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Now that's what I call leadership

Our local (and blessedly departing) U.S. Representative made quite a distinction for himself - the only member of the House to be absent for Monday's monumental vote on the banking bailout.

U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller's spokesman said the congressman won't miss the next vote that could save the nation's economy.

But if Weller misses that vote, as he did Monday, it probably won't come as a shock to local political and community leaders who have seen much less of Weller since he decided not to run for re-election.

Weller, R-Morris, was the only member of the House of Representatives in the United States to miss the Monday vote on the $700 billion bailout plan, which is considered by many to be the most drastic economic measure attempted by the federal government since the Great Depression.

That's 433 House members taking a vote that could become the stuff historians study when looking back on a turning point in the nation's economy.

Weller was absent as the House turned down the bailout plan.

But Weller has been absent a lot. He's missed 284 votes in this congressional session.

And, he has not been seen much in his 11th District, which runs from the Indiana border past Starved Rock State Park at Utica and includes most of Will and all of Grundy counties.

As far as I'm concerned, this yahoo should do all of his constituents a big favor and stay away for the rest of his term. Start your retirement early, Jerry, and step aside for somebody who will actually do some good. Who, by the way, is Debbie Halvorson.

Addendum: And two days before he skipped the bailout vote, Weller also blew off a vote related to the Canadian National Railway's pending acquisition of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern railway, which would result in a dramatic and damaging increase in freight traffic in Weller's district.

U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller, R-Morris, has received a lot of attention for being the one member of the U.S. House to miss Monday's vote on the $700 billion bailout plan. But he also missed a vote Saturday on one of the most controversial issues in his 11th District.

The House failed to pass a bill Saturday that would have forced railroad regulators to give the interest of local communities greater weight when deciding whether to approve Canadian National Railway's bid to buy the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway.

The Canadian National deal is the biggest regional issue in Weller's district as a number of suburban communities try to block what would be a huge increase in rail traffic crossing area roads.

Hmmm, for some reason the lyrics to "Call Me Irresponsible" ("call me irresponsible/call me unreliable/throw in undependable too") are running through my head.

October 1, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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