Election redux? Run, Fenty, Run goes live in Georgetown

Photo by RJSmith
John Hlinko, the Georgetown father responsible for the social media for the Fenty write-in.
John Hlinko, the Georgetown father responsible for the social media for the Fenty write-in.
The contest for mayor is over, isn’t it? Or is it?

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray beat Mayor Adrian Fenty by some 10 percent in the Sept 14th Democratic primary.  In an overwhelmingly Democratic city, that’s as good as being elected, with the November general election typically viewed as a victory lap.
 
But wait. A real, viable write-in campaign for Mayor Fenty -- with roots in Georgetown and backed by new and long-standing Fenty supporters -- has started to spread, with significant financing, Facebook, Twitter, and social media legs.  The evidence includes:  
 
-- A glossy, professional-looking postcard passed out at Cleveland Park Day on Saturday.  It features a Fenty picture and says: “Fenty Run!!!!!” and “Write-in Adrian M. Fenty” with a web address, WriteFentyIn.com, a live phone number, and email, Facebook and Twitter addresses,
 
-- A serious 10-minute-long poll estimated to cost $20,000, reported by Mike DeBonis of The Washington Post with analysis by John Sides, a George Washington University professor, and
 
--  John Hlinko, a live, very charming person who speaks publicly for the campaign (at least part of it).  He’s a Georgetown resident and parent who readily takes credit for the social media. 
 
Hlinko is a school-reform Fenty supporter.   “I’d like to send my 4-year-old daughter to public school and I was more and more pleased with what I saw.  This is awesome,” Hlinko says of the Fenty/Rhee school reforms.  When Fenty lost, he was “bummed” and decided to get involved. “It’s a long shot.  It’s in the hands of the D.C. voters—they can do it, all they have to do is learn how to spell his name and walk to the polls with a pencil, and they can do it.”
 
In terms of financial backing, Hlinko has spent some $1,500, which he plans to report. Financing of the poll remains unclear.

0 Comments For This Article

Peter Rosenstein

It is a shame that Mr. Hlinko didn't decide to get into action before the primary if he was so concerned. Maybe this will be a wake up call for all the Mr. Hlinko's in the District that if they want to make sure that they have a say they will have to become and stay involved.

I drafted Adrian Fenty's platform in 2006 and was one of his staunchest supporters. Actually did the same for Anthony Williams before him. This time I supported Vincent Gray. While I think that Adrian Fenty did many good things he ended up being his own worst enemy by disregarding the fact that to keep moving our City forward you need to bring the majority of the people along with you.

I think that Mr. Hlinko is actually doing a disservice to Adrian Fenty by this write-in campaign. He will end up having the Mayor be a two time loser. I don't want to see that becuase I want to see the Mayor have a continued successful career in whatever area he chooses. In addition it makes no sense especially since the Mayor has already endorsed Vincent Gray.

I hope those involved in this losing write-in campaign will stay involved in the District and work to make it a better place. Vincent Gray is as committed to school reform as was Adrian Fenty. Vincent Gray was the one that got school reform passed on the Council. It was Michelle Rhee who took herself out of the opportunity to continue to be the Chancellor by getting involved in politics and making some totally impolitic statements. But then there are many other people equally capable of becoming Chancellor and moving forward agreesively on school reform. Something that Vincent Gray has committed to do.

The time for sour grapes is over and the time to join together to move our city forward is now.

Anonymous

@Peter Rosenstein
"...disregarding the fact that to keep moving our City forward you need to bring the majority of the people along with you."

So by reforming the horrible DCPS Fenty was leaving people behind? Please.

Or perhaps you mean that the next mayor needs to bring the majority of *teachers* along.

watchoutmomshome

The objectively quantifiable data shows that her efforts have hurt student progress in District of Columbia Public Schools.

Math Proficiency Scores:

-14 schools are worse off in 2010 than in 2007 with declines as high as 25% and an average of 8%
-41 schools are worse off in 2010 than in 2008, with declines as high as 35% and an average of 11%
-61 schools (52% of all schools) are worse off in 2010 than in 2009, with declines as high as 30% and an average of 10%

Reading Proficiency Scores:

-40 schools are worse off in 2010 than in 2007, with declines as high as 45% and an average of 6%
-58 schools are worse off in 2010 than in 2008, with declines as high as 36% and an average if 9%
-66 schools (56% of all schools) are worse off in 2010 than in 2009, with declines as high as 41% and an average of 9%

(source withheld)

Other performance facts:

-AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) under Leave no Child Behind, results for DCPS: 10 schools achieved AYP in 2010 a 70% decrease from 2009, when 34 achieved AYP.

-The achievement gap between White and African-American 4th grade students for Math has increased to a 58 point gap in 2009 from a 53 point gap in 2007.

-DCPS tested 14% fewer African-America children in 2009 indicating that many African-American families are leaving DCPS for charter or private schools.

-Since 2007 DC School construction shows favoritism toward Wards 2 and 3, where outlays average between $118 and $152 per sq. ft. compared to Wards 7 and 8 where expenditures drop between $40 and $54 per sq. ft.

(source withheld)

Anonymous

Thank you Mr. Rosenstein for your thoughtful comments regarding the write-in campaign for Fenty. I too supported Fenty in '06 for all the same reasons and was very disappointed to see how poorly he managed the change process. The arrogant sledgehammer approach can only go so far, ultimately real change requires a toolbox that contains different tools and instruments, something that eluded Mr. Fenty.

It's time that DC citizens get behind Gray and be a critical friend of his administration. Never give up our rights to complain, but we should always remember the responsibility of participation in our representative democracy.

Anonymous

DCPS had the first increase in enrollment in 39 years this year.

He'll never win a Miss Congeniality contest, but in terms of effectiveness? Hell yes.

4 more years? You bet. I'm writing in "Fenty" on November 2nd.

Anonymous

Not clear to me why we should feel obliged to get behind Mr. Gray when it's still October. Last I checked we've got a general election ahead of us (despite the fact that folks seem to accept that registered democrats who show up in September get to determine the fate of the city). I'll write in Fenty, if Gray wins there will be plenty of time to be a "critical friend" later.