Jerry Weller, land baron | Bleader

Friday, September 7, 2007

Jerry Weller, land baron

Posted By on 09.07.07 at 09:04 PM

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It's good to see the Tribune catching up -- on page one, no less -- to last year's Reader story about Congressman Jerry Weller and his mysterious land holdings in Nicaragua.

The Reader and Frank Smyth are happy to have shown them the way, but the timing of the Tribune story could have been better -- 10 months after the last congressional elections, 14 months before the next ones, and well after Weller lost his inappropriate leadership position on the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. Our story appeared a week or two before Weller faced reelection, and the Tribune's silence at the time made it easier for Weller to ride us out. "Half of it is sex ads, so it's not exactly a Grade A newspaper," Weller's campaign manager said then about the Reader. "You have to consider the source in this, and the timing."

But give the Tribune credit: it didn't endorse Weller last year. Ignoring his land interests but finding his marriage to a "daughter of a former Guatemalan dictator who has been accused of war crimes" conflict of interest enough, the paper sat out the race.

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