Beltway Happenings  
Oct. 10, 2010--Fred Karger held a meet-and-greet reception for his presidential exploratory committe at the Duplex Diner in Adams Morgan.  Karger, a long-time Republican consultant who describes himself as "independent Republican," has been devoting much of his attention to New Hampshire.  He has made seven visits there this year, and has an eighth coming up, he ran the first TV ad by a possible presidential candidate starting September 18 on WMUR-TV, and he is looking into renting a house there.  Karger also has brought on board a finance director, Andy Szekeres, who served as deputy finance director on Jared Polis' 2008 congressional campaign.
Karger showed his ad and a video by MTV “Real World: Washington DC” star Mike Manning.  He mentioned encouraging e-mails he has received and described this as "a very emotional period."
At one point a man handed Karger a donation, and Karger stated, "Now I feel like a real candidate; that's never happened to me before."  Matthew Cook, an attorney and member of Log Cabin Republicans, said he first became aware of Karger as a result of Karger's work on Proposition 8.  "Fred is going to demonstrate, particularly in New Hampshire, that gay Republicans are a real group of people," Cook stated.  Cook said that Karger could become "sort of an Alan Keyes figure" standing in the room with the other candidates and explaining gay issues.  Michael Komo, president of Allied in Pride at The George Washington University, said his group has "gotten the word out on campus and we're eager to help."  Komo said a Karger campaign "will help LGBT youth who are struggling with their identity in their home or schools." Trevor Davis, a web activist, was walking by the Diner, and stopped in to see what the fuss was about.  He questioned why Karger was a Republican.  "Why?  How?  They don't like you; they really don't like you," Davis said.  Davis, who later described the Republican party as "a criminal cartel," said the notion of Karger's candidacy was "sad and beautiful."

Copyright © 2010  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action. All rights reserved.
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