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Meeks moves ahead - UPDATED

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 - Posted by Rich Miller

Sen. James Meeks is moving further, faster than most people predicted.

A big show of support Monday for a Democratic state senator who is considering a bid for Illinois governor. James Meeks met with more than a dozen of Chicago’s African-American aldermen. The aldermen say they would support Meeks if he ran for governor as an independent.

The possibility of South Side pastor-politician James Meeks running for governor as an independent is now more than whisper. Meeks met with 14 of Chicago’s 19 black aldermen Monday morning, and the result of that meeting exposed what could become a huge crack in the Democratic party’s foundation.

“The African-American vote will not be taken for granted,” said Meeks.

Following their closed door meeting with the Reverend Senator Meeks, the aldermen and several state representatives expressed their dissatisfaction with Democratic governor Rod Blagojevich.

“We’re meeting now to see if we want to get rid of him or how we’re going to get rid of him or how soon,” said Ald. William Beavers, 7th Ward.

“He’s not delivered any goods to our community and we’re going to figure out a way to get rid of him or get a piece of the pie,” said Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th Ward.

The Tribune has more complaints.

“There is a feeling amongst the group there is just not enough coming from [Gov. Blagojevich’s] office,” [Ald. Ike] Carothers said. “We’re talking about programs for job training, programs for ex-offenders, all kinds of social programs, summer jobs, that really are needed more in the African-American community than anywhere else.”

Brookins complained that after two African-American girls were killed by stray gunfire in Englewood recently, Blagojevich “showed up, made a TV cameo appearance, but there is no real commitment to helping fix that particular problem.”

“The guys who are running for these top offices can no longer discard our community,” said Ald. Ed Smith (28th). “They have to talk to us.”

And NBC-5 had a story yesterday about Meeks’ Sunday sermon. Check out the video here.

State Sen. James Meeks preached before his church congregation of thousands on Sunday that he might be considering a run for Illinois governor.

Meeks’ challenge to white voters could grow into a very big problem for Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

“Come on with me white churches … Call me and tell me to run for governor,” Meeks said. “White people who believe in Jesus, call me and tell me to run for governor”

Meeks is an Illinois senator in the 15th District. He is counting on an anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage platform to appeal to conservative white Christians.

“If I do run and there are two people in the race who both are not standing for morality, if I don’t have every white Christian vote in the state of Illinois, I will stand on top of the Sears Tower and call every one of ya’ll racist,” Meeks said from his pulpit.

When asked whether he would run, Meeks said he would make the decision after the public got a chance to hear his challenge.

UPDATE: NBC5 has a new story online. No text yet, but the video is here.


  1. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 8:17 am:

    Wow, he just doesn’t care about politics from the pulpit! Courageous! Criminal! Good luck with your campign

  2. - Pro-Life Action League Supporter - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 8:20 am:

    If Rev Meeks does indeed run and needs help circulating petitions, fundraising, coffees, etc. he should contact our office at 773-777-2900.

    We are tired of the GOP and Socially Conservative D’s taking us for granted as well.

    We’ll be more than happy to help!

  3. - Collar County Christians for Meeks - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 8:26 am:

    Bye, bye Judy.

    I hope you and Rod have fun playing in each others sandbox after this upcoming general. Perhaps you & Rod can invite some of your mutual friends and acquantainces on your play dates - GLT’s and Abortion Doc’s.

  4. - Pat collins - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 8:30 am:

    How can you contact him to volunteer to walk a precint?

  5. - DOWNSTATE - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 8:36 am:

    Has he used the words “help downstate people or living in Springfield”.If it is all Chicago and so far that is all I have heard then I need to keep my JBT signs up.

  6. - Randall Sherman - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 9:18 am:

    Hey Senator Meeks, what about us Jewish guys who at this point would like nothing more than to see Governor Elvis get his political comeuppance?

  7. - Amy - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 9:19 am:

    Is Meeks going to run, or is he using this to get what he wants(tax swap or maybe just some line-items) from the Governor in the waning days of the session? And, if he does, will his antics overshadow his views? “I will stand on top of the Sears Tower and call every one of ya’ll racist,” he said. Oh, come on.

  8. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 9:46 am:

    We don’t need any more pure racial voting in this state. Meeks wants 6 BILLION, now he says 1 BILLION, for schools. Now tell me, when the blacks just handed over the Cook County race to a bloated patronage leader, that will require more tax raises to keep running. Why would reform whites want to take another tax hike to pay for the black community. If Meeks keeps the antics for just getting noticed by the gov canidates that fine, but he should not get into this race. If the black community wants real change then they will need to start voting for reform canidates and not just the black guy the party puts up. Killing the chances for statewide dems to win in November is not a good way to get some respect.

  9. - Bubs - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 10:01 am:

    Anon 9:46 - If I read you right, we agree. Everyone, black or white, that wants reform should vote for Tony Peraica for County Board President.

  10. - Juice - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 10:03 am:

    Randall - as a non-Christian myself I would much rather support a guy like Meeks who at least tells you to your face that it’s all about Jesus for him, versus a panderer like Rod who only goes to Church, Mosque or Synogogue when the cameras are there to see it. The problem is really about honesty, and while I may not pray at Meeks’ church I respect him for pushing his agenda and for being honest about his motives. You could never say that about Rod BlagWymaVich.

  11. - WARDOG - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 10:21 am:

    Meeks might want to make a tour of the rest of this state past I-80 before he goes talking about running. How many times has he been observed in and out of the Governors office, both in Chicago and Springfield. Maybe some white christian minister from downstate will run as an independent. Wouldn’t that be interesting!! Meeks better tone up, because there is no way he could ever get every white vote in the state. Sears tower here he comes! Good luck Senator and keep practicing your strut.

  12. - 3rd Ward - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 10:22 am:

    Down State and African American coalition: it could happen. The base of the African American community is the church.
    It is good to finally see a black Pastor/Politician step up and say most of us agree with the bible.
    Does anyone out there Republican or Democrat really think that Pat Quinn, Jesse White, Lisa Madigan or Dan Hynes would be in trouble in a three way race.
    Go Meeks Go!

  13. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 10:38 am:

    Since, in the end, what matters is my pocketbook, I’d like a little more clarity on the Rev Meeks’ views on state taxation.

    Dick Kay, last night, said Meeks wants a tax increase, perhaps linked to a property tax swap.

    Other commentators have said Meeks just wants the resources for education and/or the black community, not necessarily pushing a tax increase.

    Until this is clearer, I am on the fence, unlike yesterday, when I still thought the Rev was saying his goals could be met without a tax increase. (They can).

    Meanwhile, with all this, JBT has disappeared.
    Perhaps she can sit back for a while as the Dems fight among themselves.

  14. - SenorAnon. - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 10:48 am:

    “…a panderer like Rod who only goes to Church, Mosque or Synogogue when the cameras are there to see it.”

    You’re entering very dangerous turf when you, with absolutely zero knowlede, ZERO, of which you speak, question ANYONE’S faith.

  15. - DOWNSTATE - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 10:55 am:

    I think a 3rd party in Illinois that could mount a state wide campagin would be more choices at election and help us get the politicans to be more responsible but I still do not believe Meeks will do it.In the end Meeks and the governor will have a meeting and Meeks will get what he wants.Then Blago will either borrow the money or cut funding for downstate or programs of people who do not have any political clout[the little guy].Last budget the majority of things went to Chicago for pork projects and when Blago signed off on them they gave him his budget.So hang on downstate,veterans,and anyone recieving state funding Ole Blago has to have his Chicago voting block.

  16. - SenorAnon. - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 11:12 am:

    Actually, Senator, I think the passage reads, “…the MEEK shall inherit the earth.”

    I can see where you may have been mistaken.

  17. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 12:51 pm:

    If Meeks is running to win, I’d advise him to not run as the Black gubernatorial candidate, but the independent gubernatorail candidate.

    I think Sylvester Baker would have done better in the Sheriff primary against Dart if he’d put fewer eggs in the basket of winning by winning the Black vote.

  18. Pingback » Meeks: Pulling the Race Card Early » Musing Minds » Blog Archive » - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 1:36 pm:

    […] Via The Capitol Fax Blog from NBC5: “Come on with me white churches … Call me and tell me to run for governor,” Meeks said. “White people who believe in Jesus, call me and tell me to run for governor” […]

  19. - B Hicks - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 7:01 pm:

    I think it’s brilliant.

  20. - anon - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 7:47 pm:


    the coverage from the media is pretty inaccurate and the reporters are afraid to question a leader like meeks, but if you were there, did meeks try to use his tax-exempt church as a platform to campaign?

    i’m not sure what the line is but you were all over the governor for campaigning w/state resources. what is your stand w/regard to this type of campaigning by meeks?

  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 8:34 pm:

    Anon 7:47, I’m not sure what you’re talking about when you say reporters are afraid to question meeks. But I did ask him about campaigning at church and he did have an answer.

  22. - indep - Tuesday, Mar 28, 06 @ 11:00 pm:

    Meeks is serious. I was contacted as potential candidate on his ticket.

  23. Pingback Musing Minds » Meeks: Pulling the Race Card Early - Thursday, Mar 30, 06 @ 11:17 am:

    […] Via The Capitol Fax Blog from NBC5: “Come on with me white churches … Call me and tell me to run for governor,” Meeks said. “White people who believe in Jesus, call me and tell me to run for governor” […]

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