Late Night FDL: Fred Karger, Composer and Fred Karger, Candidate


I am very fascinated by the controversy surrounding GOP presidential candidate Fred Karger and the GOP’s fear of him. And for me it’s personal.

My stepfather, Fred Karger was a film composer and musical supervisor at Columbia, MGM, for Elvis Presley’s goofball oeuvres (Harum Scarum, Kissin’ Cousins, Frankie and Johnny, etc.) and later for a series of campy independent films like Riot on Sunset Strip. He’s best known for the theme songs he wrote: From Here to Eternity, Magnificent Obsession, Gidget, Gidget Goes Hawaiian, and for his love life: He dated Marilyn Monroe for a number of years and was married twice to Jane Wyman. And once to my mom. Fred, who died in 1979, was super cool and a great stepfather. Every day I give thanks for having him in my life, for all the amazing people I met through him, and for showing me you can live life by following your creative dreams.

So when the name Fred Karger first popped up in my inbox during the Proposition 8 campaign, I did a huge double take, it’s a pretty unusual name. Well, this Fred Karger was the founder/director of Californians Against Hate and would send emails detailing his work on four boycotts against the Mormon Church and formal ethics violation complaints leading to investigations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church) and the National Organization for Marriage in California and Maine. This Fred Karger was a Republican, while my stepfather had supported the Kennedys– though he banned them from Marilyn Monroe’s funeral, as the family story goes, telling Joe DiMaggio

None of those sons of bitches are welcome

Since then, Republican Fred Karger–who worked on nine presidential campaigns and served as a senior consultant on campaigns for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford–has become a frequent correspondent since he’s running for president as a Republican.

But Fred Karger has been excluded from the debates by a constantly shifting series of rules put in place by debate organizers. But it seems more like the other candidates and GOP Powers That Be want him excluded because of his political and social stances. He’d like to make the Republican party more open and inclusive. He is also openly gay, supports same-sex marriage, and

Oh and he’s Jewish, not that religion should be an issue in any campaign because the Constitution states that Congress should establish no religion; to run the country under Christian law is the same principle as running the country under sharia law.

Fred Karger, Republican candidate, has been shut out of the Fox GOP debates and the CNN GOP debates, and now:

NBC News will broadcast a GOP presidential debate…And still Fred Karger won’t be permitted to participate. Please sign this petition to get Fred Karger on the GOP stage

My stepfather, composer Fred Karger, never wanted to be president of the United States. But I love seeing someone with his name running. And I would like to hear from a GOP candidate who is not bigot, who doesn’t pander to people’s religious mania, and who doesn’t push xenophobic, homophobic buttons while claiming God is all mad at America. I’d to see the GOP allow a qualifying candidate to speak rationally about the issues that are important: The economy, energy, and getting out of the War-in-’Stans (which would actually solve the other two matters!).

You can sign the petition here.

[Thanks Teddy!]


60 Responses to "Late Night FDL: Fred Karger, Composer and Fred Karger, Candidate"
Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:02 pm 1

Happy late night!

DrDick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:05 pm 2

Done signed. Seems like the least I can do for the party which has embraced hate, ignorance, and religious fanaticism as its core values.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:08 pm 3

Thanks Dr Dick!

eCAHNomics | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:14 pm 4

Why is this Fred Krager a R?

DrDick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:15 pm 5
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 3

Hey, if they let in fringe whackaloons like Ron Paul and Alan West, they should let in someone who appears to be moderately sane.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:17 pm 6

Golly, eCAHN, Karger always seems to have been one. Here are his stances on some issues.

Larue | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:19 pm 7

Franie N Johnny is a classic.

Fred Karger, yer steppops, sounds like an incredible human, bless him for taking good care of YOU!

Fred Karger the candidate sounds pretty kewl too, but I’d like to know what ReTHug principles he adheres to for him to BE one of them . . . before I go all Gaga on him . . . bless him for his work so far as you describe tho, I’ll take more of that from most anyone but Ron Paul n libertarians . . . ;-)

Great read, appreciated it a lot thanks.

Beerfart Liberal | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:21 pm 8

Hey, Lisa! That is just too cool having a stepdad such as that. And on another note, still awaiting a response from the New York Yankees.

