Email Update: April 29, 2011

April 29, 2011                                                                       Contact: Rina Shah


Fred Karger Hits Magic 1% Threshold in Fox News Poll

One Week before South Carolina – Fox News Debate

DALLAS, TEXAS – In the first Fox News Poll to include his name, Californian Fred Karger garnered 1% in a national poll released today.  The poll was conducted by Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Company Research (results below).

Karger will be announcing the results and reaffirming his desire to be included in next Thursday’s South Carolina GOP and Fox News Debate at 1:20 pm in a speech today to the Log Cabin Republicans National Convention.  The speech will take place at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, 2201 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX.

Karger has been invited to next week’s first-in-the-nation debate in Greenville, SC, but organizers have so far refused to let him participate because he had not been included in any national polls.  This should change things significantly.  Buddy Roemer has been included in the debate, but did not hit the 1% threshold in today’s poll, the first to include his name.

“I am delighted that in the very first national poll to include me with all other presidential candidates, I hit the 1% number required to be included in the South Carolina Debate,” said Karger.  “As the first out gay candidate to ever run for President of the United States, this is truly historic.  All the hard work of so many people helping me over the past 14 months has truly paid off.  And there is only one way to go but up!”

“I will reach out to the Republican Party of South Carolina and Fox News officials today to again ask them to ‘Let Fred In’ to their debate next week.”

“I also ask today for help from my supporters to help me pay the $25,000 filing fee that is required to participate.  Go to: /contribute to make a contribution today.”

Poll Results:  CLICK HERE

Mitt Romney  19%

Mike Huckabee  17%

Sarah Palin  9%

Donald Trump  8%

Newt Gingrich  7%

Ron Paul  7%

Herman Cain  4%

Tim Pawlenty  3%

Michele Bachmann  3%

Rick Santorum  3%

Mitch Daniels  2%

Jon Huntsman  1%

Gary Johnson  1%

Fred Karger  1%

Roy Moore  1%

Buddy Roemer – n/a

Rudy Giuliani n/a

Haley Barbour n/a

(Chris Christie – vol.) – – n/a

(Jeb Bush – vol.) – – 1%

(Someone else)  1%

(Too soon to say)  9%

(Don’t know)  4%


Let Fred In –  In the News

Sacramento Bee

Greenville News

U S Election News

The Advocate

South Carolina Free Times

U of South Carolina Gamecock

Charleston, SC City Paper

OC Register

Apr 28, 2011

oc register logo

For link to story, Click Here

Published April 27, 2011

Gay, Republican and running for president

By Claudia Koerner

When Laguna Beach resident Fred Karger began sharing his vision for a more moderate Republican party last year, the 61-year-old presidential hopeful didn’t get a warm reception from players on either side of the spectrum.

register video

“It’s either the gay thing or the Republican thing,” said Karger, who tested the waters in Iowa and New Hampshire for about a year before filing with the Federal Election Commission last month.

Now, more people are paying attention, though Karger admits his campaign is a long shot. His goal is to be a leader in the style of Ronald Reagan, whose campaigns Karger worked on in his political consultant days.

“That kind of spirit, that ability to get along with people and that optimism I think are essential right now, and I think the public is craving that,” Karger said. “We certainly don’t have that in President Obama.”


A lifelong political junkie, Karger insists he was born a Republican. He grew up outside of Chicago and got his start in 1964 volunteering on phone banks for Nelson Rockefeller’s presidential bid. He continued working on campaigns after he graduated from college and moved to California to pursue acting.

“It was a very different Republican party growing up in the ’50s and ’60s,” Karger said. “It’s moved so far to the right that I’m concerned.”

Part of the West Coast’s appeal was that it would put some distance between his two lives. Growing up gay hadn’t been easy, and Karger stayed in the closet until he was 41.

“There were no role models or anything,” he said. “It’s better now, but we have so far to go. I want to be able to reach out to these kids, let them know it’s OK. You can do anything you want to do with your life, even run for president.”

In his younger years, Karger was frustrated because he couldn’t be a political candidate, fearing discrimination, though he served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of political consulting firm the Dolphin Group from 1977 to 2004.

