Discrimination Complaint Against the American Conservative Union


Discrimination Complaint Against the American Conservative Union

The American Conservative Union Foundation, the 501(c)3 arm of the American Conservative Union (ACU), runs an annual conference called CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) in Washington, DC.  It boasts that it is “the largest gathering of conservative leaders and activists in the country.”  Each year the conference brings more than 10,000 attendees to the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

As a Republican candidate for President, I had hoped to be invited to speak at CPAC 2012, but once again I was not invited to join my fellow candidates.  So I applied to purchase an exhibitor booth at the CPAC trade show.  Having been denied a booth last year because CPAC claimed it was “sold out,” I applied extra early this time on November 30, 2011.  I sent in my application in so early in fact that I qualified for the “early bird discount.”  I was sure this time that CPAC could not use the same excuse as last year, but it turned out that it did.  CPAC has denied my request to purchase a booth at their trade show for the second year in a row.

I have never heard back from anyone with CPAC, but they issued a statement when asked about my application on January 24, 2012.  CPAC communications director Kristy Campbell told BuzzFeed, “The ACU is sold out of exhibitor space for CPAC 2012, and priority is given to previous sponsors and partner organizations.”


My Application to CPAC 2012

 

On November 12, 2011, I sent an email to CPAC asking when the exhibitor booths go on sale for the February 2012 conference.  Two days later on November 14, 2011, Jillian Weleski, Deputy CPAC Director, responded by email, “Exhibitor booths for CPAC 2012 are currently on sale.”  She attached the application and the information package, and finished her email by saying “Please let me know if you have any questions.”

 

I spoke to her by phone on November 29, 2011, and she walked me through the application process.  I was told that all applicants were screened by a committee to make sure that the applicants for exhibitor booths were in keeping with the “values of CPAC,” and that I would hear back within one week.

 

The next day on November 30, 2011, I faxed my application to Ms. Weleski for a booth (application and fax receipt attached), along with my credit card information to cover the $2,000 booth rental fee.  By submitting my application on November 30, 2011, I met the deadline for the “early bird discount” and would save $500.  I was sure that CPAC was not sold out that early.  One week went by and no word from CPAC.  Then a second week went by, still no word from CPAC.

 

Beginning December 15, 2011, I called or emailed Ms. Weleski every few days.  I also called Al Cardenas, the Chairman of the American Conservative Union at his office in Florida.  I never received a call back from him either.

 

Legitimate Candidate for President

I am currently one of the six 2012 Republican Presidential candidates still running.  I received more votes than two invited CPAC speakers in the recent New Hampshire Primary, Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain.  I was the first to file in person to be on the New Hampshire ballot.  I am one of the six candidates still running who appears on the Michigan, Puerto Rico and Maryland ballots.  I will be on other state ballots in several more upcoming primaries as well.  Throughout the primary process, I have been tied with Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann , Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry and beat Rick Santorum in many national polls.

 

I have repeatedly stated that I will be in the Republican Presidential Primary for the long haul.  I have been profiled in hundreds of publications including the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Jerusalem Post, The Observer, OC Weekly and Chicago Magazine.   Stephen Sackur host of BBC’s HardTalk interviewed its first 2012 Republican candidate when he interviewed me.  Fox News, MSNBC, CBS News, New Hampshire’s WMUR TV, The Manchester Union Leader, The Des Moines Register, Politico and The Huffington Post all regularly include me in stories and on their lists of 2012 candidates.

CPAC’s History of LGBT Inclusion

In 2010 and 2011, GOProud, a gay Republican organization was an exhibitor at CPAC.  GOProud’s inclusion led to threatened boycotts by some major far right organizations.  David Keene, then the Chairman of the ACU stood up to them and stated, “CPAC is inclusive and welcomes all of those who agree with us on most issues.  I don’t know the GOProud people personally, but we find it difficult to exclude groups because of disagreements on one or two issues no matter how important many of us believe those issues to be.”

 

That was the right thing to do.

The campaign to ban the participation of gay groups was spearheaded by Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (ATAH) and the Liberty Council.  The Southern Poverty Law Center lists ATAH as a Hate Group.  The Southern Poverty Law Center defines Hate Groups as groups that “have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”  ATAH states on its website that homosexuality is a “lethal behavior addiction,” and that gays ran the German Nazi Party.

