Fred Karger, the gay activist
considering a 2012 presidential bid as an independent Republican, has
been excluded from an Iowa GOP debate.
The early forum is being hosted by the
Iowa Christian Alliance.
The group's president, Steve Scheffler,
told The Ballot Box that Karger wasn't invited because he's not a
“We're inviting all potential
candidates who are legitimate candidates,” he said. Karger “is
not a legitimate candidate.”
But Scheffler and Karger have wrangled
in the past.
Last June, after Karger issued a
statement lauding a judge's ruling against the National Organization
for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay
marriage, Scheffler accused Karger of harassing opponents of gay
“You and the radical homosexual
community want to harass supporters of REAL marriage,” Scheffler
wrote. “... I will work overtime to help ensure that your
political aspirations are aborted right here in Iowa.”
Pointing to his five Iowa visits last
year, the formation of an exploratory committee, and the
release of his first ad in the state, Karger insisted he's a
legitimate candidate in an email to supporters.
And added that he'll fight for his
right to participate in the March 7 event.