Now being sold, the paintings of an expelled congressman are all earmarked with his tribute to MAE WEST.
• • As shown on his Betty Boop canvas, the capital "M" in the moon on each of Jim Traficant's work is a striking tribute to the Brooklyn blonde.
• • Everybody in the whole cell block/ Was dancin' to the jailhouse rock ... • •
• • The convicted felon, freed after a 7-year stint in prison, also admires (and has sketched) Elvis. In Ohio, his welcome home booze-and-shmooze fest featured Elvis Presley impersonators. What an opportunity for a deejay to play "Jailhouse Rock"!
• • Born in Youngstown, Ohio on 8 May 1941, James Traficant, Jr. became an amateur artist as a way to pass time during his incarceration. The disgraced politician was once a Democratic Representative in the United States Congress from Ohio during 1985 to 2002. In 2002, however, Traficant was convicted on 10 felony charges — — bribery, racketeering, tax evasion, forcing his aides to perform chores at his Ohio farm and on his houseboat, and obstruction of justice — — lawlessness brought about by his demanding kickbacks from his staff and "forgetting" about paying taxes, among other criminal arrogance. Ousted from the House in a vote of 420 to one, Traficant was sent to the Big House, his devil tail between his legs.
• • A number of inmates have been moved to charitable acts. Mae West, for instance, funded a library for female prisoners confined to the Women's Workhouse in 1927.
• • Jim Traficant promised to auction off a few paintings to benefit retirees from his district whose company went bankrupt earlier this year. Thus proceeds from the paintings will benefit the Delphi Salaried Retiree Association, a group of autoworkers who are afraid of losing their pensions after the company turned the pensions over to the government's pension insurer. (The group filed suit against the insurer.)
• • Throughout his prison term, the enterprising lawbreaker sold his drawings online as well as through sympathetic Ohio galleries.
• • Released from jail on 2 September 2009, Traficant posted his Betty Boop caricature and others on EBAY. The auction ends Saturday.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • "M" stands for Mae • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest