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(edited the title, fixed name of Tribune's blog)
Jerry Weller (IL-11), who's father-in-law was a genocidal dictator in Guatemala, and all around bad man is the subject of a Chicago Tribune expose into his Central American land deals.

The Tribune's The Swamp Blog reports:

...Weller has invested heavily in 12 acres of lush hillside overlooking the Pacific surf in southwest Nicaragua...

Weller, though, has not always reported the full extent of his investment – which is required by congressional ethics rules – on his yearly financial disclosure forms. At least twice, he listed much lower sale prices for land on official documents in Nicaragua than he listed on congressional forms.

So, the son-in-law of General Efrain Zios Montt has shady land deals in Nicaragua.  He reports one thing to the electorate of this country, and totally different thing to the authorities in Nicaragua.  

Not only that, but The Swamp says that Weller failed to report this as a conflict of interest when he was helping write the CAFTA deal.  His wife, Zury Rios Montt, was also a negotiator for the Guatemalan government, where she is a member of the Legislature.  CAFTA, not surprisingly, includes language that protects Weller's land investments in Nicaragua.

The Trib's full story is even more damning:

For example, Weller's first disclosed purchase in the coastal town of San Juan del Sur appeared on his 2002 financial filing, listing a lot with a purchase price of between $50,001 and $100,000. But in property records at the Registrar's office in Rivas, the department seat for San Juan, Weller is reported paying 78,000 cordobas, or about $4,333, for four-tenths of an acre in a transaction on Dec. 7, 2002.

Records indicate that Weller sold the same property in February 2005 for about $95,000. That sale does not appear on Weller's 2005 House disclosure.

Weller's been avoiding the Tribune's reporters, and has yet to comment.

There's a lot more in the article.  Jerry Weller is an all around bad guy.  I am originally from the district he represents.  Friends and family regularly ask me when we're going to do something about Weller (we being Democrats, "something about" being to push him out of office).  

Well, Weller has a potential opponent.  I don't know much about the guy, and it looks like he doesn't even have a website up, but maybe a strong candidate will emerge.  For now, here's something on Weberfrom Prariestateblue.  

Originally posted to Jerry 101 on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 06:33 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for shady land deals (15+ / 0-)

    Whats with Illinois Republicans and shady land deals?

    Enough with cloture votes! Make the Bastards read the DAMN PHONE BOOK!!!!!

    by Jerry 101 on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 06:39:42 AM PDT

  •  Illinois will be interesting in 2008 (5+ / 0-)

    Illinois could be very interesting in 2008.  

    The Presidential nominee (Obama, Edwards or Clinton) will be wildly popular in Illinois.  Durbin really cares about Congressional races (Rahm may have been the puppet master, but Durbin was hte workhorse, calling every day asking what he could do to help.  If Durbin faces a weak opponent he can use his campaign to help others.

    There will be several close races, only one in a Dem. district (and that one will be fine).  

    and the Illinois GOP is very weak.  

    So IL-11, which should not really be in play, will be this time.

    What a far cry from 2004 when Phil Crane in IL08 failed to get his campaign going and R Congressmen from 3 or 4 districts went there with their staffs on the weekend before the election to help out.  they were unsuccessful, but it showed that they were not worried at all about their own elections.  this time it will e very different.

    My range is one to three Dem pick-ups, plus a chance of turning a DINO to a real Dem

    •  I agree it will be interesting (0+ / 0-)

      I think that GRod and Illinois Democratic leaders may be trying to sabatoge the party.  If Madigan, Jones and Blogo can't get on the same page, even a moderatly strong candidate could do some damage to the party.  

      I fear people like Birkett, and Oberweis if they were to spend big bucks they could do some damage.

      •  they're not trying (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ivorybill, dsteffen, jimraff

        to sabotage the parties.

        It's all about ego.  Madigan has long run the state party.  Blago wants to run the state party.

        Blago wants to stay governor for a long time, Madigan wants his daughter to be governor.  

        It's all about the ego battles.

        At the end of the day though, Blago has lost this battle and is turning into a GWB type.  Delusional, self-important, stubborn, ignoring the legislature and the people who elected him.

        Want more proof?  Blago's approval rating is lower than Bush's in Illinois.

        Enough with cloture votes! Make the Bastards read the DAMN PHONE BOOK!!!!!

        by Jerry 101 on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 07:08:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's not just republicans. (0+ / 0-)

    Corruption is rampant.

    Eleven Democratsin New Jersey who support Hillary Clinton were arrested yesterday.  I injected the name of Hillary Clinton because that's what the NY Times is reporting even though there is nothing, other than the fact that they are Democrats, that link them to Hillary Clinton.


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 06:49:57 AM PDT

  •  Have you at long last, no decency, sir? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry 101

    Attacking a man's family---that's the lowest form of vile vituperation!!!

