Jim Traficant (I-OH)
Wingnut Rating: 50
The wiggy former congressman known for ending his speeches on the House floor with the Star Trek tribute "Beam me up, Scotty!" is trying to get his old job back in a long-shot populist independent bid. The rodeo-clown approach to Congress hides a savvy if demonstrably corrupt political operator. The one-time sheriff of Mahoning County first made a name for himself during the recession of the late '70s and early '80s, when he refused to foreclose on a few family homes. In 1983, he avoided imprisonment on trial for accepting bribes, representing himself in court and arguing that he accepted the bribes only as part of an undercover investigation into corruption. He subsequently ran as a Democrat for Congress, where he served for nearly 20 years. In 2002, he was convicted of 10 felony counts including bribery, racketeering, and tax evasion. In prison, he claimed that he had been targeted by the Justice Department for having damning information about "WACO, Ruby Ridge, Pan Am Flight 103, Jimmy Hoffa, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy." Among his prison pen pals was David Duke.