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The top three contenders hoping to challenge President Obama in 2012 and currently vying for the GOP Presidential nomination are Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann, according to a recent poll by Harris Interactive.
Romney came in first with 16%, and both Paul and Bachmann tied at 10%, but an overwhelming 46% of those polled also said they would not support any of the 12 candidates as the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.
This is not exactly good news for the candidates; but for Fred Karger -- the first openly gay candidate to seek the GOP nomination for President of the United States -- it was good news.
Not content with simply making history, Karger wants FOX News to allow him to take part in the Republican Party’s Iowa debate, scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 11 … and technically, the rules are on his side.
Because although his 2% rating is as low as the possibility that he will win the GOP nomination, this was the fifth national poll in which Karger received at least an average support of 1%, one of the three rules determined by both Fox News and the Iowa Republican Party's state central committee. So if Fox News abides by its own debate rules, Karger should be allowed to take part in the national debate on Thursday, in Ames, Iowa.
Not surprisingly, Fox News has been less than receptive to the idea, and despite his own efforts and a petition originated at Change.org that gathered over 2,500 signatures in one day, it does not appear the openly gay candidate will be allowed into the debate.
Nevertheless, Karger is on his way to Iowa, and is keeping his supporters up to date via Twitter. Expect some sort of showdown tomorrow.
If you are wondering why Karger has decided to seek what seems like an impossible nomination, listen to him explain it to Rachel Maddow a few weeks ago:
San Diego politics
While many would argue that a politician is always campaigning, on the mayoral front, each of the top four candidates appears to be out and about engaging voters in their official capacities, rather than as candidates.
Given the economy, it is no secret that jobs is going to be a major, if not the major political issue of 2012, both on a national and a local level. On that note, two of the four top mayoral candidates have been campaigning in a very subtle manner.
Carl DeMaio has several official campaign events in the coming weeks, but as a city councilmember, he recently launched an initiative dubbed the "Pathway to Prosperity." The goal is simple - create more local jobs.
"We need to get San Diegans back to work – and I’m aggressively pursuing ideas to make city government a help, rather than a hindrance, to economic recovery in our region," DeMaio said.
In addition to presenting seven "starting points" to achieve this goal, DeMaio also created a 15-person Task Force comprised of well-known San Diego business leaders and other experts, to assist him in creating effective strategies.
San Diegans will have plenty of opportunities to chime in with their own ideas, too. They can share them by calling the job creation hotline at (619) 236-6210, or by attending a series of town hall meetings, where alongside business owners, they can help formulate and refine proposals for job creation. The first of these meetings will take place Sept. 16.
Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher is taking a similar approach on jobs; however, his focus is on bringing innovative jobs to California. He was recently appointed the chairman of the Select Committee on Job Creation for the New Economy, by Assembly Speaker John Perez.
"There is a great need to work together to ensure our state is a more competitive place to grow innovative companies," Fletcher said. "This committee will pinpoint what is preventing large and small businesses from investing and expanding in the state so we can empower them to create jobs."
While it remains to be seen what will become of the candidate's current proposals and responsibilities, it is almost an absolute certainty that any achievement will be touted on the campaign trail, as San Diegans inch closer to selecting their next mayor.
It is much easier for District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis to keep her name in the news headlines, given her "day job" responsibilities, but like Rep. Bob Filner, she is giving voters a chance to hear her point of view by taking part in a panel discussion, an event not officially related to the mayoral campaign.
Both Dumanis and Filner will take part in the third annual Politics in Paradise event, sponsored by San Diego’s East County Chamber of Commerce on Friday, Aug. 19. Rep. Duncan Hunter, state Sen. Denise Ducheny and Assemblymember Brian Jones will also join them.
In addition to the panel discussion, the $45 admission price includes a hosted bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, political comedy and satire, and a chance to mingle with the politicians. According to event organizers, LGBT rights and other issues that affect the community will be among the topics of discussion.
Additionally, Filner will join a panel discussion that includes labor leaders and other community leaders, on Monday, Aug. 15. The free event is titled Debts, Lies & Thugs, and panelists will focus on what they perceive as shock and awe techniques used by politicians, financiers, and the media to “suck the last drop of blood from the American people.”
Whether on the campaign trail, or not, the San Diego mayoral candidates are attempting to strike key chords with voters, and have only just begun.
To submit questions you would like to see the candidates answer, request coverage of a campaign event, or for any inquires regarding campaign coverage in the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, please email Staff Writer Esther Rubio-Sheffrey at firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free to (877) 727-5446 x711.
As a matter of full disclosure, SDGLN Publisher Johnathan Hale has a personal relationship with Carl DeMaio. Their relationship in no way impacts the editorial decisions made by Ken Williams, SDGLN Editor in Chief, and does not influence our political coverage. All candidates are allowed to submit two pieces per month for our Commentary page. Williams can be reached at (877) 727-5446, x713.