democracy in action logo


Fred Karger
Aug. 6, 2010  in Washington, DC

INTRODUCTION   |   PART 1-A Career in Campaigns   |   PART 2-The Exploratory Effort  

photo of fred karger

I'm calling myself an Independent Republican because I appeal to them (independents), and I think the American public is tired...of this huge partisan divide.

Democracy in Action: Presidential exploratory effort.  Did that just--you woke up some morning and said this is something I should do or--?  Where did this come from?

Karger: I guess I've always been a frustrated candidate.  I've never run for anything.  I couldn't because of my deepest darkest secret, and so when I got active a little over four years ago in state civil rights and then really active two years ago in Prop. 8 that issue left.  So it freed me, it gave me options I guess. 

And in the middle of the Prop. 8 campaign and I don't even know how or why I just came up with this--that's how I think--as a wild, completely crazy idea.  But I kept it to myself, doing all the different things I was doing during the campaign.  Always in the back of my head though, maybe if everything falls into place I could consider something like this. 

Well I got this Morman Church investigated.  I got a New York Times editorial commending me by name--never thought I'd get a New York Times editorial; if I did it wouldn't be in a good way.  And then the LGBT community didn't know me and I was a Republican and they were suspect of me.  Anyway they started really appreciating what I'm doing.  And more and more; I'd see it with a lot of the leadership.  And then Labor Day of 2009 I got subpoenaed right after I'd gone up to Maine for now my complaint against National Organization for Marriage with the Ethics Commission, I'd filed it.  I hadn't gone there yet, but I'd filed it.  And I get this nice subpoena.  It's right after that.  The National Organization for Marriage has subpoenaed me and I've been making their life miserable 'cause they're so devious and dishonest.  So that was a complete turnaround, because it created a lot of sympathy for me with my community.  They kind of didn't know me and trust me.

Democracy in Action: Are you talking about 2009?  There's still suspicion of you?

Karger: Oh yeah.  Don't forget, none of the organizations, none of the leadership will ever say anything negative not even on television about our opponents.  I mean they try and turn the subject to loving couples and equal rights, and here's this guy who's boycotted four of the largest donors to Prop. 8.  I just am nasty to them.  Very aggessive e-mails attacking Maggie Gallagher [President of NOM], attacking Brian Brown [Executive Director of NOM], not personally but about their statements and their beliefs and everything.  And then going after the Morman Church, who does that?  I filed a complaint and it was a very hard-hitting complaint too.  I mean I didn't mince words and I have all this evidence and they're investigated.  And now I'm going after the National Organization for Marriage.  Nobody does that. 

I'm thinking well what else should we be doing?  They do this.  The Morman Church.  At that point 30 states out of 30, and we're just sitting there being nice about it.  No, they didn't like that.  They didn't want me anywhere around.  Who is this guy?  He's a loose cannon.  We don't know him.  He's going to embarrass us.  He could lose stuff for us.  But I knew I was on the right track. 

So when I got subpoenaed though, it changed everybody, because then they thought, this is a lousy deal.  Here's this guy, and they know it's just me.  I don't have a big operation.  I had one friend helping me out over the summer just looking at the reports.  And so that got me elevated within the community. 

I went from that to fundraising.  My one and only fundraising appeal, because I told the campaign I would not raise money.  I would cover all costs.  I didn't want to be accused of trying to raise money on this or I didn't want to take away money from the No on 8 campaign; as a matter of fact I contributed a couple thousand dollars to that.  And so when it came to the subpoena I sent out one e-mail and I got $25,000 in mostly $5 contributions.  I asked "Five for Fred"  The price of a latte.  It was one of my two tests of the water to see if I had any support out there to do this next step.  You know I'm getting e-mails "good job"  blah blah, but would it translate to money?  Well I did.  I got over a thousand contributors from all over the country.

And that and got the family at Christmas, who kind of reacted in an interesting way, like "What?!"  And so those were my two hurdles.  And then in February I was here and in New Hampshire.