DrDick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:21 pm 9
In response to eCAHNomics @ 4

A lot of it probably comes down to economics. As John Aravosis and others have observed, many gays personally benefit from Republican tax policies as the have more disposable income and fewer dependents than average. Lisa may also have a point that he was perhaps raised that way. For a lot of people, political identification is a kind of family tradition.

Larue | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:23 pm 10

Thanks for the linky Mz. Derrick.

He loses me on fiscal conservatism, love of Reagan, James Baker, and Libya (yeah I was for it before I became against it don’t hurt me Pups for that) . . .

As to being fiscally conservative and creating jobs, he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth on this one. The private sector has proven to be the enemy of the middle class and the poor. That shit don’t fly for me.

I just can’t support him despite his very positive stances on other issues as you describe . . .

eCAHNomics | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:24 pm 11
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 6

Here’s a keeper from his website

“Ronald Reagan was the ultimate optimist. He basically talked us out of the last Recession, and I want to bring that kind of optimism back.”

Wow, I can really relate to that.

Like that, his website seems to be a lot of empty rhetoric, a word salad of left & right empty talking points.

He does seem to favor charter schools so if I were a front page poster & do real work on him, I’d look into his financial connection with the edumacation flim flam artists.

In general, talking points are less extreme but no more substantive than other Rs.

DrDick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:24 pm 12
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 6

He seems to harken back to an earlier era of moderate Republicans. I thought the breed had gone extinct in the 80s.

NorskeFlamethrower | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:24 pm 13


Citizen Lisa Derrick:

Bless your hungry heart Sister Lisa…I knew there was a reason I stayed up past my bedtime. I signed the petition and will go ta bed feelin’ good about things ‘cuz there is a lotta good shit happenin out here where all that matters is people.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:25 pm 14
In response to Larue @ 7

Thanks LaRue. I think it’s reprehensible that the thugs are keeping him out of the debates even though he has met or exceeded the criteria–scoring a certain % in an average of x # of polls. Fox said they wouldnt count his Zogby score; however Fox often quotes Zogby!

The idea of a gay Republican who wants to turn the focus on fixing things not being all hatey kinda freaks them out. Plus like Teddy wrote in the post I quoted:

won’t it be great to hear the other GOP candidates talk about their opposition to SB48, which requires social studies curriculum in California to include the contributions of LGBT Americans to our country’s progress? I also want to hear them talk about how gay marriage is like Pearl Harbor Day, and the paper towels & napkins jihad, and why we can’t have “special rights” for homosexuals.

Fred Karger is giving lots of American kids hope that they, too, can grow up to run for President, if they are LGBT. He’s not a perfect vessel — who is? — but he deserves a podium on Wednesday’s stage.

DrDick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:25 pm 15
In response to NorskeFlamethrower @ 13

Flame on, Norske, flame on.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:29 pm 16
In response to Larue @ 10

Totally, he is by no means perfect, but he is definitely showing his party’s ugly underbelly. I want him up there because he is no more or less substantial than his opponents. But because he is pro abortion (for ostensibly GOP reasons) and pro- marriage eqaality (for GOP reasons), he has his party’s panties in a bunch.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:30 pm 17
In response to NorskeFlamethrower @ 13


Larue | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:32 pm 18

Ok, Doc Dick @9 offers some great insight. Thanks.

Still, not enough for me, he might be an R cuz of elitism, n no protector of middle class or lessors . . . wonder what his stance on minorities and racism is . . .

eCAHNomics | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:32 pm 19

Are the R laughingly-referred-to-as debates (ditto anything referred to as debates in U.S. politics) of any importance other than comedic value? Do we care who is included? Why or why not?

Ditto Ds.

Larue | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:33 pm 20
In response to eCAHNomics @ 11

Heh, good call across the board ma’am. Have to agree with ya fully.