 

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists Liberty Council with its list of anti-gay hate groups.  J. Matt Barber, who has led the anti-gay CPAC campaign for the Liberty Council, has argued that there is “medical evidence about the dangers of homosexuality.”

 

The other organizations that joined in the campaign to exclude gay groups are the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and the National Organization for Marriage.  The Southern Poverty Law Center has included these three organizations with its list of Anti-Gay Hate Groups.

 

GOProud was allowed to purchase exhibitor booths at the 2010 and 2011 CPAC trade show, but was not invited back in 2012.

 

New ACU Chairman Al Cardenas announced after the 2011 CPAC that diversity would end, and caved in to the pressure and voted to “realign plans for those who participate next year to exclude homosexual advocacy.”   Translation – no gays allowed.

 

A copy of the letter from ACU Executive Director Gregg Keller to GOProud is below.  In it he tells GOProud that they are no longer allowed to sponsor or exhibit at CPAC.



First Openly Gay Presidential Candidate and
First Jewish Republican Presidential Candidate

I am making history every day as the first openly gay candidate of a major political party to run for President of the United States, and I am doing so as a Republican.  I am also the first Jewish Republican candidate to run for president and be on state ballots.  Would CPAC refuse to rent me an exhibitor booth because of my religion?  I doubt it.

 

I have been a Republican my entire life, and was a Republican political consultant for 27 years.  I have worked on nine presidential campaigns including those of Presidents’ Ford, Reagan and George H W Bush.  I have managed or been involved with dozens more federal, state and local campaigns.  My Republican credentials are impeccable.

 

CPAC Denies My Rights Because I am Openly Gay

Al Cardenas and his American Conservative Union have violated my civil rights and certainly appear to be in direct violation of the District of Columbia’s 1977 Human Rights Act.

 

The Washington, DC Human Rights Act was passed to “secure an end in the District of Columbia to discrimination for any reason other than that of individual merit” and specifically forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation.  The Human Rights Act forbids discrimination in “any place of public accommodation.”

 

The Act further states, “It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to do any of the following acts, wholly or partially for a discriminatory reason based on the actual or perceived… sexual orientation… To deny, directly or indirectly, any person the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodations.”

 

CPAC has held its annual conference at the Marriot Wardman Park Hotel for many years.  This hotel is located at 2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington, DC 20008.  The hotel is well within the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia and well within the authority of the Human Rights Act.

 

My individual merit has me currently as one of the top six candidates in the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary.  My individual merit has convinced Secretaries of State across America to include me on their state ballots.  My individual merit has convinced thousands of voters to vote or caucus for me.

 

My individual merit should qualify me to rent an exhibitor booth at CPAC’s 2012 trade show.  CPAC discriminated against me when it denied me equal enjoyment of the facilities of public accommodations at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC for the second year in a row.

 

The District of Columbia has always been a leading advocate for Human Rights and a leader in equality for all.  Therefore, I ask the DC Office of Human Rights to immediately investigate my claim of discrimination by the American Conservative Union Foundation.  I would like to be allowed to rent a booth at this year’s CPAC Conference which begins February 9, 2012.
Thank you very much for your help.

 

Best regards,

 

Fred Karger

Buzz Feed: January 24, 2012

Politics

Gay Candidate Alleges Discrimination At Conservative Gathering

Fred Karger says they’re ignoring his request for a booth.
Another gay fight at CPAC!

For link to story, CLICK HERE.

 

Posted

Fred Karger, a former Reagan aide and openly gay minor Republican candidate for president, is threatening to file a discrimination claim against the Washington, D.C. Conservative Political Action Conference, a major annual gathering of the right.

CPAC has been the stage for a series of fights over gay rights, centered on the confrontational gay conservative group GOProud. Karger told BuzzFeed he sought to rent a booth starting in November, but that his application has been ignored by the American Conservative Union, which organizes the gathering. (Last year, he was told his application was too late.)

“CPAC hopes to once again deny my right to free speech by not allowing me to meet thousands of political activists who would come by my booth. I am sure it is because I am gay,” Karger told BuzzFeed, reciting a resume that includes 30 years working in Republican politics for a slew of candidates. “Now I do not meet CPAC’s moral criteria because I came out of the closet,” he said.