Democracy in Action: The second hurdle was your family?

Karger: You know you have to go, Christmas.  Twelve Kargers.  Varying degrees of enthusiasm.  From the very excited.  Others, my brother, oh, that's the craziest thing I've every heard of.  Which is of course a very natural reaction.

Democracy in Action: So then in February 2010 you made your first trip to New Hampshire?

Karger: Yeah.  I stopped here first, because I wanted to talk about political and gay leadership.  Not to ask their support, just to get acquainted, give them some material on me.  I put a resume together and had some clippings and stuff, and just said two things, two requests: One, keep an open mind; and two, watch what I do.  I'm not asking--in otherwords don't badmouth me right off--

Democracy in Action: Did you get any useful advice from those early meetings?

Karger: I met with this very prominent political attorney formerly of the FEC.  He was the best one.  He said get a haircut every two or three weeks so it always looks the same.  So I was getting--most people would sit there with their jaw dropped.  Which again is a natural reaction, I don't mean to make light of it.  It's so out in left field that they don't know me and know how determined I am, and also my campaign skills, which I'm utilizing, because I'm having to wear a couple of hats at this point.  So it was very good meetings and reaction here, then I went to New York for similar meetings.  Mostly weather related, it was just this miserable cold, freezing rain, wind and I had several appointments that were cancelled...  People canceled.  I was supposed to met with David Mixner; he had to cancel.  So I was discouraged. 

My cousin and his partner drove me up to their, Dave's partner, to his mom for brunch on my way to Connecticut on my way to New Hampshire.  He was going to drive me up there because his grandmother is my aunt who lives there.  All related.

Anyway so I was at this lunch with my cousins.  She's a real activist, she's on the board of GLSEN and her son's gay so she just turned into one of these superstar moms and she's just wonderful.  Anyway I said, I think I'm not going to do this.  And she looked up at me as I was saying good-bye with these kind of teary big brown eyes and said, you have to.  We're just lacking.  We need some leadership.

I never [inaud.] quite like that, it was just this timing, and the whole drive from Connecticut to New Hampshire I thought about this and anyway that was a pivotal turning point.

My first day in New Hampshire, I went to the University of New Hampshire, the Gay-Straight Alliance, and spoke to about 30-40 kids sitting on the floor and talked about my activism and what I did with boycotts and what I was thinking of doing.  The word I came up with was enthralled.  A guy can do this?  And so that was a significant event, and the next night I went to Dartmouth, [inaud.] the legacy there; my grandfather went there.  I went to this hall where he must have gone because it was built in 1901.  He was there close to a hundred years ago.  And met with these nine kids there because it was finals week so it wasn't to busy.  But we just had a great couple of hours of give and take.  And they all Facebook-friended me; they want to help.  I'm thinking if I can organize these kids in New Hampshire, and there are a lot more schools, I could do this.  And that's when I decided I'm going to take this next step.

Democracy in Action: On that first trip did you also talk with local Republican officials or the executive director or chairman of the party?

Karger: Yeah, I met with Andy Leach, who's the executive director.  That was funny.  I called him; he called me right back.  Met with him.  I told him what makes me unique is I'm the first openly gay candidate and gave him a little bio.  Met with me right away in the headquarters, and big conference table.  You could tell they were uncomfortable.  I've been in thousands and thousands of meetings just like that without being openly gay...   I just sensed uneasiness.  They warmed up, both young guys, late 20s, early 30s maybe; they both kind of warmed up after that.

That's part of this too, of what I'm doing.  It's just kind of being out there that people suddenly have to deal with an openly gay candidate in the Republican Party.  You've heard a lot of what I've not and there's a lot more, so it's hard to even question me as far as my credentials go.  It's not like I switched parties or anything.  I've been doing this since I was six or eight. 

