.On September 6, former Congressman Jim Traficant came back triumphantly to his home in the Youngstown, Ohio area following a seven year stint in federal prison, having been convicted on trumped-up charges concocted by corrupt elements in the U.S. Justice Department.
More than 1,200 of his friends and neighbors and long-time associates were on hand to welcome him.
American Fress Press was represented by its circulation manager, Pete Papaheraklis. Famed populist author Eustace Mullins was also at the event.
Traficant noted that he had not initially planned to attend, having just come home, but he felt obligated because of the overwhelming turnout. He said:
So many people supported me for such a long time. I know it wasn’t easy for you to come here. And this isn’t meant to be light or funny: you probably have IRS agents and FBI agents writing down your license plate numbers. And I think it’s time to tell the FBI and the IRS that this is our country and we’re tired of the pressures, tired of the political targeting, tired of a powerful central government that is crippling America . . .
Traficant urged people to be sure to watch his (now since broadcast) interview with Fox News. He said that he was going to hold off making any significant remarks until the Fox broadcast because he didn’t want his remarks “deluded and denuded by an opposing print media” in the Youngstown area. He promised his remarks on Fox would be “very controversial”—and indeed they were. (See accompanying story).
And he also promised the people of Youngstown that he was going to bring up the plight of the workers of the Delphi Packard Electric company in the Youngstown area who have lost their pensions to the tune of a $250 million loss to the community.
“If we can take care of people all over the world, damnit, then take care of our people here,” said Traficant.
In fact, when interviewed on Fox News, Traficant indeed talked of the suffering of Delphi’s workers.
Throughout his years in Congress, Traficant consistently came to the defense of American jobs and industry which he said correctly were paying the price for the so-called “free” trade policies of globalization that Traficant worked to combat while in Congress.
Traficant also urged his friends to come to the support of one of his former staffers, Dominic Marchese, an organic farmer, who has been nominated to the National Organic Standards Board. Traficant noted that some politicians don’t want to support Marchese because he was affiliated with Traficant.
“Well,” said, Traficant, “I expect Dominic Marchese to serve on that board.” He urged people to write the Department of Agriculture urging that Marchese be appointed to the board.
Then Traficant noted: “There’s a man once again fighting for his life, this time in Germany,” referring to accused “Nazi war criminal” John Demjanjuk. “I notice that nobody has the anatomy to even stand up and question this. I plan to get right back in it” and fight on behalf of Demjanjuk.
Traficant also vowed to come to the defense of a Nigerian national (formerly resident in the United States) named Nnamdi J. Okolo who was targeted by the federal government for refusing to play a part in the conspiracy to destroy Traficant.
(For more on the Demjanjuk case and of the shocking story of Nnamdi J. Okolo, see the accompanying articles.)
Longtime Traficant friend Linda Kovachik—who organized the “welcome home” event—presented Traficant with a framed picture of himself bearing the legend, “Jim Traficant: American Hero,” produced by AFP’s circulation manager Pete Papaheraklis). Upon receiving the honor, Traficant responded:
I was a quarterback. I was a congressman. And I’m a convict. I have one hell of a pedigree.
But listen to this: I’m proud of those events and the machinations of all those variables that took me along those paths, and I wouldn’t change one single thing.
And the powerful enemies that I have: I’ll just say this to you: They had to cheat to convict me. And I knew that, because they couldn’t live with that 1983 verdict [when Traficant first beat the Justice Department on phony corruption charges].
And you see, if more Americans started to stand up, America would change. And America—I mean this—must take their government back. We do not control it.
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