The 9th Annual Reagan Day dinner took place on Nov. 17 at the Silverthorn Country Club in Brooksville, Florida. Reagan Day celebrations are fundraising events for the Republican party on local and state levels, and Friday’s speakers set the tone of diversity, with unified philosophy within the party.
Niger Innis is the National Spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and former chairman of TeaPartyFwd.com. Innis started his own super PAC (Political Action Committee) called “Drain the Swamp, Nevada.” His father is the late Roy Innis, who was the National Director of CORE from 1968 until his death in January 2017.
Since 2015, Innis has served as GOPs Engagement Spokesman under Blaise Ingoglia, which brings him to Florida often.
In his address before dinner was served, Innis said, “Florida, like Nevada is becoming increasingly diverse. That diversity can be a great strength if we become all-united in our love of our states, our nation, and our Constitution.”
“Our country is in a moral crisis and division not seen since … the sixties and seventies, during the Vietnam War. I believe our constitutional Republic is under its greatest crisis since the Civil War.” The crisis is division among people Innis describes as “systematic” and “purposeful” based on race, gender and/or sexual orientation. Innis also included “a hyphenated America” in the crisis of division.
“The indoctrination that’s taking place is being fostered by cultural elites in Hollywood and academia and the establishment media.” Innis jokingly apologized for helping to start MSNBC, told the audience that he was not the only conservative working for the network in 2006; he worked alongside of Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter.
“The indoctrination that I speak of is particularly gross with a country that’s becoming more and more diverse. That indoctrination is being absorbed by America’s future, our vulnerable youth.”
“Americans should drop the hyphen. We should not define ourselves as African-American, Italian-American, Irish-, Polish- or Jewish-American. You are American, period.” Growing up in New York, Innis recalls when blacks were proud in the seventies, when, years before “black” was an insult. He spoke of pipes and drums during the St. Patrick’s day parades, celebrating the Columbus day parades in Little Italy, and holding up brides and grooms on chairs during Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremonies.
Florida State House Representative Richard Corcoran grew up in Pasco County, attended St. Leo college and was a Naval Reservist. During his introduction, Blaise Ingoglia described Corcoran as a “disruptor.”
Corcoran’s parents who “had no family as we know family today” grew up during the Great Depression in England, and would instill in their children, “Know your philosophy.” Corcoran said he was also taught, “If you don’t have the courage to fight for that philosophy, then you’re no better than someone who has no philosophy at all.”
Corcoran does fight for that philosophy, saying, “We’re wrestling for the soul of our party.” The first of a number of topics, Corcoran said about taxes, “It’s not that people are taxed too much, it’s that the government spends too much.”
One example of wasteful spending Corcoran cited was tourism authority Visit Florida. “(Visit Florida) went from 25-million to 75-million dollars overnight. What is that money being spent on? Can we ask that question?” According to Corcoran, respondents from Visit Florida said it was none of the elected representatives’ business, which sparked a legal investigation that uncovered widespread corruption and misuse of funding.
Recalling incidents during his career when he witnessed his fellow Republicans and party leadership backpedaling on traditional stances on immigration and family values, Corcoran said, “Be who you said you would be. How hard is that?”