So I met here [in DC] in that trip with the Republican Majority for Choice executive director, the number two there; I met with Michael Komo, who's head of the GW Gay-Straight Alliance there, very excited.  So I've kind of mixed it up.  I met with the executive director, Matt Brooks, of the Republican Jewish Coalition, because I also happen to be Jewish.  First Republican Jewish candidate or two [ed. one previous one was Arlen Specter]. I mix it up as I do.  In politics, you kind of go with your strength and your base.

Democracy in Action: In New Hampshire, anyone else you talked to on that first trip?

Karger: Sure.  I did a lot of cold calls.  I'd go into the Concord Chamber.  I went to a luncheon for the Manchester Chamber; ended up sitting next to--  The speaker was Andy Smith, who's at UNH; he's the pollster, he does the polling for candidates, but he also does popular polling too, but he's one of the go-to guys.  I had coffee--that was the day I went to that Gay-Straight Alliance--with Dante Scala.  I called him up; he bought me coffee.  I had been there a day; that was my first day...  He gave me a lot of great advice.  Who to talk to, about the process.  When I met this Andy Smith at this Chamber lunch, he kind of kiddingly said, you want to put you on our next poll?  I go, not yet, not yet; but maybe someday.

That's what I did for a living.  I've been, for candidates, I was organizing from that very first bus tour.  I go into Peoria, not that big, but some small Illinois town, and I'd just do what I'm doing now, and that's what I did for my whole career.  We're going to get a house there.  And I'm going to spend most of the next year and a half in Manchester and around.

Democracy in Action: Can you talk about your first trip to Iowa; when did that happen?

Karger: Kevin was instrumental in that; it was in April.  One Iowa had the first anniversary of the marriages taking effect there, and they had their big fundraising banquet and Kevin's good friend Keegan, who he knew from DC...he's political and said look him up and I had lunch with him and his partner that day and then they invited me to a little pre-party before the dinner that night, and I met everybody, the whole gay political establishment, they're at that dinner.  And sitting at the dinner, the Speaker was there, of the House of Representatives, the President of the State Senate was there; both of their wives got awards, and all these politicians, and I'm just sitting back.  An incredible night, but no Republicans of course.  And then all of the sudden, and here former Lieutenant Governor Joy Corning, Republican.  And so "yeeow" and met her.  Very cool lady; she'd been with this Branstad for two terms, she'd been on the national board of Planned Parenthood when she was lieutenant governor.  We had lunch a couple of days later and she's a very frustrated Republican, like a lot of us.  And I met a lot of the--  On the board of One Iowa there's one Republican on the board; I had breakfast with him.  You just kind of keep networking and Kevin.  He's quite the networker too, and you just meet with one lawyer, Jonathan Wilson, who's a gay attorney at the [Davis] Brown Law Firm, which is the most prominent law firm in the city, a Democrat.  And he goes, oh, you've got to meet one of my partners, Steve Roberts, who's the former Republican state chairman there.  And so Kevin sets that up; that afternoon were back at the Brown Law Firm meeting with him.  So it's that kind of networking.

Democracy in Action: When you meet with Steve Roberts, what objectives do you have?  Just to introduce yourself or introduce yourself and maybe get some suggestions from him?

Karger: Well number one just to get acquainted.  And of course walked in his office and it was just full of pictures with President Ford and all that of course.  He was the national committeeman for ten years, who was beat by this Steve Scheffler guy.  I mean here's a guy who's been so instrumental in Iowa Republican and national Republican politics as a centrist, and he got dumped by this Steve Scheffler, the president of the Iowa Christian Coalition, and the guy who ended up attacking me, which is interesting, soon thereafter.

But this is what we did.  We met with Ray Buckley; we had lunch with Ray Buckley, 'cause I have a good mutual friend.  [ed. Buckley is New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman].

Democracy in Action: This would be in New Hampshire.

Karger: I'm sure I'm probably the first Republican candidate in history, for president, possible candidate for president, who's met with the Democratic chair before the Republican chair.

