Paul Sracic, Youngstown State University's political science department chair, found himself in hot water last week for saying that U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Democrat from Arizona shot Jan. 8 while meeting with constituents, should resign her seat.
The CNN.com commentary caused Sracic to take to the local and national airwaves defending his position, which was essentially this: The injuries Giffords sustained in the attempt on her life, at least in the near future, prevent her from carrying out her duties as a congresswoman and that leaves the nearly 650,000 residents in her district without representation in Congress.
He wrote, ''the gunman's bullet that so severely injured Giffords also silenced the people of Arizona's 8th Congressional District.'' Sure, Giffords' staff is still intact and is getting help from those in Congress closest to Giffords, but her staff cannot vote - another of Sracic's points.
For his argument, Sracic, drew intense heat and criticism from Giffords' supporters.
He said hate emails poured into his YSU account (they've since stopped) to the point where he likened the email alert on his computer to an alarm, ''it just kept dinging.''
See the irony? Sracic does.
Immediately after the shooting that injured Giffords, killed six and wounded 13 others, heated debate on whether violent political rhetoric could have contributed to the actions of the shooter happened.
Giffords' supporters began spewing rhetoric at Sracic after the article appeared.
''The irony is they don't seem to get they are supposed to be against this,'' Sracic said.
Sracic stresses he wasn't attacking Giffords, someone he later referred to as a hero. He says he didn't write the piece to start a national outcry. It was more of an academic question and he admits that he completely missed the emotional element.
''I think people misunderstood the piece,'' he said. ''They thought I was attacking representative Giffords and that wasn't the case at all.''
Sracic said he did receive a small of amount of support from Giffords' supporters, who weren't critical, but shared some of his concern.
In the article, Sracic likened the situation in Arizona to one that happened in his very own town nearly a decade ago.
It was 2002 that former U.S. Rep. James Traficant, who represented Trumbull and Mahoning counties, was expelled from Congress and it would be five months until a new Congress started. ''On the floor of the House of Representatives, we did not count,'' Sracic wrote.
His piece made it to the number two news story on the CNN.com poll - sandwiched between a diet story at number one and just above a story on reality television star Kim Kardashian getting an X-ray of her rear end to prove that her famed fanny is real.