Gerald C. "Jerry" Weller (born July 7 1957, Streator, Illinois) is an American politician who has been a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1995, representing (map). In the November 2006 general election, Congressman Weller defeated Democratic opponent John Pavich. On September 21, 2007, Weller announced that he will not seek another term, citing the need to spend more time with his family. The announcement came amid a growing list of questions about his Nicaraguan land dealings, his wife's investments, and his relationship to an indicted defense contractor.
Weller was a staff member for state representative Tom Corcoran from 1980 to 1981, assistant to the director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and an aide to Secretary of Agriculture John R. Block from 1981 to 1985.
In 1988, Weller was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives where he served until 1994.
Weller serves as Deputy Minority Whip. Weller will be retiring at the end of his seventh term.
Weller championed the creation of the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie and other redevelopment efforts at the former Joliet arsenal. Redevelopment of the site included the Deer Run Industrial Park, which contains the CenterPoint Intermodal Center, a new intermodal freight transport center.
In 1995, Weller received an Environmental Protector Award from the Chicago Audubon Society for his political service. After a release of tritium from Exelon's Braidwood and Dresden Nuclear Power Plant Weller sent a letter to Exelon Corp expressing his concern and recommended that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission investigate the power plants in question.
Weller supports plans for the Illiana Expressway.
Weller voted again to raise the minimum wage in this Congress. .
Weller sponsored a bill to expand concurrent receipt for wounded military veterans, but it did not pass.
Weller promised prior to his marriage to Guatemalan Congresswoman Zury Ríos Montt that he would not vote on any legislation involving solely the U.S. and Guatemala. Yet, his advocacy and vote for CAFTA caused controversy, despite it being a multi-nation agreement. Weller has long supported free-trade agreements. As a FRG party leader, his wife is also a supporter of CAFTA.
Weller accepted money from two convicted associates of former congressman Duke Cunningham. Weller's spokesman said that the donations probably originated from his support of the research and development tax credit and the money was donated to a charity n Oregon. Weller is currently fighting a subpoena to testify in Cunningham's trial.
In 2002, a Federal Election Commission audit found a fund used by Weller for his re-election in 2000 received almost $110,000 that appeared to have violated federal campaign rules on the size and source of donations. Weller's fund returned all of the questioned contributions but did not admit deliberately violating any laws.
Weller was the only member of the House of Representatives to abstain in the vote for the proposed bailout of U.S. financial system (2008).
In August 2006, a daughter, Marizú Catherine, was born in a hospital in Guatemala City.
Weller's lawyer said that he couldn’t comment because of the attorney-client privilege. Weller's campaign manager said Weller "does not own three more parcels in Nicaragua. He does not own six parcels in Nicaragua. He has filed his disclosure for everything that he owns.
In September 7, 2007, the Chicago Tribune disclosed the results of their own investigation into his land deals, including discrepancies on declared prices and numbers of transactions, centered in the Playa Coco resort area. For example, Weller listed only one Nicaraguan property purchase on his 2005 disclosure form, but property records in Nicaragua showed that he bought or sold at least eight pieces of land.
The issue: U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller's focus seems to be Central America these days. We say: For a lot of reasons, Weller's constituents need more focus on Evergreen Terrace. Our View Weller must help lead Evergreen charge
Jul 07, 2005; Meeting with The Herald News Editorial Board before the November election, U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller, R-Morris, crowed about his...
Welcome to the Family The July 6 engagement announcement of Congressman Jerry Weller of Morris and Guatemalan Congresswoman Zury Rios Sosa has raised a number of questions, both in the media and on the campaign trail. Many focus on Rios Sosa's father, Efrain Rios Montt, former president of Guatemala. Who is Rios Montt? What are the allegations of genocide against him all about? What political connections does he share with his daughter? And are any of these issues relevant in Weller's current re-election bid? The Herald News will attempt to provide some answers in this special investigative report.
Aug 15, 2004; U.S. Congressman Jerry Weller (R-IL) kisses Zury Rios Sosa after announcing his engagement to the Guatemalan Congresswoman in...