Democracy in Action: That was on your first trip you met with Ray Buckley?

Karger: That was the second.  Because I called him but he wasn't in town.  It's hard when people are gone all the time.  But we had a wonderful delightful lunch.  He came to the Centennial.  We picked him up, brought him back, had lunch there, and he gave us a tour of the headquarters.  That's one of my unique abilities that I bring to this.  I've come up with a new term.  I mean it's new, I'm starting to use it.  It's called transpartisan.  Which is--there's even a Transpartisan Alliance--and it's someone in the middle.  It's the bridge.  It's the transcontinental highway.  I mean I was a Hillary Clinton supporter in 2008.  I maxed out to her.  I went to all her events.  I didn't work on the campaign or anything, but I supported her, and I didn't support any Republicans.  I'm supporting John Lynch in the governor's race up there, contributing to him.  So it's the kind of thing, normally it could destroy a campaign if you had one contribution to a Democrat.  Well 42-percent of those voters up there are Independent.  I'm calling myself an Independent Republican because I appeal to them, and I think the American public is tired--we know that, you see all the polling--of this huge partisan divide.

Democracy in Action: That's exactly where I am, my question right here at the bottom of the page...  Is politics broken, and why?

Karger: Well I think stating that politics is broken is a little too harsh.  It's not working the way it's designed to work, that's for sure.  I again, and it's kind of my Reagan--I'm an eternal optimist, I'm a great believer in this country and the political process that has survived all that it has survived.  We used to have duels and stuff; we're not doing that any more.  So yeah, there's huge problems, and a lot of it's personality driven and a lot of it is the need to be beholden to special interests and everything.  And that's one of our problems, where people are not really doing like Ronald Reagan did, which was just to--he had his beliefs and he didn't alter them.  And so you take the whole package.  Maybe you don't agree with two-thirds of what he stands for but you know that he's not going to change around.

And that's one of the problems.  I think it's twofold.  One is that people are just all over the place based on the wind and polling.  And two is that they are just so partisan right now, and that is a huge problem because nothing gets done.  Poor President Obama tried it, but then he had to resort to the same old ways.  He had the majority, he's hoping to get bipartisan support, but the Republican Party was out to just do damage to him at the expense of the country. 

In times of need, look at what happened after 9-11.  I mean they're all out there on the steps of the Capitol, I mean we will take on the world or anyone who attempts to harm us, and we will be as unified and as strong a nation as we ever were.  And so there is that basic fabric that holds us together, and I'm hopeful that I can help contribute to this new way of doing business, which is what we need.

Democracy in Action: Do you think, process-wise, are there some changes that need to be made.  There was the [recent article in the New Yorker on the Senate (>).  Do you like term limits?  John Thune gave a talk the other day at the Heritage Foundation on biennial budgeting [and budget reform].  Are there some fixes to the process that you think would improve things?

Karger: Oh, yeah, a tremendous number of fixes, but I don't think they're going to happen because the politicians would have to fix them.  There's no initiative process on the federal level, which is a good thing.

Democracy in Action: What are some ideas you have?

Karger: I think a lot of it can be solved by realizing that the independents in this country, which are growing.  That's the only party, if you can call it that, that's growing.  I think as happened when it goes too far and the public is too upset, we'll see what happens in November.  If they're upset over the incumbents and the Democrat [ic?] Party, if it comes back the other way.  I mean I've been in this line enough to see from Watergate, when I first got started--the Republican Party's over, the country's over--  But we're resilient, and [inaud.] so by the new people coming into this country and their love of this country and their desire to be here...desperation.  So I have great hope that we will get through this.  I guess if the president had a line-item veto or something.  But none of this stuff's going to happen because politicians are--  No one's going to give up power. 

