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Trickster Readers may remember the colorful, boufant-toupeed ex-Congressman Jim Traficant, who appears in the book's Epilogue: expelled from Congress by a 420-1 vote, sentenced to seven years in prison, welcomed home by a crowd of 1200 at Mr. Anthony's Banquet Hall in September 2009.

When the polls closed on November 3, 2010, Youngstown Vindicator columnist Bertram de Souza reported, "We can now add the re-election of a criminally indicted officeholder (the county auditor) and the thousands of votes cast for a former congressman with a federal prison record to the annals of political corruption in the Mahoning Valley." There were plenty of reader comments, mostly about the former congressman, the inimitable Traficant, but one reader's response to the article cautioned the columnist to be fair: "This still is America, even if it is Youngstown."

Traficant managed to get 21,033 votes (about 16% of the vote, a little up on the 15% he'd got some years ago while in prison.) His campaign had been plagued by complaints about the validity of some of the signatures on his candidacy petition to the boards of election; complaints about the complaints, complaints about the boards of election, etc.

Part way through, his campaign was brightened by an announcement, novel even for Youngstown, that he intended to set up an Indian gambling casino in Youngstown, an area which has no federally-recognized indigenous Indians, and therefore no eligibility for a gaming license. Traficant's partners are the Itana [Indigenous Tribal Affiliates of Native America] Indian Nation and Munsee Delaware Indian Nation USA, neither of which is federally recognized. (See the following Youngstown Vindicator articles: Bertram de Souza's "What are voters thinking?" November 3, 2010; David Skolnick's "Traficant casino lacks legal grounding," October 14 2010, at legal basis of casino, and Peter H. Milliken and Grace Wyler's "Skepticism greets latest Traficant jobs plan," October 22,2010.)

Other highlights of the overall campaign in Youngstown included the fact that one state senatorial candidate (successful) was pictured in the Vindicator with a convicted former burglar, described in an FBI affidavit in the 1990s as a bagman for Lennie Strollo, Youngstown's Mafia boss at the height of its powers. The candidate shrugged this off: "He was in jail in the past and had some issues." (David Skolnick, Youngstown Vindicator, "Senator defends felon's help with campaign effort," November 6, 2010.)

Who would I vote for if I still lived in Youngstown? Hard to say.