Former Rep. Traficant Painting In Jail

Former U.S. Rep. James Traficant, expelled from Congress in 2002 after his bribery and racketeering conviction, is now dabbling in watercolors and acrylic rather than politics.

The Ohio Democrat, who served nine terms in the House of Representatives, is serving eight years in federal prison after being convicted on a 2001 indictment. He's passing the time by painting.

Traficant is currently selling 12 paintings, which feature pastoral scenes and horses, for $140 to $205 on his Web site. The site's name comes from Traficant's practice of ending his often flamboyant congressional speeches by saying "Beam me up!"

Traficant was convicted for receiving gifts and free labor from businessmen for his political help, and taking cash kickbacks and free labor from staff. He represented himself at trial, although he is not a lawyer.

The Web site said people wishing to send money to underwrite Traficant's art career can mail it to him at the federal hospital prison in Rochester, Minn.