Any one for charter schools and privatization is no friend to the middle class, the unemployed, or the poor.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:34 pm 21
In response to Beerfart Liberal @ 8

It ws really fun havng him as a stepdad.His mom came to live wiht use–she had been on vaudeville and during the wars form WW2 on, she’d have soldiers come over and play cards with some of the young Haollywood stars she new–she live dwith her brother John n an apartment just off Sunset Blvd, aroudn the corner from Schwabs and across form where the Garden of Alla used to stand. I have her authographed photos from Alla Nazimov, Valentino’s co-star, and Jean Arthur, Valentinos firts wife. (My step father’s father produced Valentino’s “Four Horsemen”)

Larue | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:35 pm 22
In response to DrDick @ 12

Would the GOP and most of the Dim Party go the way of the dinosaurs along with the 2% that own and operate them.

Alas, LeSigh.

eCAHNomics | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:37 pm 23
In response to Larue @ 20

Seems pretty obvious.

One might want him on the “platform” just for fun, but other that that…

The just for fun aspect might involve timing how long it would take him to cave to TP rhetoric. A drinking game perhaps.

DrDick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:40 pm 24
In response to Larue @ 20

The charter school issue is a bit complicated. On the facts and existing data, they are probably a bad idea, but there are people of all political persuasions who back them. Liberals do so from the mistaken belief that they can provide a higher quality education for a better cost by cutting the bureaucracy and imposing quality controls (many on the left have also bought into the myth of no accountability for teachers). There are many reasons, including their actual track record overall, to doubt that they do any better than the regular schools, but not all supporters are ideologically driven privatizers like the GOP.

Larue | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:41 pm 25
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 14

Yes ma’am, but the DIMS are no better in past erections in terms of keepin undesirables out of debates or squelching those allowed INTO the debate.

As we all know, this shit started when the League Of Women Voters lost their control of the debate selection and organizing process, and the moderation of said debates.

Just another milestone us boomers have lived thru as our rights as we grew up with were decimated time and again.

It’s all quite disheartening regardless of one’s niche wishes, and it’s sure as shat disempowering across the board, sadly.

Without gainful employment for most all, it can’t change, either.

Only spiral down further n further . . . n the Karger’s of our lives regardless of party affiliation are no help to the masses.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:41 pm 26
In response to eCAHNomics @ 23

He qualified so he should be up there.

Maybe I am confused, but the charter schools in this area are open to all income levels with a mandate to be ethnically and economically diverse…

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:42 pm 27
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 26

Vouchers are nasty though. And anyway you slice it, the LA unified school district is a mess.

eCAHNomics | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:44 pm 28
In response to DrDick @ 24

All supporters of charter schools are either ideologically driven or dubes.

They lie, cheat & steal to prove they’re better. Cherry picking students is fave cheating strategy. On average they get more $$/pupil than public schools (don’t have a link to that but would bet my bottom $ based on my experience with my son at P.S. 6 in Manhattan. Parents made large contributions to make sure this “public” school was far superior to public schools in poor areas.)

DrDick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:44 pm 29
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 26

Many charter schools (I do not know about the LA area) are highly selective and cherry pick the only best students from the district. Others that are more open, as in the Michelle Rhee scandals, cheat to elevate their scores.

Larue | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:45 pm 30
In response to eCAHNomics @ 23

We seem to be viewing things thru the same lenses.

The destruction of values, rights and opportunities I was raised to believe in is plain for me to see . . . and serves to make me as skeptical and jaded and angry as I am about it all.

DrDick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:46 pm 31
In response to eCAHNomics @ 28

I do not really disagree with that (see mine at 29), though I am a bit kinder to the misguided souls on the left who support them.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:46 pm 32
In response to Larue @ 25

Gollly, I loved the League of Women voters. A very upstanding bunch.

eCAHNomics | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:48 pm 33
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 26

You are surely not naive enough to believe that clap trap. There are multiple ways charter schools can game the system and their adminstrators know them all. I’ve already mentioned cherry picking. Lesseee. Forcing kids out who will fail standardized tests, or at least having them report sick for the day of the test, seem pretty simple ones. etc. etc. etc.

DrDick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:49 pm 34
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 32

Real patriotic Americans who had the best interests of the nation at heart, regardless of their party affiliation. A dying breed, sadly.

Larue | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:51 pm 35
In response to DrDick @ 24

Anyone posturing as a liberal who would support charters is well, posturing. As that position is not a liberal one, regardless of said intent with POV.

The ed system has been systematically dismantled at all levels since Reagan in CA, and Reagan nationally.

