Who is the dude behind the not-AdrianFenty-approved Fenty write-in efforts that include a Facebook page and a new website (which LL commends for having a smooth, pleasing design)?

It’s John Hlinko, who calls himself a “Buzz Czar” and has a pretty colorful resume. According to a brief search through old clips:

  • He’s organized “GuyPartisan Dinners” for die-hard righties and die-hard lefties to eat steak, drink scotch and make fun of each other.
  • He started a dating website for left-wing political types called www.actforlove.org.
  • He started DraftWesleyClark.com (remember that guy?) in 2003 and “helped steered the retired general’s presidential bid.”
  • He produced ads for Barack Obama that aired in New Hampshire, was “co-leader” of DraftObama.org website.

Why’s he pushing a campaign that Fenty has shown no interest in? LL has a call in to Hlinko, and will update if he calls back. Meanwhile, WUSA9’s “community web producer” Simon Landau caught up with Hlinko, who said this:

“For me, it’s not anti-Gray at all,” Hlinko said.  “I just think of it this way: If you’re playing in the World Series, and you’ve got a guy who has three home runs already, why would you pinch-hit for him? Another player might work out well, but why would you go against someone with that track record?”

Say what? Based on that metaphor alone, LL has a hunch that Hlinko doesn’t follow local politics very closely. Remember: Fenty = triathlons; Gray = baseball.

Update: LL just got off the phone with a personable Hlinko, who says he’s motivated to see Fenty re-elected because of—what else— school reform. “It’s kind of a big deal,” he says.

Hlinko says he knows the write-in effort is a long shot, and is probably the last thing Fenty wants right now, but Hlinko wants people to know that if they are bummed like he is that Fenty lost, they “still have a chance” to vote for their guy.