steel-
workers.  Most politicians (even liberals) are
quite close to banks and bankers.  Traficant's
stance was stunning, but he became wildly
popular with ordinary voters locked in economic

During the dark days of Reaganism, Traficant
was one of the few House members who com-
bined economic populism and consistent
support for Ralph Nader-like progressive "public
interest" initiatives.  Traficant was an aggressive
and seemingly incorruptible critic of the Reagan
Administration.  I greatly admired him..He was
a "favorite son" candidate for the 1988 Demo-
cratic presidential nomination, and he was my
first choice.

But even in the Traficant's "good old days", there
were puzzling associations and legal entanglements.
He accepted large bribes from mob figures during
his tenure as Mahoning Country Sheriff..he was
put on trial for bribery and was acquitted.  The
Internal Revenue Service ruled that he owed $100000+
in extra taxes due to his bribery income.  To this
day, Traficant refers to the IRS as the "Internal
Rectal Service"..his uncouthness is legendary.

Two of Traficant's closest aides have pled guilty
to delivering bribes to Mahoning County public
officials from organized crime chieftains.  Traficant
is under investigation, and will likely be indicted
for racketeering.  Traficant seems shockingly
close to organized crime.

Traficant remains a voluble economic nationalist..
he is defiantly opposed to the "free trade" inter-
national trading system that is dominated by
multinational corporations.  But Traficant's voting
record has grown increasingly puzzling over the
last ten years..His district is heavily Democratic..
and yet he votes like a conservative Republican
on most issues!  Traficant even votes with the
Republicans on numerous key procedural votes!
Traficant endorsed conservative Ohio Republican
Steve Chabot for re-election to his U.S. House
seat in 1998, and enthusiastically praised U.S. Rep.
Phil English, a conservative Republican from
northwestern Pennsylvania.  But the most galling
evidence of betrayal was Traficant's pledge to
support the re-election of Speaker Denny Hastert,
a low keyed but ultraconservative Republican,
in 2001.  Except for "free trade" issues, Traficant
is a Democrat in name only.

Traficant attracted strong opposition in the 2000
Democratic Primary..He received only 51% in
a three candidate race..His main opponent,
State Senator Robert Hagan, was a personal
friend of Rep. Patrick Kennedy (Patrick Kennedy
is the Chair of the House Democratic Congres-
sional Campaign Committee).   Traficant
claims that Kennedy encouraged Hagan to enter
the race.    Traficant's environmental voting
record is atrocious..the League of Conservation
Voters named him to its "Dirty Dozen" list.
Traficant believes that House Democratic
leaders encouraged Hagan's campaign..and
he returned a campaign contribution from the
House Democratic Congressional Campaign

My relationship with Traficant is akin to the
saga of "Black Sox" outfielder Joe Jackson.
"Shoeless Joe" Jackson was one of the best
hitters in baseball..of Hall of Fame quality.
But he was woefully underpaid by White Sox
owner Charles Comiskey, and he and seven
other members of the 1919 Chicago White
Sox (perhaps the greatest baseball team of
all time!) threw the 1919 World Series to the
Cincinnati Reds.  After the scandal was
exposed, a young boy confronted Jackson
outside the courthouse and exclaimed, "Say
it ain't so, Joe"..and Jackson replied, "I'm
afraid it is".  Jackson went from hero worship
to dishonest goat status, and that is exactly
Traficant's path.  But Traficant is certainly
not underpaid, and he ranks #435 among
U.S. House members with me.  He is a
crooked and corrupt politician who betrays
his district almost every time he casts a vote.

To give a few aggravating examples from the
current year..Traficant voted for the Republican
FY 2001 federal budget..he supported the
abolition of the estate tax, which will primarily
help millionaires who should be taxed more
rather than less..he is a solid vote for the
National Rifle Association..he voted for a big
$$$$$$$$$ corporate welfare for the oil industry..
he opposed clean air standards, clean water
standards, and supported unrestricted timber
clear cutting in America's national forests..He
has moved to a "pro-life" position on abortion
rights policy..He supported the minimal GOP
prescription drug program..he aggressively
supports bigger tax cuts for corporate business..
and on and on and on...The House Republican
leadership loves Traficant, and Traficant would
be right at home in the House Republican

In spite of his mammouth legal vulnerabilities,
Traficant will be re-elected in 2000, unless
he is convicted and jailed.  The district is
solidly Democratic, and he is the Democratic
nominee.  But his alliance with Republicans
cannot be tolerated.  If Traficant votes for
Hastert's re-election, he should be immediately
expelled from the House Democratic Caucus..
and let him try to run for re-election as a Repub-
lican!..He'll never make it!
The Political Landscape        "Knowledge is power"
2304 Herring                         (254) 752-0935
Waco, Tx  76708                   John DeVries, Editor

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