“If I am not allowed to rent a booth at CPAC’s Trade Show this year, I plan on filing a formal complaint under Washington DC’s Human Rights Act,” he said. “The Act was established in 1977 to protect all individuals from discrimination under its Public Accommodations’ section. The Act clearly states that it is unlawful to deny any person the full and equal enjoyment of facilities.”

CPAC communications director Kristy Campbell didn’t directly address Karger’s charge in an email, but said, “The ACU is sold out of exhibitor space for CPAC 2012, and priority is given to previous sponsors and partner organizations.”

Karger has found little traction in the primary process, though he has gotten his name on the ballot in several jurisdictions. The CPAC confrontation, though, may offer a bit of traction for his campaign to force gay rights into the Republican conversation.

 

 

 

LGBT / POV & Frontiers Magazine: January 21, 2012

Why Fred Karger Isn’t Just Tilting at Windmills

by Karen Ocamb on January 23, 2012

For link to story, CLICK HERE.

This article is from the new issue of Frontiers magazine.

Reading his email dispatches as he traveled to Iowa, New Hampshire and now Michigan for his Republican presidential campaign, it’s easy to think of Fred Karger as a modern-day Don Quixote. Surely, like the fictional Man from La Mancha, Karger is tilting at windmills as he dreams the impossible dream of an openly gay man becoming president of the United States.

But the Los Angeles-based candidate says he has role models and mentors who instilled in him the dream and the experience to make it happen. Before Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama competed for the Democratic nomination in 2008, there was Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress. Karger reminded Frontiers during a long lunch interview in West Hollywood on Jan. 18, that on Jan. 25, 1972, Chisholm became the first major-party black candidate for president and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress, was the first woman to run for the Republican presidential nomination.

“I’ve always been a frustrated candidate, but I knew I could never run for office because I was gay and I was not out,” said Karger, chuckling at how he captured 137 more votes than anti-gay Rep. Michele Bachmann in the New Hampshire primary. Karger skipped the North Carolina primary and was barred from the ballot in Florida.

But watching the Jan. 19 CNN Republican presidential debate in South Carolina at home was frustrating, especially since much of the news centered on charges Newt Gingrich’s second wife Marianne made in an interview to ABC News that Gingrich wanted an “open marriage” so he could continue seeing his mistress Callista, now his third wife. Marianne said Gingrich wanted the new marital arrangement at the same time he was slamming President Bill Clinton’s morality for his affair. Gingrich has signed an anti-gay pledge, saying he believes marriage should be between one man and one woman.

But instead of showing contrition or publicly apologizing to his ex-wife, Gingrich blasted CNN’s John King for even asking the question.

“I watched the 17th debate tonight, which was difficult. I really want to be on that stage to talk about my moderate and inclusive views. The debates have gone from nine participants down to four, and for the most part every Republican is portraying himself as a far-right conservative. This is not where the country is, nor [where] the Republican Party should be heading. There should be a diversity of opinion in the debates as there is in the Republican Party,” Karger said in an email after the debate. “The ‘Newt Gingrich and ex-wife number two’ controversy is the classic ‘she said, he said.’ We know that he is a serial adulterer. Newt Gingrich is also a signator on the National Organization for Marriage’s 2012 Marriage Pledge. This identified hate group calls for a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage across the land. Newt should be far more concerned with his marriages and not our ability to marry. I worked for Ronald Reagan, and I am sure that he would blast NOM and those candidates debating tonight for spewing their hate and divineness.”

Indeed, Karger has considerable Republican credibility, but like fellow second-tier candidates former four-term congressman and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, he has been denied the microphone and exposure the debates provide.

Karger has been an avid lifelong Republican. In 1977, Karger was hired by Bill Roberts to work at the Dolphin Group, a Westwood-based political consulting firm. Roberts and his partner Stu Spencer were famous for managing the election of Ronald Reagan for governor of California and his re-election in 1970, as well as working on the presidential campaign of Gerald Ford in 1976. Karger worked on George Deukmejian’s election as attorney general in 1978 and a slew of other federal, state and local campaigns during which he became an expert in opposition research, survey polling and other campaign techniques that the firm had pioneered.

“I learned from the best,” Karger said. “But I knew I could never run for office. It’s just like going to a wedding and sitting there knowing that could never be me up there. I just got used to it. So I worked for dozens of candidates—knowing that I could never run because of my deep, dark secret. Now, when I retired eight years ago, Jan. 1, 2004, I did what I’d been dreaming of doing—which is sleep late, no alarm, travel, worked a couple projects on my house.”

