Antoin “Tony” Rezko
Indicted Illinois businessman Antoin Rezko, a key fundraiser for Sen. Barack Obama, also raised money for a controversial pastor and superdelegate linked to the Democratic presidential candidate, WND has learned.
James Meeks – an Illinois state senator, pastor of one of the largest churches in the state and a declared spiritual adviser for Obama – came under fire for comments rebroadcast last week calling white American mayors “slave masters” and referring to black preachers and politicians who “protect” the “white man” as “house n-ggers.”
According to Illinois State Board of Elections records, Rezko’s businesses, Rezmar Corp. and Rezko Concession, contributed $9,000 to Meeks’ campaign funds in 2002. A Rezko employee contributed $5,000 to Meeks that same year, and Ali Ata, Rezko’s co-defendant, contributed $2,000, the records show.
Rezko is on trial in federal court on charges arising from a multimillion-dollar hospital contract scandal. Scores of media reports describe Rezko as an Obama friend and a key campaign fundraiser and networker for the presidential candidate.
At first, Rezko was linked to Obama through two 2005 real estate purchases in which the senator bought a Chicago mansion at less than the asking price on the same day Rezko and his wife, Rita, purchased a lot adjacent to the property. Rita Rezko then sold part of the lot to Obama.
Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times the real estate purchase was “an area where I can see sort of a lapse in judgment, where I could have said, ‘No, I’m not sure that’s a good idea,’”
Later, Obama’s campaign disclosed Rezko provided or raised up to $160,000 in contributions.
Then in interviews last week with two Chicago newspapers, Obama admitted Rezko’s contributions were $250,000, nearly $90,000 more than the campaign previously acknowledged.
The presidential candidate explained the $160,000 figure only represented the total for his 2004 U.S. Senate race. He conceded Rezko also helped raise between $60,000 and $90,000 more for his state senate contests and his unsuccessful congressional campaign in 2000.
On Sunday, Obama’s campaign released to the Chicago Tribune documents showing Rezko was among 117 people who worked on Obama’s 2004 U.S. Senate campaign.
Rezko’s funding to Meeks comes after the Illinois religious and political figure came under fire for racist remarks.
“We don’t have slave masters, we got mayors,” Meeks said in an August 2006 sermon broadcast on a Chicago community television channel.
The speech was aired last week by Fox News Channel’s “Hannity and Colmes” and discussed on Sean Hannity’s radio show last week.
Continued Meeks in the sermon: “But they are still the same white people who are presiding over systems where black people are not able to be educated. You got some preachers that are house n-ggers. You got some elected officials that are house n-ggers. Rather than them try and break this up, they’re gonna fight you to protect that white man.”
Meeks at the time was lashing out at Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley over public school funding issues.
When confronted about his divisive rhetoric in 2006 by Mike Flannery, a political editor for the local CBS affiliate, Meeks defended his sermon.
“Is it fair to compare Mayor Daley, him and the governor, to slave masters?” Flannery asked.
“They do the same thing,” Meeks replied. ‘They preside over systems where they have the control of the lives of African-American and Hispanic people.”
With regard to his use of foul language, Meeks stated: “The N-word is not in the African-American community a bad word. It’s a term of endearment. And I don’t see it as derogatory or defensive, offensive.”
But Flannery retorted: “That is an insult. You weren’t using that term as a term of endearment.”
According to reports, shortly after his 2006 tirade, Meeks endorsed a call by Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH group for blacks to stop using the N-word.
Aside from his senatorial duties, Meeks is an Illinois superdelegate pledged to Obama and also presides over Salem Baptist Church, described as the largest church in Illinois, with some 20,000 members. He has served as an executive vice president for Rainbow/PUSH.
Meeks reportedly has campaigned for Obama and allowed the senator to campaign at his church during 2004 run.
A recent Meeks endorsement of Obama is touted on the presidential candidate’s campaign website.
In a 2004 interview with Cathleen Falsani of the Chicago Sun-Times, Obama described Meeks as an adviser who he seeks out for spiritual counsel.
Obama told the Sun-Times that the day after he won a 2004 senatorial primary, he stopped by Meeks’ Salem Baptist Church for a Wednesday night Bible study.
“I know that he’s a person of prayer,” said Meeks of Obama. “The night after the election, he was the hottest thing going from Galesburg to Rockford. He did all the TV shows and all the morning news, but his last stop at night was for church. He came by to say thank you, and he came by for prayer.”
Meeks has made other controversial race remarks.
In 2006, Meeks informed his church during a sermon he may run for Illinois governor. He was recorded telling the mostly black congregation any “white Christian” who doesn’t vote for him is a “racist.”
“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 y’all racist,” Meeks said from his pulpit.
Meeks is also notorious for his strong anti-homosexual platform, which is in contrast to Obama who has been campaigning for the “gay” vote. Meeks has routinely voted against pro-homosexual legislation and has been quoted during sermons referring to same-sex attraction “an evil sickness.”
The latest revelations regarding an Obama-linked pastor follow anti-America, anti-Israel remarks by Obama’s pastor of 20 years, Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., which prompted the presidential candidate to deliver a major race speech last week.
To interview Aaron Klein, contact M. Sliwa Public Relations by e-mail, or call 973-272-2861 or 212-202-4453.