Sure, urban areas have always have had ed challenges, but they have always had the complete myriad of social and econ challenges.

Liberals who vouch for vouchers are elitist thugs posing as benefactors of the masses. They are no better or worse for their professed idealogy (likely race based underneath it all) than the best or worst of the GOP.


Sorry for the preachin to the Choir, and to the Choir’s Doc, hoss.

On we trudge.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:53 pm 36
In response to DrDick @ 31

I know very little about chater school, except in passing converstation abotu one that was set up in Pacific palisades. LA has a number of public magnet schools specializing in math, arts, science with huge waiting lists.
One of the best resources on my side of town is the Echo Park Film Collective which is open to any child in the area and is funded pricately. They have equiptment and ids can sign up for classes and make movies. We also have the Silver Lake Music Conversvatory which Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers founded and the Pepper+ their friends suppport with a huge fund raier every year to insure that scholarships are available.

The school thing makes me glad I don’t have kids.

DrDick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:53 pm 37

Think I will toddle off. Had a long day today as I got to work about 7:30 this morning (normal) and got home about 7:00 tonight (definitely not normal) and was pretty much going the whole time. Take care all.

eCAHNomics | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:54 pm 38

Like torture, the edumacation talking points are really simple and really obvious to refute. Since there was no school that ever suited my son bet K & jr year HS (when he decided for 2 years to “conform”), and we tried them all, I have a lot of personal experience with how the game is played. Also have a lot of fun personal stories to tell if by fun you include societal tragedal outcomes. Only a few rules and they are all completely obvious to the alert observer. Just ask if one of them puzzles you.

Larue | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:55 pm 39
In response to DrDick @ 31

You got a big ass heart, Doc . . . mine;s not as big.

The misguided lib souls are no less a threat and evil to the masses than the other misguided evil cretins.

It’s class war, and when rich elitist libs n DIMS have their rich and elitist existence challenged and threatened they are all the same.

N the masses are dying and suffering for that. We COULD have a nation and society based on much more, and I’m damned sure it wasn’t the middle class and the poor who shat all over it and are draining the swamp we live in.


Beerfart Liberal | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:56 pm 40
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 21

Was just thinking of the movies from that era the other day. Tried to catch an elevator and the doors closed almost on my nose (thanks co-workers for holding it). Thought of Buster Keaton.

eCAHNomics | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:57 pm 41
In response to Larue @ 35

One of the meta themes in education is that: “every school and every teacher must be better than average.”

Way “they” set the system up for failure and are able to scapegoat the real people who make it work.

foxman | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:57 pm 42

Hi Lisa,
Signed the petition.
Would be nice if the Repubs respected all POVs.
Not holding my breath…

Great music!
Thanks for sharing your stepdad’s work.

DrDick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:57 pm 43
In response to Larue @ 35

A last note before I toddle off. I think that some on the left are desperate to fix our broken urban schools, which are clearly failing far too many of our children. They have heard the hype and propaganda and believe it because they so badly want to believe that there is some magic bullet that will solve the problem (it also apparently offers the kind of technocratic fix that many of them are enamored of anyway). I think that they are wrong and that the charter school movement will only make things worse overall by diverting needed resources away from where they are most needed. That does not negate the fact that they are well meaning if totally misguided.

Teddy Partridge | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:58 pm 44

So, how did your stepfather get to tell DiMaggio the Kennedys were banned from Marilyn’s funeral?

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 08:59 pm 45

My housemate has a 15 yr old who had trouble conforming in schoools–very bright kid who got in trouble once when he politely corrected a teacher who said TUK_SON for Tucson. He then went ot a small (50 student) Quaker offshoot in Albany,where they lived at the time, called the Free School where he blossomed, and when he got to high school age and had the chance to move to LA and go to a huge public school he leapt at the chance and really enjoys it–except for the cafeterian overload and the budget suts that randomly close bathrooms becuase there isnt the staff to clena them.

Beerfart Liberal | Tuesday September 6, 2011 09:00 pm 46

G’ night, Doc. Aways a pleasure. In Fl the problem with charters is that they suck. Lack of oversight. How did we get to talking about that.

