Scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to Fred Karger’s websites, financial filings, positions papers, speeches , YouTube Channel and contact information
Born:January 31, 1950 (1950-01-31) (age60) Chicago, Illinois
Residence : Los Angeles, California
Alma mater: University of Denver
Profession: Political Consultant, Gay Rights Activist, Actor
Political Career :
2008 to Present – Californians Against Hate, Founder/Director of independent opposition research effort, Proposition 8 campaign. Led four boycotts and filed formal ethics violation complaints leading to investigations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) and the National Organization for Marriage in California and Maine.
- 2000 – Republican Unity Coalition, California Co-Director of this volunteer gay straight alliance for George W. Bush.
- 1977 to 2004 – The Dolphin Group Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
- 1990 to 2004 – Managed numerous statewide, congressional, legislative and local campaigns. Worked on several entitlement efforts for developers, represented clients before federal, state and local governments including consumer products, hospitality, agriculture, entertainment, sports and charitable organizations.
Managed statewide and local ballot measure campaigns, judicial campaigns, and served on several campaign finance and steering committees.
- 1997 to 1998 – Brooks Firestone for Lt. Governor (R-CA), Campaign Manager for State Assemblyman, winery owner and tire company heir. He later switched races and ran for Congress.
- 1988 to 2003 – California Republican Local Elected Officials Committee, Director. Established and ran this organization for former San Diego Mayor Susan Golding of over 1,300 Republican Sheriffs, District Attorneys, County Supervisors, Mayors and City Council Members.
- 1988 – Committee for the Presidency, Campaign Director. Independent Expenditure Committee for George H. W. Bush chaired by baseball great, Steve Garvey. National paid and earned media campaign featuring crime victims
- 1987 – Independent Expenditure for U.S. Senator Robert Dole (R-KA) for President, Deputy Director
- 1987 – Paul Laxalt for President (R-NV), Deputy Campaign Manager (Western States) for U.S. Senator Laxalts campaign to succeed his close friend President Ronald Reagan.
- 1986 – Mike Curb for California Lt. Governor (R-CA), Campaign Manager for Mike Curbs bid to recapture his old office.
- 1985 – Crime Victims for Court Reform. Managed successful effort during its first year to defeat California Supreme Court Chief Justice Rose Bird and Associate Justices Reynoso and Grodin in 1986 confirmation election.
- 1984 – Reagan-Bush 84, Director, Republican National Committee Opposition Campaign, Media and Speakers Bureau in primary and general election.
- 1981 to 1982 – Attorney General George Duke Deukmejian for Governor (R-CA), Deputy Campaign Director and Press Director
- 1982 – Maureen Reagan for U.S Senate (R-CA), Press Secretary for First Daughters campaign
- 1981 to 1986 – Attorney General George Duke Deukmejian for Governor (R-CA), Deputy Campaign Director and Press Director
- 1980 to 1981 – Presidential Inaugural Committee 1981, Deputy Director, Governors, State and Local Officials Participation, Washington, D.C.
- 1980 – Reagan Bush Campaign, California Advertising Coordinator
- 1979 to 1980 – Governor John Connally for President (R-TX), Deputy Campaign Director and Communications Director, Western United States
- 1977 to 1981 – Citizens to Protect Pt. Conception (Santa Barbara, CA), local and statewide coalition development to stop a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility at Point Conception.
- 1976 – President Ford Committee, White House Staff at GOP Convention, Advance Staff, California
- 1976 – Robert Finch for U.S. Senate (R-CA), College and Youth Director, Speakers Bureau, Fund-raising
- 1977 – Ralph Andrews for California State Senate (R-Tarzana), Deputy Campaign Manager (Special Election)
- 1972 – Republican National Convention President Richard Nixon Re-election Campaign,
- YVP Young Voter for the President
- 1976 – President Ford Committee, White House Staff at GOP Convention, Advance Staff, California
- 1972 – Re-elect Senator Charles Percy (R-IL), Organized statewide Percy family bus tour, Youth Co-Chair, Bus Driver.
- 1968 to 1972 – Senator Charles Percy, Campus Representative.
- 1966 – Charles Percy for U.S. Senate (R-IL), Headquarters volunteer
- 1964 and 1968 -Governor Nelson Rockefeller for President (R-NY), Phone bank and office volunteer
Fred Karger is not a man who is known nationally but he is man who is passionate about the issues facing our nation. He is also one of the first people to create an exploratory committee for a potential run for President in 2012. The announcement came on April 10th at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.
