Is Traficant an egomainical maverick or just insane?

Well? He’s representing himself sans lawyers in this trial.
Traficant says judge turned Constitution into toilet paper’

Little snippet

Well, it worked the last time.

–Cliffy

Short answer: Both
Long answer: He’s a relic from another era. He’d fit in well back in the 30s when populist, blue-collar politicians were popular at the union halls where they could give rousing speeches and haranguing against everything controlled by anybody who didn’t work in a factory or a farm made you highly electable. Of course, now is now, and for some reason Youngstown keeps on sending him back. He does have quite the ego, defending himself sans a law degree or really that much gray matter to begin with, and you can judge from trial coverage he has many screws loose. Ohio gerrymandered him out of a district so this should be his last year in Congress.

Of course, you don’t have to listen to me. Judge for yourself here.

Living in Cleveland, this is a local thing with me.
My answer?
Both.

While the guy belongs to the wrong party, he does have balls an increasingly rare feature of politicians these days. I have a grudging admiration of him for that. But, he’s obviously a crook.

Even more so than vanilla, I have a pretty close-up view of this. Since I was until recently the local Area Manager of the phone company for the Youngstown district, I see people in the community daily. That in no way makes me an expert, but it does give me a certain perspective. My observations:

  1. You have to understand Youngstown and vicinity. I’ve lived in 17 states, and every one–every town, even–has its own atmosphere. With that in mind, Ytown strikes me as a very embattled town. A great deal of the steel industry has gone, leaving a depressing shell; but most of what’s left has a definite blue tinge in the collar. In addition, they’ve had perhaps more than their share of corrupt officials. I can say that I’ve never been in a town with a stronger mob influence–it’s pervasive here. Enter Traficant: he’s bombastic, weirdly charismatic (to a certain type) and has successfully lobbied for lots of federal money for urban renewal and technology enhancement projects in his district.
  2. Add the relative acceptance of corruption and the measurable contributions Big Joe has made to the area, and you end up with: amazing acceptance of the old goat! I’m constantly amazed by the comments I hear from people from all walks of life. Familiar strains: “He’s no more corrupt than the rest of ‘em; he just caught the Feds’ attention”; “Yeah, but he got us the Civic Center…”; “They only hate him because he calls it like it is.”
  3. That’s only one side of the equation, of course, but my highly unscientific poll suggests that Joe would likely not only survive a no-confidence vote, he’d win re-election (should he survive both prosecution and re-districting, of course).

It’s amazing, of course, to any outsider. And I have to admit, I find myself rooting for the crazy fuck after only 2 years here. I just wish we could all chip in for a comb for the SOB.

I just think it’s funny that so many of his own witnesses have ended up supporting the prosecution’s arguments. And he’s not really paranoid when he claims “they’re out to get me”…they really are…he just can’t seem to understand it’s because he’s done something wrong. He reminds me a lot of Bill Clinton…charismatic, fights a good fight…but is still an egomaniac jerk at the core. Even jerks sometimes do good things. And he needs not only a comb, but a mirror, some scissors, and a barber who can lay it on the line for him. Oh, and a gift certificate to The Men’s Wearhouse.

That was hilarious, kittenblue! But it may be partly because I’m still punchy from the sleep-deprivation debauchery that was ChiDope this weekend. You shoulda been there.

I heard you were the Ohio delegate…are you in any of the pictures?

So the jury is out…how long do you think they’ll take, and any opinions on a possible verdict?

You can answer after your nap. I promise not to pounce on your tummy.

He beat the rap years back during his first trial with the same antics and accusations. I agree, he does have balls…and he sure offered some blue-collar, grassroots common sense and comedic balance to the opening statements every morning in the House of Representitives.

Yep, I saw me in both Jadis’ and Hamadryad’s pages. I’m the geeky-lookin’ mug with the brown leather jacket/grey oxford/blue oxford. Fortunately, a satisfying percentage of the photos I appear in also feature extremely attractive Hot Doper Wimminz snuggling up to various degrees. See my dissertation in the thread on just how impressive they all were. I’ll never be the same.

I can’t see him possibly beating this one, but I was surprised last time, too. I’m still in IL (babysitting my brother’s kids all week), so I won’t see much coverage. Can you post the verdict and the highlights in this thread when they come out?

No nap until I get the kids to bed–then I can collapse. How about curling up and purring? :wink:

I’ll do my best to post those results. As for curling up and purring, that’s never a problem…however, after re-reading the ChiDope thread, I’m afraid a host of Hot Doper Wimmen have already made other plans for you…you apparently are quite the hot young stud! By the way… Is there a category for Cuddly Doper Wimmin?

I think Traficant is an honest-to-god paranoid schizophrenic. All he lacks are the voices telling him what to do.

Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, and guilty.Here it is… all the latest. Sorry I didn’t post this sooner…a girl has to work, ya know. And by the way, this is the first link I’ve ever put in a post, so let’s all pray that it worked.

I know he’s been convicted but,

Can one be found not guilty by reason of insanity if one refuses to make this plea? Can a judge simply rule it so?

Can Trafficant now appeal based on the clear insanity (can there be “clear insanity”) he displayed during the trial? I hope not, or we’ll be hearing from Colin Ferguson again, too.

I was surprised he was found guilty.
I’d heard that the longer a jury deliberates, the more likely it’ll be hung, or not guilty.
I was a bit put off by teh juror who, when asked, said his 70’s style closes and hair style didn’;t influence her decision at all.
So, why should it have? sheesh!

Thanks for posting the results, kitten. I saw your post last night, but was too dadgum tired to reply. I assume he was convicted of everything, then. What do the wags say about sentencing?

I have this Groucho Marx-esque scene in my head:

Judge Horsefeathers: “How do you plead?”
Defendant: “Guilty, Your Honour.”
Judge Horsefeathers: “Guilty!? You must be crazy! Not guilty by reason of insanity!”
Prosecutor: “Objection, Your Honour! I demand a re-trial!”
Judge Horsefeathers: “All right. On appeal, I think the defendant is ugly too! Case closed!”

The only thing I have to add on Traficant is that a few years ago I met a guy who was formerly an intern in his office. He said it was common knowledge, even amongst the lowest ranks of the staff and all the Congress interns, that Traficant was both on the take and a “nutcase.”

He seems to be about five beers short of a six-pack, but I wonder if that’s just because he’s an egomaniac of the highest order…Two mints in one, I say.

It’ll be interesting to see who’s charged with expelling him. Expelling colleagues can often be a jumping pad to greater things. For example, Mo Udall gained clout after he ousted Adam Clayton Powell from his post. And in Michigan State Sen. Thaddeus McCotter got to draw himself his own congressional district after leading the charge to expel a fellow state senator who’d driven drunk and hit his girlfriend. And then there was this real jackass from Georgia…