DrDick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 09:00 pm 47
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 36

OK, one more last thing before I toddle off. Magnet schools are something totally different than charter schools and are part of the regular school system and open to all students (who may have to meet certaint minimal standards). They are actually a positive development and do a fair bit of good, though they have their own problems.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 09:02 pm 48
In response to DrDick @ 37

Night Dr D!

Larue | Tuesday September 6, 2011 09:02 pm 49

Ok, I know I’m generally big pic issue oriented and many Pups are MUCH more factually oriented, and my generalized POV’s tend to chafe.

But I thank you all for indulging me a bit on this thread, Mz. Derrick especially . . .

Yer all very special for me at The Lake and I learn a lot from all of you, year after year.

Now I need to go to a happy place and listen and pic some to music filled with mando’s, banjo’s, gits, fiddles, a dawghouse and of course, the BEST hub cap instrument, the dobro.

All y’all be well n excellent to others . . . and yerselves.

I try to help those around us, regardless of POV’s. They are local and daily people in our lives . . . and many have less than we do . . . Online, it’s just different to me . . . ;-)

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 09:04 pm 50
In response to foxman @ 42

Thanks foxman! He was a really cool guy and made a huge contribution to pop culture by suggesting Elvis dye his hair jet black–it was actually medium brown.

eCAHNomics | Tuesday September 6, 2011 09:10 pm 51
In response to DrDick @ 47

Opinion is mixed on magnet schools, though I favor the concept.

OTOH, magnet schools are competitive entry and separate the elites from the real peeps at an early age. The anti-argument is that smarter, more hard working kids should work with real peeps all along so that they don’t think of themselves as “better,” “special,” and are aware that they have responsibilities for all people of all stripes regardless of mental endowments and genes that select for ability to drive oneself.

OTOH, I am the beneficiary of a public education sys that was divided by mental abilities within the same HS. Without being in the top selected category, I would have hated school. Would have been way too slow for me.

Not any easy circle to square. I understand the arguments on both sides.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 09:13 pm 52
In response to Larue @ 49

Likewise LaRue. I learn so much here form you and everyone.

oldgold | Tuesday September 6, 2011 09:16 pm 53

Reading about your stepfather was much more interesting than the pol.

It seems he led an interesting life.

Thank you for sharing this.

foxman | Tuesday September 6, 2011 09:21 pm 54
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 50

Maybe you could write a wiki article about him.
Only the Repub candidate is there now.

Did find this:

This article needs more info!

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 09:23 pm 55
In response to oldgold @ 53

Thank you. He was really interesting. His dad, a film producer died when Fred was like 6, and his mom married their chauffeur, Jim. During prohibition, my step dad would go out in a boat with his cousin and Jim, he would have been in his mid teens) and pick up the smuggled liquor. He remembered going to the Egyptian Theater when it first opened, and in later years while married to my mo we had all sorts of interesting people over on a regular basis; his mom, Nana taught me to play gin and poker and when someone gave us crap table, I had a Roarings 20s party with girls from my junior high–costumes, music, the whole bit. Fred died in 1979. One of his best friends, Jack Lemmon gave his eulogy.

seabe | Tuesday September 6, 2011 09:23 pm 56

He also advocates lowering the voting age to 16. This is a policy we should get behind, too.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 09:29 pm 57
In response to foxman @ 54

OMG, I wrote a wiki for someone who is a friend, and they are brutal to do. antique html and really dry writing. But one day I may tackle it

Problem is, many of the online sources are not worth citing–they are wrong. like TruTV article about Marilyn Monroe which claims Fred had “children.” He had one: My stepsister. Granted in his book, MM’s own shrink Dr. Ralph Greenson claimed Fred had a son (my stepsister’ name could be considered male, ergo the possible confusion, or maybe the shrink was masking the identity a bit?).

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 6, 2011 10:05 pm 58

Nighty night!

litvak36 | Wednesday September 7, 2011 03:43 am 59
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 57

If Fred Karger and your mom had a daughter together,wouldn’t she be your half sister not a step sister? If Fred had a daughter by another woman,she would have been your step sister.

DonWilliams | Thursday September 8, 2011 09:42 am 60
In response to DrDick @ 2

I always get big laughs out of people who feed the data harvesters with info by filling out pointless internet petitions.

Sorry but the comments are closed on this post