Quote of the day

Former Rep. James Traficant has a bulls-eye on the crown jewels of the IRS

Published September 24, 2009 4:40PM (EDT)

If you don't remember former Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio, you're forgetting one of the most colorful characters in recent American political history (for a great primer on Traficant, there's no better starting place than David Grann's 2000 article, "Crimetown U.S.A."). Traficant was released from prison on September 2 after serving seven years on corruption charges. He was notoriously close with the mob, yet since his release, Traficant has been greeted by adoring crowds in Ohio and has even mentioned that he is considering running for public office once again (perhaps he and Rod Blagojevich should arrange a sit-down).

Wednesday, Traficant appeared on MSNBC's "Hardball" with Chris Matthews and provided some amazing quotes (video below). Traficant said "I want to get the IRS. Kick them in the crotch real good" and later in the interview apologized to "all the hookers in America" because he once equated members of Congress with prostitutes. He also suggested that President Barack Obama "stimulate this."

Traficant also repeatedly attacked the Justice Department, declared his innocence, ranted that the Sixteenth Amendment must be abolished and when asked whether he would run for office again, replied, "I don’t know what I’m going to do. I may run." He even managed to get a dig in on Matthews about sending shivers up his leg.



By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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