CBS News: “Fred Karger, Gay Republican, Airs 2012 Presidential Ad”

Nov 23, 2010

cbs news

November 23, 2010 6:07 PM

Fred Karger, Gay Republican, Airs 2012 Presidential Ad

Posted by Stephanie Condon

For link to article, Click Here

Fred Karger, a now-openly gay Republican and former Ronald Reagan aide, is running an ad in Iowa to drum up support for a possible 2012 presidential bid. It’s the first presidential ad to air in Iowa, home of the opening presidential caucuses.

The 90-second ad will air twice a day on Fox News for one week throughout the state, according to the Atlantic.

In the ad, Karger calls himself an “independent Republican” who has supported both Republicans and Democrats and has fought for civil rights.

“I’m concerned that the partisan rancor is only going to continue and get in the way of our country’s progress,” Karger says. “I learned from my mentor Ronald Reagan the importance of getting along.”

He says he is “seriously considering” running for president in 2012 and urges Iowans to donate to his campaign. Karger, who previously aired a one-minute ad in New Hampshire, seeks to raise $5 million, the Atlantic reports.

The retired political consultant has never held elected office and acknowledged at a press conference today that his possible candidacy is “a little presumptuous,” Radio Iowa reports.

Karger said he is researching legal strategies for securing a spot on stage during the early televised primary debates, which he said would represent a “victory.”

He also reportedly acknowledged the uphill battle he faces as a gay Republican.

“As I look at the Republican Party membership here (in Iowa) and I’ve seen polls, you know, 80 percent self-identify evangelical, and I don’t know how open they are initially to an openly gay candidate if I do decide to run,” he said.

Karger said he aimed to emulate groundbreaking political candidates like Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American to run for president, and to make the Republican party more open to gays, Radio Iowa reports.

“I’m a fighter. I’m fighting for millions of people around this country who are members of my community and so many others who are deemed second class citizens,” Karger said. “We will no longer accept that classification.”

Karger will appear on’s daily webshow “Washington Unplugged” next Thursday, Dec. 2. “Washington Unplugged” airs daily on at 12:30 p.m. ET.


Eastern Iowa Government: Possible 2012 Hopeful to Visit Iowa

Nov 19, 2010

E IA Govt logo

For link, Click Here

Possible 2012 GOP hopeful to visit Iowa

November 19, 2010, 3:41 pm

By From a Media Release


Fred Karger, a possible 2012 presidential candidate, will visit Iowa Nov. 23 to unveil his first Iowa commercial and announce his exploratory committee’s state director.

karger photo

Fred Karger

His press conference will be at 11 a.m., Nov. 23, 2010 at Embassy Suites on the River, Des Moines.

Karger, long active in Republican Party politics, would be the first openly gay candidate to seek the presidential nomination of a major political party.

If he runs, it would be as an “independent Republican” and would likely be the only true outsider in the field, Karger said.

“I would be an unconventional candidate, and if I run, I will wage an unconventional campaign,” he said. Among his goals would be to redefine the Republican Party.

He plans to discuss issues important to the gay and lesbian community: ending the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, passing the federal Employment Anti-Discrimination Act, eliminating the federal Defense of Marriage Act and make same-sex marriage the law of the land, and make finding a cure for HIV / AIDS and a vaccine to prevent HIV a national priority.

“Our nation is facing many challenges right now,” Karger said earlier this year when he announced his exploratory committee. “We need new and creative leaders to solve them.

“I will work tirelessly to bring back the spirit in every man, woman and child to help remake America the land of opportunity and equality for all,” he said.

Karger is a partner of the Dolphin Group and has managed numerous federal, state and local campaigns.  He ran several successful opposition campaigns, including heavy involvement in three presidential races.


