Monday, April 26, 2004

The Chicago Conservative Conference: A Democrat and a Republican touch on Diversity issues in the Republican and Democratic Parties

Frank Avila, Jr.: …when you have no employees of any descent that I belong to- black or Mexican or any other group- at the Illinois or the [Cook] County Republican Party, is that me or is that those parties? So, I think there is an issue of diversity. I am not talking the liberal sense of affirmative action, but if people want to be involved in something, there are qualified people to invite them in…I have been around conservative events because of my school choice activities for a long time…

Joe Morris: On that note, we thank Frank Avila [Jr.] and his new friend, Gary Skoien and, here, I think, gentlemen, all of us in this room would agree that the Republican Party ought to be more open, not only to Hispanics and other minority groups but also to conservatives and the idea of victory and I think we also agree that the worst thing for our country is to have a two party system where one party is the American party and the other party is grappling with being a European style socialist party. We want a strong Democratic Party that is pro- American and pro- free market, pro- traditional American values and ideals and God Bless those people who are trying to redeem the Democratic Party from within to make it once again a conservative party. There was a time when a Harry Truman could lay things on the line for the safety of America; when a Scoop Jackson [Senator Jackson from Washington] or even a [President] John Kennedy could talk about bearing any burden for the cause of freedom and the Democratic Party was the home of pro-Life thought and the Democratic Party was pro- immigrant and pro- free market and anti- protection [ist when it came to free trade] and so forth. You know, maybe those happy days can come again. So, we thank you.

Frank Avila, Jr.: I am not predicting that, though.

Joe Morris: Well, do your part. And, we thank you both and we also thank those libertarians out there who keep both of the big parties honest.

Joe Morris, Chairman of the United Republican Fund of Illinois, concluding a panel discussion, at the Chicago Conservative Conference, with Frank Avila, Jr., Former Democratic Primary Candidate for Metropolitan Water Reclamation Commissioner and son of Frank Avila, Sr., Democratic Metropolitan Water Reclamation Commissioner and Gary Skoien, newly elected Cook County GOP Chairman and former Governor Thompson staffer, held on April 25, 2004 at the Renaissance Hotel in Chicago)