But people nudged him, saying he was too young to retire at 54. “I wanted to do something significant with my life, but I didn’t know what it was. Then I fell into this thing to save the Boom Boom Room in Laguna.” And though he was relentlessly teased because of the name of the bar, his life changed—he officially came out.

“I’d been out to family, friends and co-workers, but I’d never been out publicly,” Karger said. “The fact that I’d worked in Republican politics—I was no [closeted former Republican National Committee Chair Ken] Mehlman—not that stature. And I’d never been involved in anti-gay stuff. But I came out, and [Laguna Beach Mayor] Bob Gentry was my guide. He was my hero, the first openly gay mayor in the United States. He held my hand through the whole thing and gave me the courage to do it.”

Karger’s aggressive campaign to Save the Boom Boom Room also entailed taking on a multi-billionaire—who happened to be Mormon. A subtextual political pattern was developing.

When Prop. 8 came up in 2008, Karger knew he had to somehow be involved in beating back the initiative that would strip same-sex couples of their legal right to marry in California.

Karger met with leaders linked with the ‘No on Prop. 8’ campaign—including Equality California’s Geoff Kors, Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson and Dewey Square campaign consultant Steve Smith—and told them he wanted to do opposition research independently from the campaign.

“I want to make it socially unacceptable to give massive amounts of money to take away the rights of a minority. It should not be bragging rights,” Karger said. “And there’s that famous story in the San Diego Union Tribune when Doug Manchester was gloating about his $125,000 contribution, and this Terry Castor—who ended up giving $693,000—said marriage between two men would create a ‘sick society.’ That pissed me off. So I decided to boycott Manchester.”

The boycott of the San Diego-based Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, launched in July 2008 in coalition with UNITE HERE Local 30, cost the largest hotel in Southern California $7 million in the first eight months. Karger’s description of how this and other boycotts and protests were organized are documented in a new book about his life, which uses as its title the catch phrase for his long-shot presidential campaign: Fred Who?

Through his Californians Against Hate organization, Karger noticed that people were contributing to the ‘Yes on 8’ campaign under different names. “They would give under their spouse’s name, so they put down ‘homemaker.’ I wondered—who are these people? $50,000 from a dentist?” That’s when the Mormon connection surfaced and he got national press. In September, the Wall Street Journal’s Mark Schoofs got on a Mormon conference call and heard orders for Mormons to give $25,000. His exposé prompted Karger to become more aggressive against the Mormons, “to try to stop them—which was too little too late, because that train had left the station.”

But by then he had developed a Mormon following, church members who would send him tips, some of which led to documentation. He discovered that the Mormon involvement in anti-gay marriage activities goes back to 1995. “They were in Prop. 22 [the anti-gay marriage initiative passed by voters in 2000]. They’ve been involved in every single election—invisibly—until we caught them. And they’ve not stopped because they don’t,” Karger said, noting that they continue to be involved, albeit invisibly. “They don’t back away until they get a revelation, and they’ve only had two of those under duress—when the IRS came down on them for polygamy and for not allowing African-Americans membership in the church. That was the most recent—1978. So I’m trying to deliver a revelation.”

Karger’s crusade to force the Church of Latter Day Saints out of the marriage discrimination business has caused the Mormons huge headaches. He filed a formal complaint with the California FAIR Political Practices Commission, charging the church with hiding how deeply involved it was in financially supporting the ‘Yes on 8’ campaign. After an investigation, the FPPC found the church guilty of 13 violations, for which they paid a fine.

Karger has called himself the “anti-Romney” candidate. He believes that a member’s obedience to the LDS Church supersedes loyalty to family and country, and hence, if Mormon Mitt Romney were to become president, he would have no choice but to obey an order from the president of the Mormon Church.

Karger has also gone after the Catholic-centric National Organization for Marriage, filing a formal ethics complaint in Maine about how they hide their political contributors as well. He turned over all his research to the Human Rights Campaign for its ‘NOM Exposed’ website, hoping HRC would follow up.

It was during the summer of 2008 that Karger first considered running for president. “In the middle of all this, I thought, ‘Wow, I’m certainly out now. So what’s stopping me from running for political office? Nothing.’ I want to make a difference, and that was my reason for becoming an activist—because I had a terrible struggle growing up. I had it better than most, because I wasn’t bullied and teased in school, but I had this shame and guilt and confusion all through high school and college and I went to shrinks to try to change. It was not an easy time. So I want to make it easier for younger people. I want to help others,” Karger said.

