Non-profit

Left Action

Website:

leftaction.com/

Location:

Washington, DC

Formation:

2011

Founder:

John Hlinko

Left Action is a network of political supporters focused on advancing left-progressive issues. [1] It is the flagship site for the Left Action Network, a series of online organizations and sites that support left-of-center activism. [2] Left Action uses online petitions to gather email addresses of politically active Democrats[3] and the group is built primarily through online marketing. [4]

Funding

In 2003, John Hlinko created Act For Love, a liberal dating website that connects liberals with other liberals. [5] Act For Love is partnered with Left Action. Act For Love urges its users to take action and participate in political matters while looking for love. [6] All profits from Act For Love are used to support Left Action. [7] The site is run by John Hlinko and his wife Leigh Stringer,  who identify as an “activist” couple. [8]

One method Left Action uses to determine which groups and partners to promote is whether that group pays Left Action for support and exposure. Left Action receives funding from various groups and partners and in exchange, promotes that group to its followers and supporters. [9]

For the 2018 election cycle, John Hlinko was paid more than $2 million by pro-Democratic groups for email lists he acquired through Left Action. [10] During the 2020 campaign cycle, National Democratic Training Committee PAC paid Left Action $204,000 for list rental, which is primarily used by new groups that want to build an audience quickly, as an attempt to reach out to Democratic voters. [11]

End Citizens United, a Democratic-aligned political action committee (PAC), has spent roughly $300,000 on list rentals from John Hlinko Consulting (Left Action), Rising Tide Interactive, and from progressive publications. [12]

Online Presence

Online Petitions

Left Action publishes left-leaning petitions on its website, which attack President Donald Trump, push for his resignation, call for his impeachment, refer to him as an “idiot,” criticize former Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI), offer support for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and support left-of-center electoral administration and voting access policies, among others. [13]

Social Media

Left Action is active on Facebook and posts frequently. The posts are derogatory toward President Donald Trump, incorporate foul and offensive language, and all posts support left-leaning progressive ideology. [14]

Left Action’s Twitter account is active and has posts several times a day. As with Facebook, the posts are negative toward the Republican Party and its members and politicians, the posts often contain foul and offensive language, and the views expressed support left-progressive Democrats. [15]

Global Women 4 Wellbeing

Leigh Stringer, John Hlinko’s wife, was the one of the founders of Global Women 4 Wellbeing, a nonprofit focused on suitability, women’s health, women’s wellbeing, and leadership challenges. [16] Left Action funded the organization’s initial event, which was held at the couple’s house. Global Women 4 Wellbeing reportedly planned to use Left Action’s supporter and email lists. [17]

Founder

John Hlinko, founder of Left Action, is a left-of-center “netroots” activist, author, and consultant. He has regularly appeared on CNN, Fox, Current, and C-Span, where he supports and advocates for Democrats and left-of-center viewpoints. [18]

Hlinko was a former consultant for the 2008 Obama campaign. [19] He founded Draft Wesley Clark, a campaign group to solicit retired military officer Wesley Clark to run for President as a Democrat in the 2004 election, and he co-led DraftObama.org in 2006-2007. [20] Hlinko was also instrumental in the creation of MoveOn.org in 1998 and played the role of political strategist. [21]

John Hlinko and his wife bought a historic house in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., which enables them to hold fundraisers and entertain hundreds of people at a time. Leigh Stringer, an architect, has referred to the house as “the house that Trump built.” [22] After President Donald Trump’s election in 2016 Left Action’s supporters and followers grew from 750,000 to 2 million, which Hlinko and his wife credit to enabling them to purchase their house, due to business being up and Hlinko’s site being very “lucrative.” [23]

John Hlinko also runs his own consulting business focused on using social media platforms for advocacy and growing mass movements. [24] His clients include the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Moms Clean Air Force, a project of EDF. [25]

