(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, www.LetFredIn.com, 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 www.LetFredIn.com 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.