The first in my series of dossiers covers GOP candidate Fred Karger of California. He was one of the first to announce for the campaign, forming his exploratory committee back in July 2010.
Political resume: Karger has never held elective office, but has managed federal, state, and local political campaigns over a 35 year span. He bills himself as the first openly gay Presidential candidate.
On campaign finance/election reform (three points): Interestingly enough, Fred supports lowering the voting age to “16 or 17.” And this report states he’s against voter ID. If anything, I question the wisdom of allowing youth to vote (maybe the age of majority needs to revert to 21) so it doesn’t sound like he and I would agree on the issue. He’s docked all three points.
On property rights (five points): No apparent position, so no points.
On the Second Amendment (seven points): No apparent position, so no points.
On education (eight points): He wants to make school “more interesting and fun.” Well, I’d like them to learn more critical thinking and actually know something when they graduate without burdensome federal regulations. I will give him a little credit for knowing the key obstacle to improving education (the teachers unions) and at least giving a nod to charter schools, but we can go much further. He believes the school year should be longer, which is a double-edged sword but played right can be to our advantage. Three points.
On the Long War/veterans affairs (nine points): Fred is an enigma on foreign policy – he wants out of Iraq and Afghanistan, but thinks we should be in Libya! Yet “Israel…must be defended at all costs.” That saves him from being docked even more. I’ll take off five points as well since he’s very, very squishy on the subject.
On immigration (eleven points): Fred joins the chorus calling for “greatly improved border security” but also advocates “a path to citizenship for immigrants already living in the country.” Smells like amnesty to me, so I take three points off.
On energy independence (twelve points): What Karger doesn’t seem to understand is that forced conservation of energy is counterproductive to a growing economy. Certainly looking for ways to get more done with less energy usage is a good thing, but mandating reductions isn’t practical for growth. If someone needs to explore alternative energy, let it be the private sector (see Herman Cain above.) He loses another six points.
On entitlements (thirteen points): He thinks the size of entitlements needs to be on the table. But that’s about all the service he gives to it so I have no idea what else he wants to do. I’ll grant him one point.
On trade and job creation (fourteen points): Karger wants to “work with…corporations to incentivize them to keep their jobs in America,” but doesn’t explain how. “I believe in the private sector” isn’t a policy. Two points.
On taxation and the role of government (fifteen points): Unfortunately, Fred would like to raise taxes on millionaires, but in the same breath claims he’s for “small government, lower spending, and personal responsibility.” It doesn’t seem to me that Fred has thought about how to achieve these broad goals, so I can’t give him more than two points in this category.
Intangibles (up to three points): On the plus side, he would like to legalize marijuana. But on the negative side, he’s all for taxing and controlling it. More negatives for Fred are that he’s pro-choice and obviously supports same-sex marriage, plus he’s supported Democrats in the past. It’s a net of two points deducted.
Total (maximum, 100 points): Fred’s total score is (-11.) It would be great for golf but it’s not good for a Republican Presidential candidate.
Obviously Karger is a very moderate Republican, and he knows that he won’t be the nominee. His sole purpose seems to be breaking the queer barrier with regard to Presidential politics, and he compares himself to 1972 candidate Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to run.
Karger’s now living in New Hampshire, which he feels is the state where he can make his mark because it has an open primary. He didn’t participate in the Iowa Straw Poll, nor has he been invited to any of the GOP candidate debates, so there’s no real way of gauging his support aside from a few polls where he runs in the low single digits.
Fred may not officially drop out until the convention, but it’s most likely that he’ll not draw more than a percent or three in any primary. Banking on the Log Cabin vote isn’t going to get a potential nominee far, although he’s definitely one of their leading contenders.