If I ever wrote a book, it was going to be called "All Politics Is Selfish."  A little play on Tip O'Neill's line.  And I don't mean that in a negative way, but it's reality.  And I learned it at an early age in politics.  You know you get this nice volunteer there who answers your phones, retired woman or something who brings the cookies every day and so sweet and oh, she believed in the candidate an everything.  Well the day the candidate wins, she's on the phone, "My son would love to be a judge."  I mean there's some reason people are in it, either on the periphery or as a candidate.  Now the candidate, elected officials, they're looking to either get re-elected or move up, and so you just have to realize that.  And so anything that gets in the way of that is not going to be good for them.  So you've got to figure out a way, like with the receptionist, to help her son, knowing she's helped you.  It's like friendship.  A friend needs a ride to the airport, you take your friend to the airport.  Next time you want somebody that will watch your dog while your away, well--  So that's kind of how politics works.

Democracy in Action: Your exploratory committee, did you file with the FEC?  I looked on their website, but I didn't see--

Karger: No.  A lot of candidates, we want to wait as long as you can.  I mean Mitt Romney says he hasn't even thought about 2012...  I'm of course the other extreme, but legally, that's why I have to govern everything I say.  I'm thinking seriously, you know, and I have not made up my mind.  Of course I'm in a completely different situation than anyone else running, any serious candidate.  But you want to avoid the FEC filing, and then you become a candidate.  But my lawyer, who worked at the FEC, said this is a good way to do it.  So I've kind of tested the waters since February.  Now last week in Concord, or actually this week, I announced the formation of this, and we taped it.  It was done in a kind of unusual way, at the Centennial, in one of the meeting rooms, we put a podium and an audience of one, and this guy who's doing my documentary commercials and stuff, and I announced this.  And I'm actually going to be officially announcing it in New Hampshire magazine, in the next issue, in the September issue.  And it's a step of filing with the State of California, a corporation, Fred Karger Presidential Exploratory Committee, but I will be living under the rules of the FEC, contribution rules.  I have to go back to February and kind of reconstruct things I've done, my expenses that I've put out; those will have to be reported, if and when I file.  So right now I'm kind of in this holding zone, which I'm going to stay in as long as I can...

Once you say okay I'm running and file all the FEC paperwork and live under the rules then you have to, you probably have to back up an look at anything you did.  So I keep good records, and one of the things I have to do when I get a minute is to start putting that together.  But I have all the credit card receipts for my travels.  I really haven't done anything else, and the travels are in part this other organization I run that we now call Rights Equal Rights (successor to Californians Against Hate).  For instance I had a reception last night at this Equality Federation that they sponsored.  So there are things I'm kind of doing wearing both hats. 

Democracy in Action: [Earlier] you mentioned the word thoughtful.  Is it possible to have thoughtful politics these days with Twitter and information overload and everyone trying to getcha-gotcha?

Karger: Yeah, I think so, sure.  I'm just a very thoughtful person.  I don't do anything without giving it a tremendous amount of research in my head and in other ways, talk to a lot of people.  So I think so.

Democracy in Action: A thoughtful discussion about issues that effect the country rather than thoughtful about how do I do the soundbite so that it has maximum effect.  How do we make this country better?  Everyone's trying to score points.

Karger: ...When you had a newspaper you had a little time to get back to the reporter or something, but once radio and television started there's somebody with a microphone.  You don't have that.  It's instant, instant communications.  Even then, radio and TV you'd be on the news that day; now of course it's instantaneous. 

