Uncovered Politics: “The Back of the Pack: Who is Fred Karger?”

Jun 18, 2010

uncovered politics


The Back of the Pack: Who is Fred Karger?

Posted by Austin F. Cassidy, June 13, 2010

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It seems that former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is still mulling a long-shot bid for President in 2012. Earlier this week he addressed the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee and talked about his landslide defeat in 2006, when he lost his Senate seat to Bob Casey.

On the tough loss, Santorum stated that it gave him a chance “to see government, not from the perspective of someone who is in the mix, but as a citizen who watches government like every other citizen watches government.”

Santorum went on to descibe the tea party movement as “first responders who are responding to an emergency in America.”

Also this week, a new poll was released that shows Congressman Ron Paul would beat President Barack Obama by 18-points among those who identify as independent voters.

Good news for Paul and bad for Obama? Sort of.

In match-ups that included all voters, the President was leading all potential Republican challengers. And actually leading Ron Paul by the largest margin, because his stances on foreign policy turned off a meaningful percentage of Republicans.

Obama leads Mike Huckabee 46-44, and Mitt Romney 45-42… and Ron Paul by 46-36.

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AND FINALLY: Who is Fred Karger?

Fred Karger is a one-time political consultant, gay rights activist and founder of Californians Against Hate.  He’s also “seriously considering” a run for President as either a Republican or a so-called independent Republican.

Karger has set up a personal website that looks an awful lot like a campaign website.  It details his relatively extensive history as an activist and campaign worker in Republican politics.

He descibes himself as a centrist and advocates for a “big tent” Republican Party and he’s been featured in Mother Jones magazine.

Recently Karger caused a stir by visiting Iowa to lay some groundwork for a bid in the 2012 GOP Caucus in that state.  The party’s State Committeeman basically told Karger that he should stay out of the race.

To learn more, listen to this recent interview with Karger on an Iowa radio station…

The New York Times: “Mormon Church Agrees to Pay Campaign Finance Fine”

Jun 18, 2010

ny times



June 9, 2010, 5:47 PM

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Mormon Church has agreed to pay a fine of slightly more than $5,000 for failing to report some campaign staff contributions it made in support of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that outlawed same-sex marriage.

According to the Fair Political Practices Commission’s Web site, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “failed to timely report making late non-monetary contributions totaling $36,928.” The commission had requested the church pay $5,539 in fines, which it has done, and the commission will meet to vote on finalizing the penalty on Thursday in Sacramento.

In a statement, the church claimed that all the contributions it made in support of Proposition 8, “were reported to the appropriate authorities in California.” But it admitted that in the last two weeks of the highly contested campaign, it “mistakenly overlooked the daily reporting requirement for non-monetary contributions,” which would include things like staff time. The church’s statement called the reporting failure an “oversight” and thanked the commission for its “fairness and consideration” in dealing with the matter.

The commission began their investigation into the Mormon Church’s contributions after a complaint was filed by Fred Karger, founder of the group Californians Against Hate, asserting that the church failed to fully disclose the time and money it spent on Proposition 8, which passed with 52 percent of the vote.

On Wednesday, Mr. Karger — who is openly gay and has expressed interest in running for the 2012 Republican nomination for president — sounded satisfied with the commission’s expected decision.

“The Mormon church has been leading the charge to create constitutional amendments to take away marriage equality from gay and lesbian people all over this country and they’ve been doing it dishonestly and in the dark of night,” said Mr. Karger, who referred to the situation as “Mormon-gate” when reached by phone. “I blew the whistle and they got caught for violating the law,” he said.

Associated Press: “Mormon Church Faces Fine Over Prop 8 Donations”

Jun 18, 2010





06/08/10 5:35 PM PDT


SAN FRANCISCO — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has agreed to pay a $5,538 fine to settle a complaint over its campaign contributions supporting California’s ban on same-sex marriages, the executive director of the state agency that regulates campaign finances said Tuesday.

Roman Porter, who directs the California Fair Political Practices Commission, said an investigation revealed the Mormon Church was tardy in revealing about $37,000 worth of work its staff performed on behalf of Proposition 8 in the final weeks before the November 2008 election.

The commission’s five appointed members are scheduled to consider the proposed settlement on Thursday. The investigation did not uncover evidence that the church failed to disclose any contributions but concluded that it failed to meet required deadlines for disclosing the value of 13 days of staff time devoted to the campaign.

“The proposed fine under consideration by the commission addresses all the issues within the complaint,” Porter said.

Its role in putting Proposition 8 on the ballot made the Mormon Church a target for much of the anger that gay rights supporters felt after California voters approved the ballot measure, which outlawed same-sex marriage five months after the state Supreme Court legalized it.

At the urging of church leaders, individual Mormons from around the country volunteered for and gave millions of dollars to the Yes on 8 campaign.

Porter’s finding came in response to a complaint filed by a gay rights activist after voters approved the gay marriage ban 19 months ago. At the time, the church said it had spent just $2,078 itself to support Proposition 8.

Fred Karger, the founder of Californians Against Hate, alleged the church ran out-of-state phone banks, produced commercials and provided other services without disclosing them as contributions to ProtectMarriage.com, the coalition of religious and conservative groups that sponsored the gay marriage ban.

In January 2009, nearly three months after the election, Mormon church officials filed an updated campaign spending report that added another $190,000 to what it previously declared. That total includes the $37,000 in donations Porter said were not reported in a timely way.

Karger said he was pleased Porter substantiated his broad claim that the church had misstated the value of its campaign support.

“My fervent hope is they will get out of this business and go help earthquake victims in Chile or something, but get out of peoples’ lives and denying their happiness,” he said.

Mormon Church spokeswoman Kim Farah directed The Associated Press to a statement on the church’s website that said the campaign violations were unintentional and stemmed from a misunderstanding about how often contributions needed to be reported.

“All institutional contributions made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the ProtectMarriage Coalition were reported to the appropriate authorities in California,” the statement said. “Claims that the Church misrepresented its contributions to the ProtectMarriage coalition are false.”

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/ap/mormon-church-faces-fine-over-prop-8-donations-95909739.html#ixzz0rE7LywVj