And even when closeted, that included gay activism. Karger met longtime LGBT activist David Mixner fighting the Briggs Initiative in 1978 when Karger was trying to make the ‘No on 6’ campaign bipartisan.

“First I got the Los Angeles County Young Republicans to come out and oppose it, which was a battle royale,” Karger said. “I was working by day for George Deukmejian for Attorney General, and then at night I would meet at Mixner’s apartment and do whatever I could to make this bipartisan.”

When progressive Democrat George McGovern mentioned the L.A. County Young Republicans at a ‘No on 6’ event, the media went crazy. But that was only a hint of what was to come. “I was part of this team with two guys—I was lower on the totem pole—Marty Dyer and Dennis Hunt, who had been boyfriends and worked for Reagan when he was governor,” Karger said. “They helped get Pete Hannaford involved in the campaign, and Hannaford set up the famous meeting with Mixner and [his consulting partner Peter] Scott with Reagan to ask for Reagan’s endorsement of ‘No on 6.’ We were behind about 2-1 in the polls. Hannaford, who was gay but not out then—this is 1978—said, ‘He’s not going to come out against it. The best we can hope for is that he’ll stay neutral.’ This is after Reagan had run in 1976 and narrowly lost to Ford and was gearing up to run in 1980. Well, after the meeting, Reagan told these guys, ‘I’m going to come out against it,’ and he did. He wrote an op-ed and the polls flipped.”

And that example of bipartisanship is one of the main reasons Karger is running for president. “What I believe is a necessity in our civil rights movement is to have that bipartisanship,” he said, citing GOP support for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the passage of marriage equality in New York. “I wish I had a dollar for every person who said, “How can you be a Republican?” But I’ve been trying to make that change in the Republican Party.”

But his efforts to do that have been stymied by the changing of primary and caucus dates—he has relied heavily on college voters—and getting into the debates. Some of that is a result of the media making decisions about the debate process. Moderate Republican political strategist Mark McKinnon points out in a new Harvard Kennedy School of Government report that Karger, Roemer and Johnson were systematically excluded by the media in a concern about ratings over democracy.

“The process of electing the next president of the United States is not a joke. That leads us to the question: Does the current primary debate process best serve voters, the candidates, the parties and the nation, or is there a better way?” McKinnon writes. “[A]s evidenced by the 2012 Republican primary process, control of the debates has been lost. That is a danger.”

In his report, McKinnon cites the selection criteria for who gets in the debates as a significant problem. “Because of an absence of any central organizing entity or party control, there were no clear or consistent criteria for qualifying for the debates. The criteria changed from debate to debate.

“Fred Karger has gone further than either of his excluded colleagues, filing lawsuits alleging the violation of federal election campaign laws against a pair of debate sponsors that kept him off their stages,” McKinnon writes. “The first case charges the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition of exclusion from their March 7, 2011, Presidential Forum ‘based on the subjective prejudices of the IFFC’s president, Mr. Steve Scheffler.’ Citing an email exchange between himself and Scheffler, Karger claims that he was not invited to the forum based on his support for gay marriage and general advocacy in favor of the ‘radical homosexual community.’

“The second case,” McKinnon continues, “accuses the Fox News Channel and its owner News Corporation of discrimination in spite of Karger meeting the necessary polling numbers for the Aug. 11 debate. ‘It appears that because I met their originally stated criteria, Fox News changed their criteria in order to exclude me,’ concludes Karger.”

With the Republican candidates steadily whittling down, Karger hopes to get on the debate stage in Michigan, where he will be one of the last standing GOP presidential candidates on the ballot.

Whether he gets on the stage or not, Fred Karger has paved the way for other LGBT people to dream the impossible dream of one day being elected president of the United States.

Let Fred Karger into the CNN – SRLC Debate

 

January 19, 2012

Ken Jautz
President, CNN
1 CNN Center
Atlanta, GA 30313

Mark Preston
Political Director, CNN
820 1st Street Northeast
Washington, DC 20002

Governor Nikki Haley
Chairman
Southern Republican Leadership Conference 2012
1205 Pendleton Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Ed McMullen
Chairman
SLRC Board of Directors
P.O. Box 7766
Columbia, South Carolina 29202

 

Dear All:

 

Re:  Let Fred Karger into the CNN – SRLC Debate

 

I am writing to officially request an invitation to the CNN – Southern Republican Leadership Conference on Thursday, January 19, 2012.