I think it just makes it better.  I think that many more people are going to be engaged, and that's a huge advantage.  I couldn't have done this ten years ago.  I've learned this just in my four years of activism.  As I mentioned when we started doing some of these independent committees, we had to get big names, we had to raise money, we had to do all that or you're dismissed.  Well I started this project in Laguna Beach to save my--historic bar there in the gay life of Laguna Beach...  A good friend of mine, web designer, he just made a web site for me.  And I was going to say I was going to raise $100,000, we're going up against this Stephen Udvar-Hazy, the guy who gave $65 million [to the Smithsonian]--and he'd have bought it.  You can't go up against a multi-billionaire who's worth $3.1 billion.  You're going to have to raise $100,000.  So I was prepared to say that.  But meanwhile if you've got the web site; well if you have a good web site now you're just instantly taken seriously.  Journalists, people in the community, the politicians, everybody's like wow.  So I've learned with some creativity and a good web presence, and now, I'm going to out-Obama Obama on this stuff.  He didn't have Twitter to the extent that it is and foursquare, and all the new communication devices and apps.  We were in Vegas at Netroots Nation; everybody was kind of shocked.  "What are you doing here?"  That's my crowd.  No other Republicans most places I go, but that's what I do, these are my friends.  So it's a huge advantage, and I'm going to capitalize on it and that's the way I can afford to do this.

Democracy in Action: Is there any question I should have asked but didn't?

[Kevin brings up of Iowa RNC Committeeman Steve Scheffler's attack].

Democracy in Action: Oh, I forgot to ask, what's the back story on that?

Karger: What I do--and I'm doing so much of this too myself, but I've got a five state strategy, the first five states.  And of course Iowa and New Hampshire are two of the first five.

Democracy in Action: What's that fifth state?

Karger: Well Florida.  Threw Florida in the mix because I don't think South Carolina--  Now Nevada, I've got some things going on there, might be able to have some success there because I've been working so closely with the hotel workers in San Diego on the boycott and of course they're the end-all be-all in Vegas caucus world, which is a pretty closed system.

So anyway I just go through as many of the websites as I can and just cut and paste e-mail addresses and just put them on my listserve.  Well I do that with all Republican Party officials of course in New Hampshire and Iowa and [inaud.].   So anyway I had a town hall meeting, Kevin was over there, as I've done, at a Mexican restaurant with open bar for a miserably cold night.  And I sent out this thing, first openly gay candidate--.  Anyway I sent this thing out.  So here's this guy.  I hadn't even thought about it.  He's the Republican National Committeeman, he would get my e-mails.  You could feel the seething.  He sends me--  Actually the state party chairman's secretary called to say he couldn't make it. 

So I get back from Iowa and just reading my e-mails, telling my story, when I was attacked.

Democracy in Action: Attacked?

Karger: Attacked just by e-mail.  Nice guy huh.  I'm reading this, and it said "You and the radical homosexual community are not welcome in Iowa and I'm going to work overtime to abort your candidacy.  A mean guy there.  Right.  Steve Scheffler.  So I of course google him and he's president of the Iowa Christian Alliance (used to be the Christian Coalition).  It looks like it was legitimate and it was from his BlackBerry, so I did what I do and I called just a name I had that I talked to at the Register, because I keep kind of a list of reporters and stuff.  And during the Supreme Court thing he had called me.  Jason Clayborn [ed. Clayworth].  I was just the first name on my list I think,  and he answered.  And I told him.  He goes can you forward it to me.  I go sure.  So he goes and talks to everybody.  But yeah they interviewed Carolyn Jenison, who's the head of One Iowa, and the Democratic state party spokesperson and the Republican state party spokesperson.  And it became this huge story.  And it turned into like a three-day story, including this congressional candidate from Des Moines, Republican, who's very conservative and against gay marriage, but he said that has no business in the party, that kind of comment.  So then that was day two.  The candidate wrote a big op-ed, and I'm actually meeting with his campaign person, who lives here.  And then day three, I wrote a letter, I sent Scheffler an e-mail, and I said that I was very hurt and that my Republican credentials are beyond reproach.

Democracy in Action:  Did he every respond to you?

Karger: No.  I think somebody shut him up I think.  That got another thing, then there was a cartoon.  Then the icing on the cake was Jan Mickelson calls me, who's the morning talk radio host on WHO, that of course every candidate has gone on.  He said, I would like you on my show, if you would, next week, any time between 9 and 12 Monday through Friday, you pick.  So, I said Monday.  It was supposed to be 15 or 20 minutes.  He said can you stay a little longer, can you stay a little longer?  I stayed about the whole hour.  And I looked him up and I didn't know.  A very conservative guy and he actually spoke at anti-gay marriage rallies and everything, but he's got a great sense of humor, and I'd like to think I have a pretty good sense of humor, so anyhow we just had more fun.  Interesting questions. 

