from Fred Karger Presidential Exploratory
Contact: Rina Shah
Fred in Florida, Will
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- While five potential candidates for
President were speaking before the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's
Forum last night in Des Moines, Fred was speaking before a meeting of
the Broward County Log Cabin Republican Club in the early primary state
of Florida. This Log Cabin chapter became the first to make a
generous contribution to the Fred Karger Presidential Exploratory
In reporting on last night’s Iowa Forum, attended by between 1,000 and
2,000 people, CBS News reported that "Openly gay Republican
strategist Fred Karger, who has embarked on a longshot presidential
run, was shut out of the event." Fred was instead spending three
additional days in another early state in the 2012 selection process,
Florida. He has been in the Sunshine State since last Thursday,
and has been testing the waters there as he nears his decision about
filing the necessary documents to run for President of the United
Fred's trip is his first to Florida this year, which is nearing a
decision about attempting to hold its primary before Iowa's Caucus, now
set for February 6, 2012 and the New Hampshire Primary, currently set
for February 14, 2012. Fred will be talking to people around
Florida about this issue.
For the past ten days, Fred has been in the news for not being invited
by Steve Scheffler to last night's Forum in West Des Moines. Mr.
Scheffler had told the Wall Street Journal that everyone who had shown
the "slightest interest" in running for President in 2012 would be
invited. That apparently meant everyone, except Fred.
Fred responded to his exclusion by filing an 82 page complaint with the
Federal Election Commission (FEC) on February 25, 2012 against the Iowa
Christian Alliance, the Faith and Freedom Coalition and Mr.
Scheffler. The complaint alleged that by making a subjective
decision to not invite Fred because he is gay, that this violates
federal election law by in effect making "in-kind" contributions to the
five potential candidates who attended last nights heavily covered
gathering at the Point of Grace Church; Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty,
Buddy Roemer, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum, all of whom spoke at the
“After seeing so much local and national coverage of Mr. Scheffler’s
event, we are collecting all of the stories out there and will file a
supplemental complaint with the FEC,” stated Karger. “It is
illegal to arbitrarily exclude one person while inviting everyone else
to a Forum such as this just because you don’t agree with him.
All potential candidates must be invited using ‘objective’
criteria. The five possible Presidential candidates who did speak
would in effect have received millions of dollars in media coverage
courtesy of Mr. Scheffler. We will then await a decision from the
FEC regarding the next step.”
Last Tuesday, Fred appeared for an hour on Suzanne Lee’s radio show on
WHO News Radio in Des Moines to discuss his original FEC complaint, and
also took calls from listeners. Other coverage ranged from the
Daily Caller, the Des Moines Register, The Atlantic, Mother Jones and
The San Francisco Chronicle (see below).
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RELEASE from Free & Equal
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Iowa group breaking the law by excluding
gay potential presidential candidate
Fred Karger is a prominent Republican who is considering seeking
party's nomination for 2012. He has visited Iowa six times over the
past ten months and has already run commercials in the state. Regarding
an upcoming forum hosted by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition,
journalist Michael Jones notes that Karger has engaged in "more political
activity than practically every (possible) candidate on the invite
Yet Karger is the only potential candidate being excluded from the
forum. In fact, IFFC President Steve Scheffler has gone further, saying
in an email that "I will work overtime to help ensure that your
political aspirations are aborted right here in Iowa." Why? Because
Fred Karger is gay. According to Scheffler, Karger cannot participate
in the forum because, according to Scheffler, "you [Karger] and the
radical homosexual community want to harass supporters of REAL
Attention to fairness is expected of all tax exempt organizations when
they engage in the act of informing voters. Federal law requires
objective criteria to be used. Scheffler's inference that because
Karger is gay, he "is not legitimate..." violates federal law. By
excluding Fred Karger solely because he is gay, the IFFC and Scheffler
intend to break the law by seeking to influence rather than inform
"The actions of the IFFC and Steve Scheffler violate federal election
laws restricting express advocacy by tax-exempt organizations. I
commend and support Fred Karger for his courage to stand up in defense
of free, fair, and transparent elections," said Christina Tobin, Free
& Equal Founder and President.
Fred Karger has filed a complaint with the FEC. He has also set up
a website, www.letfredin.com for people who want to protect
Iowa's reputation for free and equal elections.
Free & Equal
is a nonpartisan, non-profit public-policy advocacy organization
dedicated to election reform and improving ballot access laws in the
Let Fred in to the Iowa March 7th Faith and
WHEREAS: Steve Scheffler, head of the
Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition is refusing to invite Fred Karger to
participate in his forum.
Scheffler told the Wall Street Journal that any 2012 potential
candidate for President who has shown the "slightest interest" in
running would be invited.
WHEREAS: Mr. Scheffler has
invited at least 15 potential Presidential candidates, but refuses to
invite Fred because he's gay.
THEREFORE: We urge Mr.
Scheffler to extend an invitation to Fred Karger to speak at his March
7, 2011 Forum.
PRESS RELEASE from
Fred Karger Presidential Exploratory Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2011
CONTACT: Nathan Treloar
Karger responds to
exclusion from Iowa candidate
(DES MOINES, IA) Prospective Republican
presidential candidate Fred Karger will be in Iowa later
to his exclusion from an upcoming candidate forum.
