Youngstown Struggles with Sordid Past

People in Youngstown are planning parties and hosting special events to honor the return of disgraced congressman Jim Traficant, who will be released from prison next month.

"Jimbo"

"Jimbo"

This comes at a embarrassment and disappointment to supporters of the movement to revitalize the once-prosperous steel town.

The Vindicator is carrying an opinion piece by Rust Wire contributor Tyler Clark deploring Traficant supporters. Traficiant has been in a federal prison since 2002, when he was convicted on 10 counts including racketeering, bribery and tax evasion.

It’s a clash of new gaurd verses old guard. Supporters of Mayor Jay Williams (the city’s first black and youngest-elected mayor) would rather not have the area’s familiar image as a hotbed of corruption brought back to light.

On the other hand, many in the city remain loyal to the charismatic “son of a truck driver” who had a talent for bringing federal dollars to the region.

7 Comments

Filed under Featured, Politics

7 responses to “Youngstown Struggles with Sordid Past

  1. sarahsepanek

    i think you mean ‘sordid’ past 🙂 but i agree with the sentiment … it doesnt matter how much good you do if it is done in a totally illegal and shady fashion. calling janet reno a lesbian doesnt help much either.

  2. schmange

    Geez. Thanks, Sarah.
    I knew that, somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain.

  3. Special K

    Thanks for sharing this interesting and well-written article by our buddy Tyler. I think you hit the nail on the head when you say this exemplifies a clash between old guard and new guard, politically speaking.

  4. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers have officially canceled their “Jim Traficant Release Night” promotion due to “a flood of phone calls and emails” in opposition…

    http://www.vindy.com/news/2009/aug/12/scrappers-scrap-traficant-release-night-promotion/?newswatch

  5. downforce

    Youngstown’s citizens have fought long and hard to leave the past were it lies. We are headed in a new direction lead by a fresh positive attitude. Through the diligence of a few, Mayor Williams included along with TC, a guy named Phil, that one who shouts youngstown and an ever growing number of us who demand a better wiser approach to making things happen. Let the past rest and follow the lead to a brighter YO!

  6. Special K

    Here’s the Plain Dealer piece on Traficant’s release:

    http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1251880255243420.xml&coll=2

    I think it does a good job capturing the tension between the pro and anti-Traficant factions in the Valley.

    I also like the phrase, “In his speeches on the floor of the U.S. House, spittle flew and syntax died”

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