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Home district must be Weller's priority

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U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller, who represents a substantial portion of the Twin Cities, has taken a keen interest in Puerto Rico - and Puerto Rican businessmen have taken a keen interest in him, donating thousands of dollars to his campaign chest.

Puerto Rico is an American territory. There is nothing legally wrong with the donations.

On one hand, Weller's role makes sense, even though his Midwest district is far from the Caribbean island. He is vice chairman of the Western Hemisphere subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee. Weller also serves on the Ways and Means Committee.

Those committee assignments make him a logical person for Puerto Rico to turn to for assistance in getting federal grants and legislation favorable to the territory. It has no elected representation in Congress.

On the other hand, Central Illinoisans have a right to wonder whether his service to Puerto Rico cuts into his representation of the district he was elected to serve. Weller must reassure his 11th Congressional District constituents, in word and deed, that the folks at home are his priority.


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