Simply supporting gay rights proved to haunt him. While working with Los Angeles County Young Republicans against the Briggs Initiative in 1978, which would have banned gay teachers from public schools, Karger made a $100 donation to the cause. Two years later, while he was working on a U.S. Senate campaign, an opponent found a record of the donation and wrote a letter to Karger’s candidate, accusing him of employing someone with a homosexual agenda.

“I still have that letter,” Karger said. “I guess it just scared me back into the closet.”

In 1980, he worked on advertising for Reagan’s presidential campaign. In 1984, he became more active, including work on the Reagan-Bush opposition campaign. Karger led another notable opposition campaign during George H. W. Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign, which panned Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis for furloughing criminals like Willie Horton.

Karger said he avoids personal attacks, but the records of 2012 presidential hopefuls are fair game – especially when it comes to what Karger calls gay bashing.

“I hope to keep those kinds of comments in check, and I will fight fire with fire,” he said. “That’s my background. I know how to do it.”

Though he admired Laguna Beach’s Bob Gentry, the first openly gay major in the U.S., Karger didn’t get involved in gay activism until after his retirement. A campaign to save a historic gay bar grew into a tussle with the National Organization of Marriage in California and Maine.

“It was all pent up in me for so many years,” Karger said.

Karger said his background adds up to a progressive Republican, something once not unheard of. To him, it means caring for the needy in society while shrinking government, supporting gay civil rights and balancing the budget. To Karger, that means doing the right thing instead of worrying about reelection.

“We cannot continue this cowardly government. These politicians and the Republicans, I’m very disappointed,” he said. “I’m very worried that even the Republicans are caving. They need to take the lead, particularly on the budget.”


As Karger continues to work for national recognition, many Orange County Republicans still haven’t heard of him.

Allan Bartlett, a member of the Republican Central Committee who identifies himself with Tea Party and libertarian values, said he’s simply looking for any candidate who will tell the truth.

fred pic

Fred Karger, 61, poses for a photo at Laguna Beach City Hall. Karger made his name in Laguna Beach as a Laguna Beach gay rights activist in his effort to save the landmark Boom Boom Room and Laguna Beach’s gay heritage. Karger has filed paperwork to run for president.


“I don’t think we get the truth from most of the candidates,” he said. “They’re too handled. They’re too timid to talk about the things that really need to be addressed.”

Any candidate who runs should focus on the economy, he added.

“The candidate really needs to stay on message about how they’re going to create jobs,” Bartlett said.

Frank Ricchiazzi, a Laguna Beach resident and founding member of the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay and lesbian Republican grassroots organization, said he’s most interested in Karger’s stance on the issues.

“I would be looking for someone who is going to be strong on fiscal, strong with the military and strong with cutting the government,” he said. “I don’t think either of these three issues have to do with someone being gay.”

The fight for gay equality has come a long way, he added, and he prefers not to focus on labels.

“We’re Americans first, just trying to do the right thing,” Ricchiazzi said.

To Jared Cox, a member of Orange County Log Cabin Republicans, gay equality should have a place in both parties’ discussions, along with fiscal responsibility.

“We’ve seen Obama say one thing and do another as far as the gay community is concerned. We saw gay rights advocates falsely represent Obama campaign material. … The success of a candidate really depends on the emotional appeal to the votership as a whole,” he said.

Scott Voigts, a Lake Forest city councilman and member of the conservative California Republican Assembly, said one issue stands out to him.

“Right now, we need to look at fiscal restraint,” he said.


To become president, a person needs a combination of money, position and name recognition, said Fred Smoller, association professor of political science and director of public administration at Brandman University. Without those prerequisites, Karger’s chances are slim.

“I don’t think being gay will help or hurt him,” Smoller said.

Orange County also presents somewhat of a problem for would-be national politicians, he added.

“Because Orange County has no mayor, despite the number of people who live here … and the amount of wealth we have, we’re unable to propel people to statewide office,” he said.

