Former Rep. Jim Traficant (D-OH), who was released from prison last week after serving seven years for corruption charges, was greeted in Youngstown, Ohio, Sunday night by 1,200 supporters, including an Elvis impersonator, polka band and those vying for best Traficant look-alike.
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Traficant reportedly reveled in the spotlight. He told the crowd the federal government "had to cheat" to convict him, he railed against the IRS, FBI and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and he promised to make "some significant statements" in an interview on Fox this Friday.
He even paraphrased Nelson Mandela, saying, "If you want to know the true nature of a country, you must go through its prisons. I know America. I've seen the other side of it, and I don't like it."
Fans, who had paid $20 a pop, chanted "Run for Senate!" and swarmed the stage, vying for Traficant's autograph.