Fred Karger is considering running for president in 2012. Who is Fred Karger? He's a long-time political strategist and gay rights activist. Mother Jones described him as one of the GOP's "top dark-arts operators."
During the 1988 presidential campaign that pitted Republican George H.W. Bush against Democrat Michael Dukakis, for instance, Mother Jones notes Karger "tracked down the victims of furloughed murderer Willie Horton and took them around the country for press events." Karger was also an aide to Republican President Ronald Reagan. More recently, he's been following the money from the Mormon Church that fueled California's Proposition 8 ballot measure that restricted marriage in the state to heterosexual couples.
Earlier this year, Karger registered a presidential exploratory committee with the Internal Revenue Service, a committee that has so far raised $53,000, mostly from in-kind contributions from himself. In his new TV ads, going up this week in Iowa, Karger, who is openly gay, describes himself as an "independent Republican," and he goes on to say, "I'm testing the waters in Iowa to see if I can raise some funds from my friends."