Jailed Traficant misses crossbow deer hunting more

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Traficant misses hunting, not politics

By JUSTIN POST. -(Mahoning Valley) Tribune Chronicle


WARREN - When former U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. hunted the woodlands of northern Ohio, he favored a ''Horton Hunter'' crossbow equipp-ed with a scope and a mechanical broadhead.

But his days as an outdoorsman were put on hold last summer when Traficant was sentenced to eight years in federal prison after he was convicted of racketeering and bribery charges.

Even though he is incarcerated in another state - at White Deer, Pa. - the expelled congressman hasn't dropped out of the 17th District congressional race. He is running as an independent on today's ballot against state Sen. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Niles, and state Rep. Ann Womer Benjamin, R-Aurora.

According to Dominic Marchese, a former staff representative, Traficant has written letters indicating his interest in the election is waning.

"He didn't appear to be following (the election) at all; he didn't seem to be too concerned about it," Marchese said.

Marchese said he received the most recent letter from Traficant about three weeks ago. In that letter, Traficant asks several questions about the ongoing bowhunting season in Ohio that opened Oct. 5 and continues until Jan. 31, 2003.

Aside from asking Marchese about whether his letter appeared to be tampered with or opened by prison officials, Traficant's letter was casual and upbeat, Marchese said.

''He mostly asked about the hunting season,'' Marchese said about Traficant's correspondence. ''He loves to be out hunting and fishing, that is something dear to his heart.''

Traficant focused his questions about where the deer were congregating. Marchese said he also wanted to know whether the deer had been near one of his favorite deer stands where he hunts on Marchese's farm in Johnston.

''I told him that I saw a group of deer standing right under where he has a stand,'' Marchese said. ''There was about six of them and it was five o' clock at the corner of a field where he always had a tree stand.''

He said Traficant ended the letter with more thoughts of hunting and hopes for future days in the field.

''He said 'we will have to go hunting when I get out of here,''' Marchese said.

End aritcle

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Only in America can a congressman who wears a dead raccoon on his head run for office from his jail cell.
 


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