* I was told by some top Republicans yesterday that Congressman Jerry Weller is not yet circulating his nominating petitions. Kristen McQueary reports today that Weller’s donors are getting indications that he may not run for reelection. And that’s bringing up the possibility of a hotly targeted race featuring a prominent Illinois Democrat, who is in the middle of a four-year term…
Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson (D-Crete) is considering running for the 11th District congressional seat, in part because of hot pursuit from Emily’s List, a prominent fundraising group in Washington, D.C., that supports pro-choice Democratic women. Halvorson is meeting with Emily’s List recruiters this month to discuss a possible congressional bid.
Rumors are circulating that Weller may decide against another term, particularly in light of the bad press he is receiving over his Guatemalan financial interests. Phone calls, I’m told, have been made to his top donors indicating he may be preparing to “hang it up.” His family, after all, lives in Guatemala. That’s a long commute. […]
“I don’t know if I want to be one person out of 435,” [Halvorson] said Tuesday. “Compared to, possibly, being the first-ever woman Senate president, I don’t know. It’s a big decision.” […]
Either way, Weller will have to face questions about the Nicaraguan land deals and whether he reported or hid them on his congressional disclosure forms. Then there’s the Central America Free Trade Agreement vote that may have benefitted him directly and the questions that arise every election cycle about where he really lives - Morris, D.C. or Guatemala. He is scheduled to address the Joliet Chamber of Commerce later this week. Will he make a big announcement? Address the media? Or slink away in his Jaguar without taking questions?
* Meanwhile, the news just gets worse for Weller…
Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.) has landed on a Washington watchdog group’s list of the “22 most corrupt” members of Congress – and, separately, been subpoenaed in a criminal case linked to disgraced former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham of California.
The “most corrupt” list, an annual compilation of the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, includes several congressmen and senators reportedly under investigation for ethical issues, including Reps. John Doolittle (R-Calif.), Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) and William Jefferson (D-La.) and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).
Weller makes the list, the group said, for a host of ethical questions, including his failure to report some Nicaraguan land deals on his financial disclosure form. The group also alleges Weller appears to have used his position to boost interests in Puerto Rico and Belize in exchange for campaign contributions.
The group’s report on Weller is here.
* And then there’s this…
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and 11 other members of Congress have been subpoenaed to testify in the trial of a defense contractor charged with bribing jailed former Rep. Randy ‘’Duke'’ Cunningham.
All of the lawmakers said they would not comply on the advice of House attorneys. […]
Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.) was also subpoenaed.
This Weller situation has become a full-blown problem for the GOP.