    Did you say something about the facts???
    heh

  •  I think the Trib smells blood (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ivorybill, Jerry 101, dotster

    You forgot to mention that this story was splashed all over the front page of this morning's paper, and included some prominent mentions of how the Congressman is avoiding everyone, but especially reporters.

    -dms

    Having trouble finding stuff on Daily Kos? This page has some handy hints and tricks.

    by dmsilev on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 06:50:35 AM PDT

    •  I saw it at (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dmsilev

      the website.  I didn't see the dead tree edition.  It was the top story on Swampland.

      Enough with cloture votes! Make the Bastards read the DAMN PHONE BOOK!!!!!

      by Jerry 101 on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 07:13:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's very prominent in the dead tree version (0+ / 0-)

        Above the fold, even, so anyone walking by a Trib paper machine sees in big letters "Inside Rep. Weller's Nicaragua Land Deal"

        Here's a page image.

        -dms

        Having trouble finding stuff on Daily Kos? This page has some handy hints and tricks.

        by dmsilev on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 07:37:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lead the noon news... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dmsilev, Jerry 101

          ...on our local downstate NPR station, and I've seen the local network stations come up while doing searches on the story a few minutes ago.  Looks like it's getting traction.  Just hope it doesn't get pushed off into the ditch by the corporate media.

          Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization. -- George Bernard Shaw

          by dsteffen on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 10:29:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, you don't get much more (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dsteffen

            corporate media than the Trib, or much more right wing than the trib (at least without going into FauxNews territory), and the Trib broke the story.  The big question is how will major papers IN Weller's district treat the story?

            The Southtown, the Pantagraph, the News Tribune.

            Enough with cloture votes! Make the Bastards read the DAMN PHONE BOOK!!!!!

            by Jerry 101 on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 10:37:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I will... (0+ / 0-)

              ...tell you tomorrow when the Pantagraph lands on my doorstep.  Nothing on their site yet, but it's still all yesterday's news.

              Although I thought maybe I'd found something on it when I saw the headline Millionaire congressman wins lottery again, but that's about Sensenbrenner.

              Chicago Trib does some decent investigative stuff, and I'm sure they have a fondness for their own work.  Sure doesn't hurt having it blazened across the front page.  And damn, you just gotta love that 11th CD map.  It gives me a case of the WTF's everytime I see it.

              Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization. -- George Bernard Shaw

              by dsteffen on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 10:49:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Pantagraph = page A8 (0+ / 0-)

              Although they did have an approx. 1 column-inch teaser in the "What's Inside?" column on the front page.  And the teaser was above the fold...

              By the way, that linked story about Sensenbrenner winning the lottery?  In the dead tree edition the headline was changed to "Millionaire state legislator wins lottery again".  I'm sure it will come as a shock to the congressman that he's been demoted from WI-5.  No more pulling the plug on Democrats for him.

              Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization. -- George Bernard Shaw

              by dsteffen on Sat Sep 08, 2007 at 05:21:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Don't know about the dead tree (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dsteffen

                editions, but google news is showing that the story was in both the Kankakee and Joliet papers today, and that it hit the websites of a couple of downstate tv stations and smaller papers.

                Enough with cloture votes! Make the Bastards read the DAMN PHONE BOOK!!!!!

                by Jerry 101 on Sat Sep 08, 2007 at 12:59:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  who are we running against him (0+ / 0-)

    assuming he has the gall to run again ?

    Let's get some Democracy for America

    by murphy on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 08:03:43 AM PDT

  •  Note that Weller (0+ / 0-)

    also accepted donations from Brent Wilkes and Abramoff.  The guy is hopelessly corrupt.  Someone needs to find out more about his wife's financial holdings, which he has not disclosed to Congress.  I am sure there is serious corruption there.

    In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ...Thomas Jefferson

    by ivorybill on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 09:23:48 AM PDT

    •  And... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivorybill

      ...the last I heard when the story was in the news a couple of years ago, he was going to give away $500 he'd received directly from Abramoff himself, but planned to keep the other fifteen grand he'd received from Abramoff's clients.  A mention of it here in a diary I did at the time.

      Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization. -- George Bernard Shaw

      by dsteffen on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 10:36:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Foggo and Wilkes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivorybill, dsteffen

      These two also worked Central America according to a May 14, 2006 report over on Muckraker.

      Foggo's first foreign posting [at the CIA] was to Honduras, the center of the U.S.-backed Contra guerrilla fighters who were trying to topple the Marxist government of Nicaragua. About that time, Wilkes launched a Washington-based financial firm and accompanied lawmakers on trips to Central America, where they met with Foggo and Contra leaders. Three of Wilkes' former friends say he told them he was involved in assignations between some of the legislators and prostitutes in Central America. The former friends – each of whom has known Wilkes and Foggo since high school – would speak only on the condition that they not be identified. "Brent Wilkes adamantly and vehemently denies ever being involved in getting anybody prostitutes, and that includes congressmen and any other officials," Wilkes' attorney said.

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