I just did another--I was on Ed Fallon the day the decision came in on Prop. 8. So I've got a pretty good presence there.  We're going back week after next for the State Fair, and on back to New Hampshire from there.  So I'm just going to keep doing this 'til I collapse.

Democracy in Action: Looking ahead what are your next steps.  Is there a timeline in terms of making a decision go-no go?  Do you have a campaign plan?

Karger: I have an outline of a plan.  Actually next Saturday a former co-worker wants to help and she and I are going to actually produce the document, because as I now start raising money I'm going to need that.  In this first phase I've kind of implemented my plan, which is going to New Hampshire, going to Iowa, meeting people, meeting with the local journalists.  And I've had some huge meetings. I was with Jim Rousmaniere, who's the editor/president of the Keene Sentinel on Monday, and it was like out of a movie or something.  He's this older gentleman and he just looks like the classic newspaper man, and this old building, ivy.  He shakes my hand, and Kevin was with me, and he goes "you sit over there."  And I just know that's the seat in his office where all these candidates have been.  He goes "tell me about yourself."  It was--there have been various times through this effort where it's been very emotional and very dramatic.  I feel like I'm watching a movie... 

But my plan is--first I've been mostly doing the due diligence.  Meeting as many people as I can.  I found some people who are very, very helpful.  A state rep., his name is Bob Thompson, he was the first openly gay member to get married--January 2nd in New Hampshire marriage became legal--and his partner [Michael Jacobsen].  He introduced me at my town hall meeting in Manchester.  He set up an interview for me with the lead anchor/political reporter at WMUR-TV.  Great interview in the front of the studio, you've got to put a suit on.  So I'm getting these kind of big breaks, and people helping.  And in those states you know how interested they are.  I have this two state strategy.  I'm going to be releasing a commercial.  The guy who's doing the documentary and everything has worked on a commercial.  It's called "Good Morning, New Hampshire," and it's kind of to acquaint New Hampshirites with Fred Karger.  I hope to debut it and put it on air.  It's going to be fun, and quirky a little bit, but serious.  But it's a bio, 60-second.  You can buy inexpensive cable spots.

Democracy in Action: Oh, you're actually going to put that on television.  When's that going to happen?

Karger: Well that's tricky too, with the election law.  So my FEC attorney--  I'm hoping to do it by the end of the month, before Labor Day.  It's going to go viral, and hopefully that's the mass exposure.

Democracy in Action: So maybe spend $250 to run that and get the rest free media.

Karger: Well more than that.  A couple of thousand dollars probably.

I've been all over.  I spoke at Dartmouth at Gay Pride week, I had my first town hall meeting in Keene, we had 50 people there.  This Susan MacNeil, who's kind of helping me there, runs the HIV/AIDS Monadnock County Center and Hospice, which I went to the banquet where Cleve Jones--  it's my only endorsement.  He was being honored.  They named the hospice, the wellness center, after him, and so he came back...  I sat next to him, and he said I have a surprise for you.  And he gets up and talks about Harvey Milk and how he thinks everything's down and out in this whole movement, and suddenly something good happens.  He said, well something good is happening now.  A very good friend of mine, who, he called me brother Karger--he's a union guy.  And we've become very good friends, and he gave me this glowing endorsement. 

Democracy in Action: Where was that?

Karger: It was at his dinner honoring him in Keene [on May 1], so that's kind of my strongest area.  And when I had the town hall meeting at the gay bar in Manchester, the Element, and a lot of the Keene students came over, six of them came over to that one.  So I'm getting some support.

Fred Who? sticker