Iowa Politics: Potential 2012 Presidential Candidate to Debut Iowa Commercial, Name Staff

Nov 19, 2010

iowa politics logo

Karger exploratory committee: Potential 2012 presidential candidate to debut first Iowa commercial, name staff


MEDIA ADVISORY: November 19, 2010

CONTACT: 515-783-0932

For link, Click Here

(DES MOINES) — Fred Karger, a possible 2012 Presidential candidate, is making another trip to the Hawkeye State to unveil his first Iowa commercial and name his exploratory committee’s state director.

WHAT: Fred Karger Presidential Exploratory Committee Press Conference

WHEN: Tuesday, November 23, 2010

11 AM

WHERE: Embassy Suites on the River

101 E Locust St

Des Moines, Iowa

14 States in 14 Days

Nov 11, 2010

Fred’s Commercials are “In the Can”

IOWA CITY, IA & HANOVER, NH – It was a busy last week in New Hampshire after a similar one in Iowa the week before.  Filmmaker John Keitel was in full production mode as he shot two new commercials for the Fred Karger Presidential Exploratory Committee.  The first spot titled, “Independence Day,” which is an Iowa specific video, was shot throughout eastern and central Iowa the week before.

Then last week Fred, John and crew were all over the Granite State.  We began in and around Dartmouth College in Hanover, and worked our way two hours south and east to end up Friday in Durham, home of the University of New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire spot is called “Frisbee,” (working title), and will be a fun and zany video geared to go viral on YouTube.  It has a science fiction theme and took four days to shoot.

Here are a couple of photos from a wet New Hampshire.  We had to shoot around the rain, but got everything done.


Our Dartmouth College Coordinator, Jon Lohse (left) was there to help John Keitel (right) shoot the video.  The streets were not watered down for the filming, that was done by Mother Nature.


Here I am getting ready for Take 2.


Go Wildcats and Fred Who?!


A Fred Who? T-shirt invasion? Or was it just the end of a fun Fred Frisbee game?  You’ll have to wait to see John’s short viral video when it is released.  Coming to a YouTube channel near you soon!

Thanks to everyone who helped out all week.  Special thanks to John (with camera), Shane Miller (third from left) and Lee Hunter (center with arm in the air).  You were all incredible!

14 States (Plus DC) in 14 Days

Some were by land, some were for connections and some were by train, but I hit CA, CO, IA, IL, NY, CT, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, MA, NH, ME on my last trip between October 25th and November 6th.  I was in Washington, DC for election night at the Politico Party at Newseum.  Great event!

Fred in the News

This wonderful story came out last week by Dan Walters, senior political reporter and columnist for the Sacramento Bee.  Dan Walters is the highly respected dean of the California political press corps.


Link to article, CLICK HERE

The latest on California politics and government

By Dan Walters

November 1, 2010


PHOTO CREDIT: Fred Karger at a federal courthouse in January 2010. Bryan Patrick, Sacramento Bee.

Fred Karger labored in California’s political vineyards for years, managing Republicans’ campaigns for office, but made a national name for himself two years ago as a major player in the opposition to Proposition 8, the measure to outlaw same-sex marriage.

Karger, who focused on the Mormon church’s role in Proposition 8′s passage, now is setting his political sights higher by running for president as a gay rights advocate and has made numerous trips to the early 2012 primary and caucus states of New Hampshire and Iowa.

“New Hampshire’s starting to feel like a second home,” Karger says on his presidential campaign website. “I’ve just wrapped up my 8th trip to the Granite State, and it was a whirlwind.”

The Des Moines Register, meanwhile, included Karger in its account of the early presidential hopefuls in that state, which will select convention delegates by caucus.

The Register story can be found here and Karger’s campaign website is here.

Sacramento Bee  Dan Walters’ Column

New Hampshire Insider  Fred in Iowa and NH

Bilerico  FKPEC

LGBT POV  Midterm Elections

Indiana Daily Student  FKPEC

Surf our Web

Be sure to visit our new and constantly improving web site:  Back in California for while to get caught up, get our commercials finished and start the fund-raising in earnest.

