A Good Friend of mine wrote this letter to right the wrong of a local Newspaper about Congressman Jim Traficant.

Jim Traficant was a very colorful outspoken individual that turned over a tractor on his farm and died last week.

He didn't trust the Government Either.

Dear Sir:

I do not get the Youngstown Vindicator, but let me just tell you. Whereas in the past, there was no particular reason, there is now a reason why I will NEVER subscribe to it. Your coverage of James Traficant and the follow-up Editorial by Bertrand D’sousa were despicable and mean spirited. Couldn’t your paper during the brief mourning period of his family, let it go and written a piece that reflected the mood of the people in this area?
Jim Traficant is dead, he will never complete another act- either good or bad. He is incapable of defending himself, and yet you are adding pain and suffering- not only to his family but his many admirers and supporters.
You May ask, if I don’t read your paper, how can I know what you wrote?…. Well, I first became aware of his passing on Yahoo News which quoted the Vindicator, I googled for additional information and read news stories out of Cleveland which also sourced your paper. I listened to WKBN radio and two fairly credible and even handed talk hosts echoed my sense by saying that your coverage was uncalled for and not in good taste at this time. I don’t know if you know the damage you did or not, I am assuming you do, I read a number of comments to those news stories which quoted you and condemned Jim Traficant without actually knowing him while others who did made statements saying that he was a well loved and respected man and while not perfect, certainly was the best congressman they had ever known.
The Bible, starting in the old Testament and running through the New describe the duties of the Law of God and this consistently mentions what some might call Charity- individual charity of the heart, that is to say, honor and care for the son without a father, for the widow, for the poor, for the hungry and alone….this seems to be a theme
A few years ago, I was a member of an Art Association in East Liberty and we had an Art Gallery known as the Ohio Valley Art Gallery. The bad trade bills passed by our federal government and hard times had taken their toll not only with the Steel Industry in Youngstown and the Ohio Valley but the smaller river towns such as East Liverpool, Wellsville and on down. The first things to suffer are the arts. Our gallery was not selling enough art work or receiving voluntary donations for visits to even pay the rent and heating bills. I served as did all members as part-time voluntary “sitters”. I usually got Sundays as I worked Monday through Saturdays. There were some afternoons when I sat my 4 hours and not a single person came in. Usually it was 2-4 people.
Our group said that we had to either think of a way to stay open or stimulate more visitors. I wrote to Jim Traficant and asked if he would loan us one of his paintings so we could have a show and possibly save our gallery knowing his popularity and hoping the publicity would generate some new people coming in. He contacted his art teacher in New York and told her to DONATE 7 paintings to us and instructed us to sell them after the show. We were to keep the proceeds and he wished us success. Needless to say, we are surprised as all we had asked for was a loan of one. We publicized this event widely and I was interviewed by two T.V. stations and several papers- including yours ran a story on the event. When the day for the opening of the “Traficant Show” happened, we had over 200 people during just my shift. I was astonished by the number of people from the area who shared stories and had never come here before but just wanted to see his paintings. There was a black lady who had gotten into a mess with Social Security for some kind of overpayment of Social Security and was being punished by them for an accounting mistake they had made and Jim had straightened that out for her. There was an old veteran who couldn’t get taken care of because of onerous paperwork, there was a man who was not allowed to put in a new culvert that had needed repair because of some moronic state regulation so couldn’t even get into his own driveway. These were just a few of the many people who were salt-of-the-earth types who were being bullied by the same government that was supposed to serve them that Jim Traficant got on the phone and made them whole.
Jim Traficant never hurt anyone that I have heard of, he was loud, opinioned and controversial. He served for 10 years as a drug counselor, was sheriff and gained national attention for going to jail for three days himself rather than foreclosing on farms and properties of people laid off by the steel mills. As congressman, his help to his constituents was legendary
Let me ask you, above I stated that God commissioned each of us to aid the poor, the widowed, the fatherless…. Let me ask you this, who has honored that commission more, him….. or you?
There are people either in government or in positions of great power who have lied for profit and killed thousands….Does **** Cheney, Lyndon Johnson, and Bill Clinton George Bush come to mind? We were lied into Iraq and Vietnam wars which are still biting us by these people and people- innocent people are still dying. How many hit pieces have you run on them? Should any of them expire, would you have insulted their families during their grief?
And you, Mr D’Sousa, it seems to me that I sat right behind you and Dave Beatris in the defense phase of Jim Traficant’s trial in Cleveland when Judge Leslie Wells dismissed the jury and Jim Traficant deposed three witnesses one of which was a welder who testified that he had been in a deer blind on the day WITH Jim Traficant that the prosecution said Mr. Traficant was receiving 20,000 dollars from J.J. Cafaro at Youngstown State University… perhaps you were not listening when Judge Wells denied the admission as evidence as “not being ‘germaine’” and hence we, but not the jury ever got to hear at least a man putting himself on the line to counter the biggest single charge in the case? Maybe you didn’t see the woman sleeping during testimony by the Jim- the defense- and Judge Wells said nothing? That trial was a sham. There was not one single tape recording of the deals allegedly made, not one physical piece of credible evidence presented….. only testimony by people who themselves were facing prosecution and were given a pass in exchange for their testimony. 200 FBI agents watching and taping phones during the time that we were leading up to 9-11…. Perhaps those resources could have been better employed by our feckless government?
But my main point is this, your paper showed extremely bad taste in its coverage while most of the rest of us were grieving the loss of a friend. I just hope that when your time comes, people will be more respectful towards you, and remember you in an unhurtful way to Your family. In closing, I would just like to leave a quote for Jimbo from Shakespeare From Cymbeline:
Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages:
Fear no more the frown o' the great;
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke;

Wayne Herrod, Lisbon, Ohio