Whopper of the Week: James Traficant.

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
July 26 2002 1:32 PM

Whopper of the Week: James Traficant

Just how innocent is he?

"I have committed no crimes. … There is no evidence."

—James Traficant, testifying before the House ethics committee on July 15. The committee voted unanimously to expel Traficant from the House on July 18. The previous April, Traficant was convicted on criminal charges of taking bribes and accepting payroll kickbacks from members of his congressional staff.

"If we do not have the money in 3 days, we are going to have to file a lawsuit to protect our interest."

—Letter from Anthony Bucci to his lawyer, John Spain, in October 1988, initiating a lawsuit against Traficant for nonpayment of $10,233 in work that Bucci's contracting business had done the year before on Traficant's family horse farm. Bucci never pursued the matter further. Click here, then scroll to the bottom and click "Selected Hearing Exhibits" to peruse the relevant documents (under "Count One," Items 6, 7, 8, and 9).

"Our Valley has been devastated with unemployment during the past ten years and [the Buccis'] disbarment will only add to the unemployment statistics in our area."

Letter from Traficant to Transportation Secretary Federico Pena on May 20, 1993, urging that the Buccis' construction firm not be denied federal contracts. Click here, then scroll to the bottom and click "Selected Hearing Exhibits," then select (under "Count One") Item 17. Similar interventions by Traficant on Bucci's behalf, with Bucci's prison warden and with the Federal Highway Administration, can be observed in Items 14 and 16.

Q: "And what did Congressman Traficant respond when you told him that bill was a lot of money, and if you forgave the bill, you would expect to have favors?"

A: "The response was he understood, he agreed, and his comment to me was that I can do a lot more for you in return."

(…)

Q: "Mr Bucci, are you a person that parts with money easily, lightly?"

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

Are the Attacks in Canada a Sign of ISIS on the Rise in the West?

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Watch Little Girls Swear for Feminism

Fascinating Maps Based on Reddit, Craigslist, and OkCupid Data

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 23 2014 1:51 PM Is This the ISIS Backlash We've Been Waiting For?
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 23 2014 11:51 AM It Seems No One Is Rich or Happy: I Looked
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 23 2014 1:34 PM Leave Me Be Beneath a Tree: Trunyan Cemetery in Bali
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 23 2014 1:46 PM The Real Secret of Serial Has Sarah Koenig made up her mind yet? 
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.