The Iowa Faith and
Freedom Coalition (formerly the Iowa
Christian Alliance) invited many of the likely, and even some
not-so-likely, GOP hopefuls to the March 7 forum. Despite
first potential candidate to have formed an exploratory committee,
hired Iowa staff, and aired an Iowa commercial,
Karger was told by IFFC president, Steve Scheffler that his candidacy
was not credible. Mr. Scheffler would not disclose what
considered when deciding who would be invited.
Nathan Treloar, Iowa director
for Karger’s exploratory committee, believes there is only one
explanation for the snub – because Karger is openly
gay. “There is no
set of rational criteria that could explain some of those who were
invited but still exclude Fred.” Treloar said. “That only
irrational criteria, or bigotry.”
Karger is launching a new website, www.LetFredIn.com,
information and sign an online petition to show
their support for his inclusion. The website, which will
Friday, will be used to raise awareness of the situation in Iowa and
prepare for his exclusion from any future forums or debates as he tests
the waters to determine if he will run for President in 2012.
In addition, Karger will be filing a formal complaint with the Federal
Election Commission (FEC). The complaint states that the
violates federal election law because it constitutes a donation to
those candidates who were invited. As a tax-exempt 501(c)4
organization, the IFFC is allowed to engage in political education, but
cannot donate or expressly advocate for or against a candidate.
Karger will preview www.LetFredIn.com and provide more details of
his FEC complaint and other actions at a press conference on Friday,
Karger’s seventh trip to Iowa will
also include a visit to the 2011 Iowa
Governors Conference on LGBT Youth being held on
the Drake University campus Thursday, February 24.
TEXT OF LETTER from Fred Karger (reprinted from
January 17, 2011
Dear Mr. Scheffler:
I was very disappointed that I did not receive an invitation to your
Iowa Christian Collation / Faith and Freedom Coalition March 7, 2011
Forum at the Point of Grace Church in Waukee, Iowa. You stated in the Wall Street Journal on December 29, 2010 that
anyone who has expressed the “slightest interest” in the 2012
Republican nomination would be invited. I have probably shown the
greatest interest of all possible candidates.
I was the first to announce that he was seriously considering running
for President on April 10, 2010 at the Southern Republican Leadership
Conference in New Orleans, the first to form a Presidential Exploratory
Committee last July, I have visited Iowa five times, have given over 20
speeches throughout the state, was the first to hire an Iowa state
director, Nathan Treloar and the first to produce and air a commercial
of any potential candidate.
As you are aware, I have been actively involved in Republican politics
for over three decades and have worked on nine presidential campaigns
including senor consulting roles for Presidents Reagan, George H. W.
Bush and Gerald Ford.
You said in the Des Moines Register on January 5, 2011 that I was
a “marginal candidate” and would not be invited. You later said in
Washington, DC’s The Hill that “I only talk about one issue.”
I am far from being “single issue” as you have said. I have been
traveling the country for nearly eleven months. I have focused on many
issues such as the economy and jobs first, education reform, health
care, taxes, the deficit, the Federal Reserve, foreign policy, the wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan, immigration and literally dozens of other
issues. My two commercials don’t even mention that I would be the first
openly gay candidate to run for President nor any LGBTQ issues:
Iowa Independence Day: CLICK
Good Morning New Hampshire: CLICK
Instead these positive ads discuss ideas and issues important to all
Americans including getting along.
President Obama spoke from the heart last week in Tucson when he
addressed the Memorial for the victims of the terrible tragedy the week
before. The President said, “At a time when our discourse has become so
sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame
for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think
differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment
and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals,
not a way that wounds.”
In the spirit of healing, Mr. Scheffler, I would hope that as two men
who care deeply about our country and its future, that even though we
may think differently, you would welcome me to your Forum on March 7,
2012 in Iowa.
Iowa and the Iowa Caucuses have long history of inclusion, and I
sincerely hope that in that spirit, you will be inclusive of all
different thoughts on March 7th.
Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing for you.
Exploratory Committee response
on IFFC presidential forum
errors in dates; should read January 7, 2011 and March 7, 2011.
January 7, 2012
Steve Scheffler Strikes Again
Steve Scheffler, Iowa Republican National Committeeman and President of
the Iowa Christian Alliance is at it again. As you may recall,
last May Scheffler sent Fred a threatening email, vowing he would "work
overtime to abort his candidacy."
Now, Steve Scheffler did not invite Fred to his Iowa 2012 Forum on
March 7, 2010. As reported in the Wall Street Journal on December 29th, Steve
Scheffler said he would send invitations to anyone who expressed even
the "slightest interest" in running for President in 2012. He did
not invite Fred.
Of the 12 people invited, some did not even visit Iowa last year,
whereas Fred has:
Looks like Fred has shown the "slightest interest" to us.
- Formed a Presidential Exploratory Committee
- Traveled to Iowa five times
- Hired Nathan Treloar as State Director of his Exploratory
- Spent a day and night meeting people (and eating) at the Iowa
- Met with numerous political leaders and has given at least 12
speeches to community and university groups
- Aired the first commercial of any possible 2012 candidate,
Independence Day: CLICK HERE
- Has been covered by WHO TV and ABC News 5
- Has appeared 4 times on the Jan Mickelson in the Morning - WHO Newsradio 1040
- Hosted a "Meet and Greet" in Des Moines, Iowa at Dos Rios
- Has been featured in the Des Moines Register, Iowa Independent
and many other daily newspapers
Steve Scheffler dismissed Fred and said in the Des Moines Register story that, "he's got one
issue... that does not make him a legitimate candidate."
Sounds like code words for HOMOPHOBIA.