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GOP to Let Fred Karger In — to State Convention

GOP to Let Fred Karger In — to State Convention


In a turn of luck for Fred Karger, organizers of the California Republican Convention say he's invited to speak after all.

The gay presidential candidate who has so far been left out of every Republican debate and forum said he was next being excluded from speaking at his own state party convention. Karger said he was told the schedule was completely full -- that is, until the San Francisco Chronicle wrote a story on Tuesday.

"We called GOP state officials to get a response for days; when it wasn't forthcoming, we published our story," wrote Carla Marinucci of the Chronicle.

Within an hour of publishing the story, Marinucci said the GOP finally responded to the newspaper's inquiries. GOP officials now tell the Chronicle they never said Karger wouldn't be included at the event.

"Fred has always been welcome at the CRP -- in fact, we've been working to finalize an event for him at our convention, based on a request from his camp," state GOP communications director Mark Standrif reportedly wrote to the Chronicle. "We're looking forward to seeing him in L.A. next month."

Karger has twice filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission after it seemed to him that he'd met the qualifications to participate in debates only to be turned away. And he's now getting criticism from a group of gay Republicans for supposedly waving a rainbow flag too frequently.

"Fred Karger is playing a stunt, and his stunt has run its course," GOProud executive director Jimmy LaSalvia told the Chronicle. "His whole shtick is ... running around the country with a rainbow flag, saying 'I'm the gay guy,' But he hasn't made a case about why he should be president of the United States."

Karger has been crisscrossing the country like most other candidates, making appearances in Iowa and New Hampshire. But a speech at his home state's convention might become Karger's biggest opportunity yet to make a case to the party.

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