Liberal authors offer prize even birthers can love

Earlier today, Sean Duffy, spokesman for gubernatorial hopeful Scott McInnis, said he didn't want his candidate to be reduced to a caricature by Michael Huttner, the man behind the left-leaning ProgressNow Colorado operation. After making that comment, Duffy noted that Huttner's very effective at what he does, adding, "Our team needs a Michael Huttner."

It wouldn't hurt. Huttner has developed some extremely effective methods for promoting liberal causes, and in recent years, he's successfully exported them to organizations in a number of other states. Among his secrets: a cheeky sense of humor that's typified by his approach to promoting 50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America, a book he's co-written with activist and former Rocky Mountain News media columnist Jason Salzman, with whom he'll appear on Thursday, September 17, at the LoDo Tattered Cover. Huttner's soliciting members of the public to submit ideas about how to improve this great country of ours -- and the best one wins a trip to visit the hospital in Hawaii where President Barack Obama was born.

Of course, so-called birthers and media supporters such as talk-show host Peter Boyles, who's been talking about putting up a billboard questioning Obama's birthplace, aren't so willing to verify that the prez actually drew his first breath at the facility. But if one of them wins, he can do an on-site investigation at Huttner's expense. And what self-respecting right-winger wouldn't love that?

By the way, anyone who doubts that Huttner carries considerable weight in liberal circles nationally will be disabused of such notions by the celebrity blurbs tacked onto 50 Ways: Endorsers include the late Ted Kennedy, Arianna Huffington and, perhaps most impressive of all, actress Jessica Alba, who knows plenty about the subject. After all, she improved America just by the way she danced in Sin City.

Read the 50 Ways press release, complete with blurbs aplenty, by clicking "Continue."

Launch of national Help Obama Change America campaign and book release

Call for ideas and stories on how people can help change America for the better. Grand prize is trip to Hawaii and tour of hospital where President Obama was born.

For Immediate Release

Denver/San Francisco/DC -- With Congress reconvening next week, ProgressNow kicked off the Help Obama Change America campaign by inviting over two million people to help President Obama pass health care reform, enact his other core campaign promises, and move the country forward. This campaign is the first part of the national launch of 50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America, the book by ProgressNow Founder & CEO Michael Huttner which just arrived in bookstores across the country.

"The campaign and book are designed to inspire more people to help -- at a time when progressive values are under attack in Washington and across the nation," stated Huttner. "We call on the public to submit their ideas and stories on how people can help change America for the better. The grand prize is a trip to Hawaii for a private tour of the hospital where President Obama was born."

ProgressNow and its state partners, which are hosting the campaign, are emailing the public for entries on how to help President Obama change America, from home, in their community, across the country or even around the world. The public is invited to enter by visiting the new website:

The grand-prize is a trip for two to Honolulu, Hawaii for a private tour of the hospital where President Obama was born, followed by an opportunity to take part in a community service project there on MLK Day of Service, January 18, 2010.

"After working with many people to help President Obama get elected, I've found lots of folks who want to do something more to be helpful, but aren't sure what to do," stated Huttner. "So my co-author and I wrote '50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America.'"

Anyone from the public is welcome to enter by submitting their ideas or stories by September 30. The winners will be announced on November 4, 2009 - one year to the day that Obama gave his memorable victory speech in Chicago.

To buy a copy of "50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America" which debuts across the country this week, people can visit their local bookstores or buy a copy on,, as well as which links to independent book stores across the country.

Our proceeds from the sale of this book go entirely to ProgressNow, the nonprofit grassroots advocacy organization.

Praise for 50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America:

"In 50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America, Michael Huttner and Jason Salzman have given us a practical handbook on how every American can do something for our country. This book should be required reading for anyone interested in making a difference and helping President Obama get our nation back on track."

--The late Senator Edward M. Kennedy

"Paul Simon gave us 50 ways to leave your lover. Huttner and Salzman give us 50 ways to leave your country a better place. A remarkably useful resource."

--Arianna Huffington, Founder and Editor in Chief, The Huffington Post

"The historic election of President Obama marks a new chapter in American history, but it's only the beginning. This book offers every American straightforward ways to help bring real, lasting change."

-­- Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards

"This up-to-date guide for the hands-on activist is a must-have blue-print for every supporter who answered Barack Obama's phrase, 'Fired up,' with 'Ready to go!'"

-- Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, Founder, Daily Kos

"Obama is an opportunity, not our solution. He'll succeed in Washington only if we the people get organized, hit the streets, and demand change. This book explains how you can do your part."

-- Ben Cohen, Co-Founder, Ben and Jerry's

"One way to keep America changing and stimulate the economy is advancing the arts...and in this new era of technology, new media, and the new world of how information is shared...a new "art form" needs to be developed...This book provides simple ways to use the arts and other means for making change."

-- of the Black Eyed Peas

"During his campaign, Obama empowered all of us to take part in initiating change, and it's imperative that we keep the momentum going by involving the next generation. This book is a great resource to encourage young people to embrace their civic responsibilities."

-- Actress Jessica Alba

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts