from Fred Karger Presidential Exploratory Committee

March 8, 2011                                                                 Contact: Rina Shah

Fred in Florida, Will File Additional
FEC Complaint Against Scheffler

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 Committee.
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 States.
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 Forum.

“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).


You can make a big difference today by helping us stand up against the opponents of equality like Steve Scheffler.  Please send in a contribution today by clicking the CONTRIBUTE button below.  You will feel good and help defray the legal costs of our work.  Thank you!!!

PRESS RELEASE from Free & Equal

Christina Tobin, Founder and Chair
Phone: 312-320-4101


Iowa group breaking the law by excluding gay potential presidential candidate

Fred Karger is a prominent Republican who is considering seeking his 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 list."
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 marriage."
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 voters.
"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, 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 United States.

Let Fred in to the Iowa March 7th Faith and Freedom Forum!

WHEREAS: Steve Scheffler, head of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition is refusing to invite Fred Karger to participate in his forum.

WHEREAS: Mr. 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     
Ever the fighter, Fred Karger responds to exclusion from Iowa candidate forum
(DES MOINES, IA)  Prospective Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger will be in Iowa later this week to respond 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 being the 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 factors were 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 leaves irrational criteria, or bigotry.”
Karger is launching a new website,, for people to get more information and sign an online petition to show their support for his inclusion.  The website, which will become active 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 IFFC forum 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 and provide more details of his FEC complaint and other actions at a press conference on Friday, February 25.
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 HERE

Good Morning New Hampshire: CLICK HERE

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.

Best regards,

Fred Karger

NEWS ALERT from Fred Karger Presidential Exploratory Committee  response on IFFC presidential forum  ...ed. note 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.

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.