Interview with DL PE's

For the interview the day before Election Day we didn't have to go very far. Nattie and I interviewed fellow DL'ers John Karabaic (pronounced like Mosaic) and Avys (pronounced Avis, yeah like the rental car company) Hardison. You have to read the article to find out the meaning behind this picture.

I apologize if any of the interviews are a little off. The recording person thought they had the device on, but alas it was not. I had to recreate the answers from scant notes. John and Avys are running for Democratic Precinct Executive also known as County Central Committee. It's the lowest form of elected office.

John and Avys were both appointed to vacant PE positions after the 2004 election, and are now running for the office(s).

Can you explain what a PE does exactly?

AH: I was never formally told what the position entails, what I know I learned from other people. PE's are in charge of getting out the vote.
JK: I agree. We are to mobilized the vote, and assure high turnouts. I see our job not as conversion of Independents, but to enforce party discipline at the lowest level. We are to disseminate information from the top to the bottom and from the ground up. Occasionally we get to appoint someone to office.

How do you carry out your job and where are your Precincts?

AH: I have a small precinct, I have 64 registered democrats but most of the precinct is independent. 25-A, it's all apartments. I go door to door. I get to know my neighbors, which is good. I think if you know your neighbors you’re less likely to shoot them.
JK: I have 4-F, in Hyde Park. I walk, although not as often as I should. I phone when I'm out of town. I'm trying to build my email list of my dems. I try to keep a notebook with a page for each voter, so I remember what their issues are etc. I feel our job is where the rubber meets the road.

Why are you running for this position?

AH: When I was still new to Cincinnati I was at a Progressive Democrats meeting. I grew up in a more democratic town; Cincinnati is such a red city it was a little overwhelming. Stephanie Studebaker was addressing the meeting. She asked people there who is your PE? People looked around and no one knew who their PE was. She asked are any of you a PE? None of them were. Something needs to be done-Do something!
JK: Not interested in Policy at this point. Dave Berry used to say that the difference between Democrats and Republicans was that if you were on the side of the road with a flat a Republican wouldn't stop to help you 'cause he would be on his way to the country club. A Democrat would stop but wouldn't know how to fix the flat. (He almost got it right. See this link for the correct quote. ) The Dems don't know how to get out the vote. I’m a from-the-bottom-up kind of guy. My job is to make the party run smoothly at the lowest level. I'm interested in ops, that’s separate from the ideas people.

Who knows you are running for office? Do your family and co-workers know?

AH: My parents know. I told her about my certificate last year and she was impressed for all of five minutes. My co-workers know that I'm a democrat from all my bumper stickers and my Blackwell bashing. I think they can't figure me out, 'cause I listen to WLW, Jerry Springer and Lincoln Ware. The people who need to know, know.
JK: I used to work for a big Republican Company. My co-workers were basically chickenhawks. They would talk about the war, and I was the only verteran in the bunch. I felt like saying you don't even deserve the right to vote. (Although that's not what he believes.) These people have young sons, but wouldn't dream of having them serve in the military. Now I work for a more democratic company. They are supportive. My family knows but my mother didn't live long enough to see me on the ballot.

Some people call this the lowest form of elected office, how do you feel about that? What satisfaction do you get out of this office?

AH: Getting to know my neighbors. The reward is if the people that need to be elected get elected; that's it!
JK: It's said that politicians are the lowest form of life and I'm the lowest form of politician. My reward; I loved when I first started knocking on my neighbor’s doors. The older democrats were excited to see a democrat at their door. I have one woman who lived here for 50 years. She started pointing out were all the democrats used to live.
AH: When I knocked one woman’s door to get her to sign my petition to run for office she was watching King of the Hill. It was the episode where Hank is a Precinct Executive (or something equivalent) and the lady answered the door and said "Your Hank Hill."

Do you have a campaign slogan?

JK: More of the same. (John's precinct voted for Kerry and Hackett. What's wrong with the rest of the county?)
AH: I don't have one.

Do you have a diploma you never picked up?

JK: I was sent a letter that I was eligible for my degrees from the administration. I bet a letter like that will materialize in Mean Jean's file.
AH: My twin picked mine up.

What is your favorite drink?
AH: And drinks. Black and Tan, Baileys and coffee, gin and tonic.
JK: I go through fads. Now it's Anchorsteam beer and coffee. (Separately of course.)

Do you see yourself running for a higher office in the future?
AH: Politicking makes your hair grey. (I take that as a NO.)
JK: There is no higher office.

Join us tomorrow night at DL for John and Avys election night party.
Same bat time, same bat channel.

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