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The Chicago Reader has done another very interesting article about Congressman Jerry Weller of IL-11.  Many of you know Weller as the Congressman married to Zury Rios Sosa, the daughter of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt.  A lengthy article about the couple was published in August at:

This week Frank Smyth published another investigative article article about Weller and his congressional financial disclosure forms.  It appears that Jerry Weller has unreported assets in Nicaragua.

What is galling about Weller is that he is married to a Senator from Guatemala... his child was born there... he owns land in Nicaragua... he recently sold his Chicago condo...and accuses his opponent John Pavich of being a carpetbagger from Virginia.  John moved to Virginia to serve his country in the CIA.  John grew up in IL-11 (before the 2000 census changed the boundaries) and has made his home in the district, in Beecher, for several years.

Frank Smyth of the Chicago Reader writes:

JERRY WELLER, THE 11th District representative who's up for reelection in November, has some explaining to do. As I wrote in an August 25 cover story, "The Congressman and the Dictator's Daughter," he's already raised questions about whether he has a conflict of interest because he's refused to step down from the House of Representative's influential Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere even though he's married to Zury Rios Sosa, a third-term legislator in Guatemala. Since then I've discovered that the congressman, a Republican whose district encompasses parts of the south suburbs, hasn't revealed the value of any of the wedding gifts he and Sosa received when they were married two years ago in Guatemala. Such gifts are supposed to be listed on the publicly available financial disclosure forms congressmen file every year, but the House ethics committee routinely grants waivers, and Weller got one. Still, his request raises questions, because Sosa is the daughter of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt and the second most powerful person in the party he heads, so lots of people may have wanted to give the couple something very nice.
More troubling, I've also learned that Weller owns several pieces of property in Nicaragua, some of which he's disclosed to Congress as required by its rules--and some of which he apparently hasn't.

You can read the entire article at:

It is quite fascinating.

John Pavich is Weller's opponent.  He is a former CIA Agent and he is a great candidate.  See info about John at:

Pavich has raised over $550,000 on his own without DCCC help.  This race can be won.  You can donate at:

Originally posted to chicagodavid on Fri Oct 27, 2006 at 08:36 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yosef 52, Christopher Walker

    See also this diary for a discussion of the same issue.

    Incidentally, the Chicago Reader is totally on fire this year. Now if only their editorial board could take over the Trib...

  •  Every Week, A New Revelation (3+ / 0-)

    Weller's really turning out to be the posterboy of the ChicagoReader.  A couple of weeks ago, they did a cover-story on his relations with spouse and in-laws in Guatemala and how that's affecting his position on the Western Hemisphere Committee.

    As far as the current article is concerned, maybe it's just me but how many Congressmen from Illinois have such extensive landholdings stretching from Guatemala to Nicaragua?

    Independent Illinois Grassroots:

    by patachon on Fri Oct 27, 2006 at 08:51:15 AM PDT

  •  If the House Ethics Committee (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yosef 52, Christopher Walker

    gave him a pass, that's too bad, but it's also the end of that footnote.  The original assertions of the 8/25 article stand unanswered by Weller, and that's what Frank Smyth needs to focus on.

    •  Ethics Committee (0+ / 0-)

      for almost over 2 years gave everyone a pass. Remember we had our own problem, Allan Mollohan and the republicans and dems had reached an agreement not to investigate each other. It's like congress didn't have an ethics committee, so pointing to the fact that "the ethics committee looked at Weller and gave him a pass" is really not true. Nothing was looked at, or it was looked and okayed, no matter how flagrant the problem.

      Like Weller keeping his seat as Vice Chair of the International Relations Committe and being married to Zury Rios-Montt de Weller one of the most powerful legislators in Guatemala.

      Just another souless atheist working for World Peace and Harmony

      by Kankakee Voice on Fri Oct 27, 2006 at 09:14:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most interesting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yosef 52, llbear

    After reading the Frank Smyth article in the Chicago Reader I decided to a little looking at Nicaragua and the area Weller's property is in. The property in Coco Beach and Nicaragua San Juan del Sur is astoundingly beautiful.

    But THE MOST INTERESTING FACT? 60% of Nicaragua's population is UNDER 17 and in Central America Nicaragua is the most impoverished nation.

    So like all third world countries with extreme poverty and lots of young children, could make for some interesting "trade."

    Just another souless atheist working for World Peace and Harmony

    by Kankakee Voice on Fri Oct 27, 2006 at 08:59:11 AM PDT

  •  IL-10, IL-11, and !L-14 are the key (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jennifer Clare, llbear

    I've said it before, and I'll say it one last time (for today):

    If we can get Dan Seals, John Laesch, and John Pavich into the House representing IL-10, IL-14, and IL-11, the Illinois delegation will be so damn good-looking that Congress will pass whatever they say!

  •  Its amazing to me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that this race hasn't garnered a little more attention -- John Pavich is such a good candidate, and I'd be interested to see some polls in this one.  Weller is despicable in so many ways -- its astounding that people can bring themselves to vote for someone who so clearly puts his own interests ahead of not only his district's interests but his country's interests.  Pavich has been working hard, but boy would he be helped by a little national visiblity --

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