 

Seven Is Just Enough

 

The overwhelming majority of Republican primary debates have included eight candidates.  The New Hampshire Primary has proved that I am currently one of the top eight candidates in the 2012 Republican presidential primary.  I beat Michele Bachmann by 40%.  Congresswoman Bachmann was in 12 national debates, raised $10 to $12 million, received massive news coverage, has huge name ID and we beat her in New Hampshire.  I have scored 2% or 1% in more than a dozen national polls that have included me and have tied Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry and beat Rick Santorum in many of these.  That is correct; I have tied all of my Republican presidential primary opponents in methodologically sound polls of primary voters except for Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.  I am now only one of seven Republicans actively running for president who will appear on Michigan’s GOP ballot in February, Puerto Rico’s in March and Maryland’s ballot in April and I will be competing in other state primaries and caucuses as well.

 

Mark McKinnon – Harvard Kennedy School Weigh in on Debates

 

Mark McKinnon, former Senior Media Advisor for President George W. Bush, Global Vice Chair for Hill & Knowlton and the Reidy Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, just published an extensive research paper on the 2012 Republican Primary Debates.  In his 30 page report, “Going Rogue: Time to Reform the Presidential Primary Debates,” Mr. McKinnon found that “the selection criteria for the 2012 Republican primary debates and forums have been constant only in the candidates excluded.”  The four excluded candidates were my three peers and me.  The other three have left the Republican Primary:  Gary Johnson, Thaddeus McCotter and Buddy Roemer.  The main criteria for these debates have been polling.  With the help of researchers from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Mark McKinnon has proven that “given the insignificant difference between a one percent or 2 percent polling number, particularly early in the primary calendar, it is easy to question the entire system upon which the criteria for entering into primary debates has been constructed.”  In his conclusion, McKinnon asserted, “The 2012 presidential primary debates went rogue.”

 

CNN Breaks the Rules for Perry

 

Eric Kleefeld of the Talking Points Memo reported that CNN breaks it’s own rules to include Governor Rick Perry in the CNN – SLRC South Carolina Debate.  CNN DC Bureau Chief Sam Feist explained that Rick Perry does qualify because a subset of a CBS poll that does not allow participants to choose “Someone Else” shows Perry at 7%.  This is the same logic that Governor Gary Johnson used to prove he qualified for the CNN – WMUR – St. Anselm College Debate in June but that CNN rejected.  By including Governor Perry, CNN has changed its “pre-established objective criteria” and thus is in violation of Federal Election Laws.  Rick Perry and I received less than 1% of the vote in the First-in-the-Nation Primary, so why did CNN not include me in the South Carolina Debate as well?

 

Extensive International, National and Regional Media Coverage

 

Google’s search engine has 1,740,000 listings for me.  I have been interviewed and profiled in thousands of stories including the Los Angeles TimesThe Washington Post The Chicago Tribune, The Jerusalem Post, the Observer , The Guardian, The OC Weekly and Chicago Magazine . BBC’s HardTalk interviewed its first 2012 Republican candidate when Steven Sackur interviewed me.  Fox News, ABC, MSNBC, CBS News, New Hampshire’s WMURThe Manchester Union LeaderThe Des Moines RegisterPolitico and The Huffington Post all regularly include me in their lists of 2012 candidates.   I have appeared on CBS, ABC, CNBC, NPR, Rachel Maddow, Comedy Central and Thomas Roberts’ show on MSNBC as well as hundreds more TV and radio shows from Slovenia to Australia.

 

CNN & the Southern Republican Leadership Conference Can Make History

 

The Time Has Come.  I should be included in the CNN – SRLC Debate on January 19, 2012 with the other leading Republican candidates.  As the only moderate Republican running for president this cycle, I have many different views on issues and many new ideas that have not yet been talked about in previous debates.  As the first openly gay candidate of a major political party, my appearance on your debate stage will be historic.  What a proud moment that will be for millions of Americans.

 

I look forward to hearing from you, and hope to see you in Charleston on Thursday!

 

Thank you.

 

Best regards,

 

Fred Karger
Fred@FredKarger.com