Jim Traficant was a legendary quarterback turned mob busting Walking Tall Sheriff who rose to power on a platform of “honesty in politics”. He quickly ascended to the hallowed halls of Congress, becoming its most outspoken member. “Jimbo” as his die-hard supporters called him, was known for his polyester thrift store suits, shock top wigs, vulgar humor and profanity laced rhetoric against the FBI, IRS, and every president since Reagan. His one minute speeches made C-SPAN must see programming, as he signed off with his patented “Beam Me Up!”
In his post-industrial hometown of Youngstown, Ohio — dubbed Crimetown, USA for being the most mobbed up city in America — “Jimbo” was a living legend, once garnering more than 90% of the vote. However, the eccentric maverick also had a dark side, becoming only the second Member of Congress expelled since the Civil War, eventually spending over seven years in federal prison on bribery and tax evasion charges.
After serving seven years in federal prison, Traficant re-emerged in the public eye trumpeting his innocence – like a king returning from exile. In 2010, he ran against Congressman Tim Ryan and finished last, but did garner 30,000 votes!
From the Rust Belt to the Tech Belt — Youngstown is enjoying a comeback that’s earned worldwide media recognition and global investment. In fact, President Obama stated “A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize everything.”
About The Director – Eric Murphy
Eric Murphy is a filmmaker, and television writer/producer – with credits including History, CBS Sports, and Travel. His previous editing work includes docs for Warner Bros., and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Murphy developed his fascination with politics during his tenure on Congressman Tim Ryan’s State Senate campaign.
Born and raised in Warren, Ohio, Murphy grew up listening to local legends about mobsters and crooked politicians. A proud alumnus of Youngstown State University, Murphy earned a MFA from Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. Murphy’s acclaimed debut feature documentary is based on notorious Ohio Congressman Jim Traficant, released theatrically in 2016.