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

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM Going Private To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.