References

  1. About. Left Action. Accessed May 15, 2020. https://leftaction.com/about ^
  2. Homepage. Left Action. Accessed May 15, 2020. https://leftaction.com/ ^
  3. Evers-Hillstrom, Karl and Erickson, Camille. “Your Email is for Sale – and 2020 Candidates Are Paying Up.” OpenSecrets.org. June 13, 2019. Accessed May 18, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2019/06/email-list-for-sale-2020-candidates-are-paying/ ^
  4. “Progressive Protesting Proving to Be Profitable.” The NonProfit Times. July 13, 2017. Accessed May 18, 2020. https://www.thenonprofittimes.com/npt_articles/progressive-protesting-proving-profitable/ ^
  5. Slater, Samantha. “Political Matchmaker Sites Help Find Mr. Right (or Ms. Left.)” Politico. February 13, 2007. Accessed May 15, 2020. https://www.politico.com/story/2007/02/political-matchmaker-sites-help-find-mr-right-or-ms-left-002749 ^
  6. Action. Act For Love. Accessed May 15, 2020. http://actforlove.org/action/ ^
  7. Homepage. Act For Love. Accessed May 15, 2020. http://actforlove.org/actforlove-org-take-action-get-action/ ^
  8. How Does This Work? Act For Love. Accessed May 15, 2020. http://actforlove.org/how/ ^
  9. About – FAQ. Left Action. Accessed May 18, 2020. https://leftaction.com/about ^
  10. Evers-Hillstrom, Karl and Erickson, Camille. “Your Email is for Sale – and 2020 Candidates Are Paying Up.” OpenSecrets.org. June 13, 2019. Accessed May 18, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2019/06/email-list-for-sale-2020-candidates-are-paying/ ^
  11. Evers-Hillstrom, Karl and Erickson, Camille. “Your Email is for Sale – and 2020 Candidates Are Paying Up.” OpenSecrets.org. June 13, 2019. Accessed May 18, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2019/06/email-list-for-sale-2020-candidates-are-paying/ ^
  12. Goldberg, Danny. “End Citizens United: Reform Group or Cash Cow?” The American Prospect. February 18, 2016. Accessed May 19, 2020. https://prospect.org/power/end-citizens-united-reform-group-cash-cow/ ^
  13. Current Actions. Left Action. Accessed May 19, 2020. https://leftaction.com/actions ^
  14. Left Action. Facebook. Accessed May 19, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/LeftAction/ ^
  15. Left Action. Twitter. Accessed May 19, 2020. https://twitter.com/LeftAction?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor ^
  16. About – Founding Members. Global Women 4 Wellbeing. Accessed May 18, 2020. https://www.gw4w.org/about/our-team/ ^
  17. “Progressive Protesting Proving to Be Profitable.” The NonProfit Times. July 13, 2017. Accessed May 18, 2020. https://www.thenonprofittimes.com/npt_articles/progressive-protesting-proving-profitable/ ^
  18. On TV. John Hlinko Consulting. Accessed May 15, 2020. http://hlinkoconsulting.com/home/on_tv ^
  19. On TV. John Hlinko Consulting. Accessed May 15, 2020. http://hlinkoconsulting.com/home/on_tv ^
  20. About. Left Action. Accessed May 15, 2020. https://leftaction.com/about ^
  21. Clift, Eleanor. “Getting Rich Off Left-Wing Activism.” Daily Beast. April 11, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/getting-rich-off-left-wing-activism ^
  22. Clift, Eleanor. “Getting Rich Off Left-Wing Activism.” Daily Beast. April 11, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/getting-rich-off-left-wing-activism ^
  23. Clift, Eleanor. “Getting Rich Off Left-Wing Activism.” Daily Beast. April 11, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/getting-rich-off-left-wing-activism ^
  24. John Hlinko. LinkedIn. Accessed May 18, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnhlinko/ ^
  25. “Progressive Protesting Proving to Be Profitable.” The NonProfit Times. July 13, 2017. Accessed May 18, 2020. https://www.thenonprofittimes.com/npt_articles/progressive-protesting-proving-profitable/ ^
  See an error? Let us know!

Left Action


Washington, DC