Perry included in NH debate even though he does not qualify

Fred Karger

Fred Karger, the first Republican to declare his run for the White House this year, has been shut out of all of the debates but has been a good watchdog on the other Republican candidates. He found that Texas Gov. Rick Perry does not qualify to be in Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate.

Over the weekend Karger sent a complaint to New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg who also owns Bloomberg News. That organization is the sponsor of a debate at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire along with Washington Post and WBIN TV.

According to Karger’s research, candidates had to meet all four of the following criteria to participate:

A. Received measurable popular support in a range of national polls.

B. Campaign reported at least half a million dollars raised in its FEC filing through the 2011 second quarter reporting period.

C. Is a legally qualified candidate for the Republican nomination for President.

D. Participated in at least three nationally televised Republican Presidential debates during the 2012 election cycle.

Karger, who is gay, has been kept out of the debates because of the first criteria. The original standard was a candidate had to poll 1 percent in five national polls. Once Karger met that baseline, sponsoring news organizations raised the percent and have continued keeping him out.

His campaign checked the eight candidates who were invited to the Dartmouth debate and found that Rick Perry does not qualify, even though he will be included.

“Rick Perry was not a candidate by the end of 2nd quarter and has not filed any FEC fundraising reports,” Karger wrote in an email to Dallas Voice and other news organizations so he does not qualify under criteria B.

Perry entered the race on Aug. 12 and will not have to file a report with the Federal Election Commission until the end of this quarter.

—  David Taffet