Alex Koplin is a founding member of Kenai Peninsula Votes. (courtesy photo)

Alex Koplin is a founding member of Kenai Peninsula Votes. (courtesy photo)

Voices of the Peninsula: 48 candidates and it’s dinner time

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

By Alex Koplin

I can’t believe that I have to send out 48 dinner invitations.

At most, in previous elections, I may have had to send out three or four invites, but now I have to send out 48. For years my system has been unfettered. It has been my go-to. My vote is so important that whoever gets my seal of approval needs to at least have a meal with me — heck it’s the least they can do considering that I am entrusting them with my welfare.

I really have to meet the candidates. I was at the top of my game before this new special primary, but 48 dinner invitations? Heck, I don’t think there is even enough time for me to do that before I get my mail-in ballot and get it postmarked by June 11. At least the postage is paid for, considering how much tofu I am going to have to buy.

If I am counting right, which I almost always do, except that time I had bounced three checks in a row — from April 10 to the time my ballot is due on June 11 is 60 days or something like that. I will have only 12 days off for dinner, and that is if I don’t have to reschedule and heaven forbid, I invite two at a time — that won’t work.

Oh, excuse me for not telling you what this is about unless you have already guessed, but when I pick a candidate in any election, primary, local, state or national election, I have the candidate over for dinner.

It is the one way I truly know that I am picking the candidate that I trust the most — and it is all based on our dinner. I can learn more about a person by having them over for a gourmet vegan meal than I can by reading any of the literature, campaign signs, debates, forums, anything.

I am a believer of the old adage that when you break bread with someone you really get to know them. This has been my go-to for 40 years now and I am a super voter. I never miss an election. I always do my homework and I never sweat getting to the polls or if I am out of town, receiving my absentee ballot and getting it back in time except for one time in 1987, too long a story to share here.

I really can’t, in all reality, have a sit-down with 48 candidates in the time left to figure out who is my top choice.

I was very excited about inviting Santa Claus to dinner and even though he might not be the real Santa Claus, he probably is a lot like him. I know he and another candidate (Karyn Griffin) made mention that they would not accept campaign contributions, so they would probably be itching to come to a couple of meals — but just one per candidate.

I think this year I will narrow the list.

Now I see that Dr. Gross is on the list, well, he has been over before, so no need this time, unless he has acquired a more refined palate for vegan casserole. Who knew he was not a big fan of soy?

But I never had Sarah over for dinner. I invited her back when she was running for governor, and the funny thing is she was almost at my house and then she called to tell me she had a change of heart and didn’t want to come over and just bailed. Obviously, she didn’t get my vote.

Well, I can go on and on, but I really can’t procrastinate any longer; I need to start sending out my invites — just not sure I am going to get to all of them — but I will do my best, because I am a super voter, except for that one time….

Anyways, I wish you all the best for finding the candidate you want who is vying for Don’s seat until the election in November, when the real election for his two-year seat happens.

Oh, Uncle Don was great to have over. He was great with the kids. He could tell a tale of two or three or four, but I know we will find someone to replace him — we always have.

So, if you’re thinking about having a meal with some of these 48, you might start maybe going in alphabetical order and that would be, Dennis Aguayo, and he is from Nikiski, so that is good, he won’t have to drive so far to get to my house.

Alex Koplin has lived on the Kenai Peninsula for 34 years. He has not actually had any political candidates for dinner, but invitations are open.

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