To make a difference as an unknown, Karger said it’s imperative for him to get into debates against other candidates. Requirements in the 18 debates he’s researched can include $25,000 fees to local Republican parties or winning 1 percent support in a national poll.

“I have not been included in any polls yet,” Karger admits.

His first target is a May 5 debate in South Carolina, and if he can’t make entry there, he’ll start looking to get in the next one.

“I promise you I will. I’ve been saying this for a year,” Karger said. “Now I’m actually very convinced.”

Because of a reporting error, Fred Smoller’s title was incorrect in an earlier version of this story that appeared on

Contact the writer: or 949-454-7309

Email Update: April 27, 2011

Apr 26, 2011

TO:  Mrs. Karen Floyd, Chair, South Carolina Republican Party

Mr. Joel Sawyer, Executive Director, South Carolina Republican Party

Mr. Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO, News Corporation

Mr. Roger Ailes, President, Fox News Channel

DATE:  April 27, 2011

RE:   South Carolina Debate


First, thank you all very much for my invitation to the May 5, 2011 South Carolina Republican Presidential Debate in Greenville.  I was honored to be invited, but your criteria were apparently designed to keep me off of the stage at the Peace Center next Thursday night.

I would like to take issue with two of your five requirements:

  • You state that in order to be in the South Carolina debate, “one must have garnered at least an average of 1% in five national polls based on most recent polling.”
  • You state that one “must register a presidential exploratory committee or have announced a formal campaign for president.”
Telephone Polling

Michael Clemente, senior vice president of Fox News Network, said in the Los Angeles Times on April 25, 2011 that, “Because the field is forming so late this cycle, there are not as many polls as there were at this stage in previous cycles.”

A random sample of national polls show the difficulty pollsters are having in the current Republican primary cycle.  Each poll includes a wide array of different names, many of whom have not indicated the slightest interest in running for President in 2012.  Poll results are skewed dramatically, and many candidates and potential candidates are often left off these “traditional polls” completely.

Buddy Roemer and I have been left off nearly every national poll.   Neither of us meets your requirement of “garnering 1% in five national polls,” because he and I have not been in five national polls.  Yet Buddy Roemer is scheduled to be in Thursday’s debate, and I am not.

Digital and Straw Polling

I have, however, been included in numerous online and straw polls.  The reach of these polls is far greater, they are not limited to a small sample of landline participants, they include more younger people and overall better reflect voter opinion.

I won the St. Anselm New Hampshire Straw Poll on March 31, 2011.  Voters from eight different states participated.  New Hampshire’s WMUR TV reported on my win over Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum:  CLICK HERE

Below are polls that have included me, two of which I won:

  1. White House 2012 Poll April 18, 2011             Fred Karger: 2%
  2. Huffington Post Poll  April 15, 2011                 Fred Karger: 12%* (3rd of 17)
  3. Huffington Post Poll April 1, 2011                    Fred Karger 16%* (2nd of 17)
  4. St Anselm College Straw Poll March 31, 2011   Fred Karger: 25%
  5. SodaHead Opinions  March 12, 2011               Fred Karger: 78%

    *estimated percentages

If you pay a filing fee, you become a Candidate

According to the Federal Election Commission, an individual may conduct a variety of testing-the-waters activities in the Exploratory Committee phase.  Certain activities, however, indicate that an individual has decided to become a candidate. For example, the exemption does not apply if the individual: Seeks ballot access. 11 CFR 100.72(b) and 100.131(b), which is the case with the five or more participants that you have included in your May 5, 2011 debate.

Candidates with Exploratory Committees Cannot Seek Ballot Access

One of the criteria for the South Carolina debate is that participants must form an exploratory committee or a presidential campaign and file with the Federal Election Commission.  One of the other criteria is to register with the South Carolina Republican Party to be on the ballot in South Carolina, which includes paying a $25,000 filing fee.

The FEC considers an individual to be in the exploratory phase until he or she has filed as a candidate or has conducted the activity of a candidate.  One of the activities that demonstrate to the FEC that an individual has become a candidate is that he “Seek(s) Ballot Access.”  Federal Election Law 11 CFR 100.72(b) clearly defines this as: “The individual has taken action to qualify for the ballot under State law.”

By making debate participants file the paperwork and pay the associated fee to gain ballot access in South Carolina, the FEC would consider these debate participants no longer in the exploratory phase, but candidates for a federal election.  Therefore, before paying their filing fee to the South Carolina Republican Party, all debate participants would need to immediately file a statement of candidacy with the FEC.

Buddy Roemer

Already, one invited debate participant who you have announced will participate in the debate next Thursday has begun fundraising to pay the $25,000 filing fee.  An April 22, 2011 email to supporters from the official exploratory committee of Buddy Roemer says:

“At this time I have an urgent task for you. There is a presidential forum scheduled for May 5th in South Carolina to be aired on Fox News. To be on the ballot in South Carolina and included in the forum, it requires a fee of $25,000. We need your immediate help to raise $25,000.”

I am the only invited debate participant that has formally filed with the FEC as a candidate for president. Therefore, I should be able to seek access to the South Carolina Republican Primary ballot and be in the dabate.

One week ago I met with Joel Sawyer in the SCGOP Headquarters in Columbia.  As the only declared candidate for President who was invited to the May 5, 2011 debate, I offered to write out a check for $25,000 to file for the South Carolina Primary and be in the debate.  I was refused, but that offer remains on the table.

Fred about to offer to pay the $25,000 filing fee to be in the South Carolina GOP Debate when he met with Executive Director Joel Sawyer in his office.  The SCGOP won’t let Fred in!

The contradictory criteria for the May 5, 2011 South Carolina debate invites scrutiny, because of what appears to be the arbitrary way in which the SCGOP and Fox News includes participants to its debate.

Best regards,

Fred Karger

cc: Distribution


April 22, 2011

Gay GOP candidate seeks voice in Greenville debate

Fred Karger so far doesn’t meet polling threshold

By Rudolph Bell

Staff Writer

An openly gay man seeking the Republican nomination for president wants to join the upcoming GOP debate in Greenville, but so far doesn’t meet a requirement that participants average at least 1 percent in five national polls.

Fred Karger, a Californian who worked on numerous Republican campaigns before retiring as a political operative, said he is running in part to call the GOP back to the “big tent” concept of inclusiveness… (more)

For link to full story, Click Here


Issue #24.17: 04/27/2011 – 05/03/2011

Openly Gay, Jewish GOP White House Hopeful Campaigns in S.C.

by Corey Hutchins

Fred Karger is the openly gay, Jewish Republican presidential candidate that you’ve never heard of. And while he’s certainly not going to change the first four qualifiers after his name, he’s trying to do something about the last.

On April 22, Karger, who officially announced his candidacy on March 23, was campaigning in the Palmetto State and meeting with party officials about getting into the GOP debate set for May 5 in Greenville that’s being organized in part by Fox News… (more)

For link to full story, Click Here


KCCI Des Moines

Apr 26, 2011

Fred Frisbees Fly At GOP Event

kcci logo

POSTED: 4:43 pm CDT April 26, 2011

UPDATED: 5:17 pm CDT April 26, 2011

For link to story, Click Here

DES MOINES, Iowa — A Republican candidate for president talked politics, his experience and threw out Fred Frisbees to the crowd on Tuesday.


Fred Karger, 61, has 35 years of experience in politics and has worked on nine Republican presidential campaigns. He has also served as senior consultant to former President Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford.

He spoke to a crowd Tuesday morning at Drake University in Des Moines.

Karger said he didn’t come to the decision seek the Republican nomination in 2012 lightly. He said he will run an unconventional campaign aimed at getting younger people involved.

“I just want to get young people involved in the process — in my campaign, and into the Republican Party. In particular, open up the Republican Party, very contrary to some who are running who are wanting to close the flaps of the tent and limit the people that are coming here. I’m approaching students, everybody,” said Karger.

Karger also said his campaign will be strategic and utilize the latest in digital media technology.

Karger was born in Chicago and is the first openly gay candidate to run for President of the United States. In August 2010, Karger announced that he had formed an exploratory committee and in March officially announced his campaign.

You can learn more about this candidate at