Christmas comes early to Youngstown: Traficant mulls comeback! 

News like this cannot be swept under the rug!

Some of us here at Beltway Confidential believe that if politicians can't be honest, they should at least be entertaining. James Traficant -- welcome back!

Fresh out of the hoosegow where he did a seven-year bit on federal corruption charges, the former Ohio Democratic lawmaker is sniffing around elected office again. In the meantime he's doing some very pristine-sounding casino deal in Ohio's Mahoning Valley, notes CQ Politics:

Traficant, who was widely known during his House tenure (1985-2002) for his bombastic populism and for his signature "Beam me up!" expression of indignation against the government, said at a press conference Thursday that he would distribute nominating petitions in three congressional districts to gauge support for a 2010 House bid.

Bad for democracy but a boon for late night comedy, Traficant's renewed ambition appears boundless, according to AP:

Traficant said some supporters have suggested that he run for president. "I have more of a national following than I realize," said Traficant, who didn't rule out a White House run.

Traficant was convicted in 2002 of bribery and racketeering for accepting bribes from business associates and taking kickbacks from staff members. He was booted from Congress but as it happens, is not banned from running again and serving.

Am I turning you on?   (ap photo)

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