Although Karger has a lot of ground to make up if he wants to increase his name I.D. and be competitive in his potential race for the Republican presidential nomination, he wont have a hard time distinguishing himself from other candidates and standing out from the rest of the field. In addition to describing himself as an independent Republican, as an openly gay man,Karger would be the first such person to run for the presidential nomination of either major political Party.
Born in Illinois, as a young man Karger moved to Los Angeles where he pursued an acting career which he was mildly successful in. But in time his political passions took over and Karger became a political consultant He served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Dolphin Group. During his 27 years with the Dolphin Group he was in the forefront of the campaigns of California Governor George Deukmajian, Lt. Gov. Mike Curb, the presidential campaigns of Robert Dole, Senator Paul Laxalt, Texas Governor John Connally, Illinois Senator Charles Percy and dozens of other federal, state and local candidates. He also managed statewide and local ballot measure campaigns
In 2006 Karger founded Save the Boom!!! , a grassroots campaign to save the oldest gay bar in the Western United States, the landmark Boom Boom Room and Coast Inn in Laguna Beach, California. This got Fred active in LGBTQ politics, and was the natural precursor to his starting Californians Against Hate
Californians Against Hate was created to bring public attention to the major donors to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign. Fred organized boycotts against four mega-donors to Proposition 8, two were settled and two are ongoing. Proposition 8 passed in a very close election on November 4, 2008, and ended gay marriage in California.
Right after the election, Fred filed a sworn complaint against the Mormon Church with the California Fair Political Practices Commission for possible illegal campaign activities surrounding its massive involvement in Proposition 8. That led to a 19 month investigation, culminating in a 13 count guilty finding against the Salt Lake City based Church.
Fred filed a similar complaint with the Maine Ethics Commission against the infamous National Organization for Marriage, alleging money laundering and reporting irregularities in that states November 2009 election to repeal its marriage equality law. That investigation is ongoing.
Since the announcement of his presidential campaign, Fred has traveled extensively throughout the country, with repeated visits to Iowa and New Hampshire, home to the first caucuses and primary in the nation.
To say that Fred Karger has an uphill battle is more than an understatement. His first hurdle will be the need to raise tens of millions of dollarsjust to be a factor in the race for the Republican nomination. His second hurdle will be establishing state organizations and getting ballot access to as many state primary contests as possible. And finally, as a gay Republican, another problem to overcome will be the reception that he receives from the far right of the Party, most especially from the religious right. Indeed he is already finding it difficult to be included in candidate forums such as one which is coming up in Iowa.
Kargers initial platform is one that is generally out of synch with the perceived priorities of the G.O.P.. It is one that focuses on gay rights, including the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the legalization of same sex marriage, and finding a cure for HIV / AIDS and a vaccine to prevent HIV.
All of these issues deserve an open and civil debate within the Party of conservatism and forcing the Party to address them is a good thing. Kargers overriding challenge however, will be trying to shape the debate in a way that forces the G.O.P. to prove that they are conservative enough to respect personal choices and to take government out of the bedroom. This will be an uncomfortable debate for some fellow candidates and they will most likely gloss it over by simply playing up to the base of the Party and painting Karger as a fringe candidate. But if Karger can move to the right of conservatives on some issues and convince the field that equal rights, personal choice and the fight against over regulation, are topics that conservatism is all about, and what gay rights are all about, then the field of potential candidates will be unable to avoid his gay rights agenda. In fact with people like Gary Johnson in the race, Karger could find his agenda receiving support from others in the field of candidates.
If Karger can raise the money and better address areas of the economy, foreign affairs, national security, education and energy, he could avoid being painted in to that corner and written off as a special interest candidate.
From my perspective, to be viable, Karger needs to define himself as a conservative libertarian and come out of the gates with his solutions to our most pressing problems such as jobs, economic growth, the national debt, and national security, then he will open the door for his views on gays rights. If he can prove himself to be a mainstream conservative candidate, then his gay rights agenda will get a fair hearing from mainstream Republicans. But if he starts off as a special interest, gay rights candidate, who is left of center on the economy, taxes, the budget, national security and deficit reduction, he will be written off and lose his opportunity to advance his passion for gay rights on a national stage. If he plays his cards right, Fred Karger could be a factor in the G.O.P. presidential nomination. But the most that can probably be expected of the Karger campaign is that it forces the G.O.P. to deal with how gays are assured equal rights instead of how they are denied such rights. That would be a great accomplishment in and of itself. At the very least, Kargers campaign will show that the gay community is not monolithic in their politics and that all gays do not just blindly pull the lever for Democrats. That too would be a good thing. Hopefully Karger will be given the chance tomake his case. But no matter what, he will sure be doing his part to get his message out.