The Des Moines Register: Potential ’12 Contenders Visiting Before Election

Nov 1, 2010



Potential ’12 Contenders Visiting Before Election

By JASON CLAYWORTH • • October 26, 2010

An army of possible 2012 Republican presidential candidates is marching into Iowa, the nation’s first caucus state, in this final week of the midterm election cycle.

 On the list: former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, gay civil rights Republican activist Fred Karger, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Except Karger, all say they are on the campaign trail to stump for governor candidate Terry Branstad and other Republican candidates or their issues. But they are also promoting – at least indirectly – their own national political prominence.  CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

This was a HUGE breakthrough, to be included in the “pack,” and…


We had a very busy and exciting four days in Iowa last week.

Research Director Kevin Miniter, filmmaker John Keitel and I arrived in Des Moines on Monday and drove the two hours to Iowa City.  We began Tuesday morning on a beautiful Iowa Fall day at the University of Iowa.  I was invited to give three speeches at Iowa that day.

The first was to Outlaws, the LGBTQ law students organization.  It was a great group of about 20 students who heard my story, and then peppered me with issue questions and got to see my commercial “Good Morning New Hampshire”,  CLICK HERE TO VIEW  and the incredible video by Real World Star Mike Manning with a wonderful message.  CLICK HERE TO VIEW


Stimulating conversation with Outlaws, the LGBTQ Law Students at U of I.

From there we headed to wonderful Professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig’s family law class.  As a guest lecturer, I spoke about my 3 decade history of political opposition research and campaigns, the national political climate and took a range of questions.


This was my first law school class where I was a guest lecturer.  Didn’t get any apples, but the students did seem interested in what I had to say.  Lots of great questions.

Then at 9:00 pm I was the speaker before the very impressive University of Iowa College Republicans. The club had quite a couple a weeks.  They came under fire from the school paper for hosting very conservative Iowa Congressman, Steve King.  Club Chairwoman Natalie Ginty defended their speakers in an excellent op ed in the Daily Iowan and spoke about their larger, inclusive ideology:  CLICK HERE TO READ

As chairwoman of the UI College Republicans, I pride myself on bringing speakers to campus who will share viewpoints and ideas that college students don’t normally get to hear. This semester alone, we have hosted former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, Rep. Jeff Kaufmann, R-Wilton, congressional candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks, gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad, and Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn.


The CR’s were full of questions about campaigns past and present.

The next day was filled with meetings, a drive to Cedar Rapids, then Des Moines and finally up to Ames to attend and speak at a fun Halloween party at Iowa State University.


The costume party was put on by the Alliance and included a crazy costume contest!

Along with all the activities, we managed to film the first of our two new commercials.  The Iowa spot is called “Independence Day,” and was shot all around the state.  The commercial is being made by award winning filmmaker John Keitel


Here we are in front of the old Capitol building in Iowa City – what a site!!!


It was a little windy, but a beautiful fall day in Grinnell.


Fred to Visit New Hampshire This Week for Trip #9

We arrive back in the Granite State this Wednesday on a four day post midterm elections swing.

John will be filming a second new commercial, called “Frisbee” (working title), which will be shot throughout New Hampshire this week.  Shooting will begin Thursday and carry over until Friday at Dartmouth College, and Saturday at the University of New Hampshire.


Fred Frisbees will be flying all over New Hampshire this week!

Everyone is welcome to come to the filmings.  We will be organizing Frisbee games at both schools.  All participants will receive a Free Fred Who? T-shirt and a Fred Frisbee (while supplies last).  If you’re in or around New Hampshire this week and want to be part of the fun, here’s the schedule:

Thursday, November 4th 11:30 am — meet at the Green at the entrance to Dartmouth campus, Hanover, NH.

Friday, November 5th 11:30 am — in case of really bad weather Thursday, meet at the same place, the Green.

Saturday, November 6th  11:00 am to 12:00 noon – meet at the field adjacent to Cowell Stadium, home to the University of New Hampshire Wildcats, Durham, NH.

Questions, call Kevin  202-365-2321 or

Thank you!!!

Please be sure to vote TUESDAY!!!