December 22, 1969|
Hastings College of the Law
|Occupation||CEO of Powerplant Global Strategies. Previous CEO of Fenton, Founder of ProgressNow, political consultant, crisis communications expert, attorney, author|
Michael Huttner is an American attorney, author, crisis communications expert and political entrepreneur. Huttner serves as Chief Executive Officer of Powerplant Global Strategies, a public affairs firm focused on investments in the cannabis industry. In January 2010, he convened a small group of drug reform and policy leaders in Colorado, which laid out a blueprint for how Colorado could become the first state to decriminalize cannabis in the country. Previously, Huttner served as the CEO Fenton, the largest social change agency in the US. He is the founder of ProgressNow, a network of progressive communication organizations across the United States. To date, Huttner has helped launch over 40 different political and communication organizations.
Huttner is the Founder of ProgressNow, a network of state-based communications organizations that informs and moves people to action for progressive solutions through communications and digital media. Mr. Huttner started ProgressNow in the back of his law firm with his personal list of 700 email addresses in 2003. Today, the 23 ProgressNow state partners have a combined membership exceeding 3.4 million individuals. Huttner and Bobby Clark, a former staffer to the Howard Dean presidential campaign, worked together in 2005 with the technology provider Blue State Digital to develop the website that launched as ProgressNow. ProgressNow was later adopted by the Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2008. The Washington Post referred to their work as one of the most "ambitious" efforts in grassroots organizing at the state level. Starting with Colorado and then Ohio, Huttner developed a network of state based communications hubs across the country. In 2010, the book "The Blueprint: How Democrats Won Colorado, and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care" described ProgressNow as the "crown jewel" of the progressive investors' effort to flip the state.
Huttner is the co-author of The Resistance Handbook: 48 Ways to Fight Trump.,. He also is the author of 50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America., which the late Senator Edward Kennedy described as "A practical handbook on how every American can do something for our country."
50 Ways was attacked by conservative commentators including Fox News's Neil Cavuto. Conservative author Michelle Malkin also attacked Huttner for reaching out to "[Obama] cultists" and for trying to knock her book Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies off the New York Times bestseller list.
Huttner first earned his reputation to hold public officials accountable when he called on every public official in Colorado who supported Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave's proposed Federal Marriage Amendment to sign a "fidelity pledge."
Huttner also was successful with an onslaught of accountability work against top elected officials after he put up a billboard near the Colorado State Capitol that accused Governor Bill Owens of Colorado's post-September 11 attacks economic downturn.
Huttner has been referred to as a communications 'heavyweight' and is known for his creative, hard hitting tactics and snark. One of his best known efforts involved renting a plane to fly over Denver's Invesco Field at Mile High two days before the 2008 general election with a message "McCain is a Raiders Fan."  Huttner also gained notoriety around the 1998 Super Bowl where he went without a ticket and then paid a Coca-Cola Vendor $300 for his outfit and then sunk past security to watch the Super Bowl.
Education and professional career
Prior to ProgressNow, Huttner was a founding partner in the Denver law firm of Foster, Graham and Huttner where he provided legal counsel on political, nonprofit and lobbying practice. Prior to his private practice, Huttner worked as Policy Advisor to Governor Roy Romer and before returning to Colorado, his home, he clerked at the White House for the Office of the Counsel to the President.
Huttner grew up in Denver, Colorado and graduated from Cherry Creek High School, earned his B.A. from Brown University and his J.D. from the UC Hastings College of Law. He has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver College of Law.
- Bill Husted's Bar & Grilled: Progressive pol proudly embraces the 'L-word'", Denver Post, January 14, 2010 
- Progressive website packs political tools Funded by plush liberal donors, the new site touts roots in Howard Dean's presidential campaign. The Denver Post, September 16, 2005 
- "Dean camp's tactics applied to Colorado; web site aims to organize liberal activists", Brian Faler, The Washington Post, October 9, 2005 
- Websites win candidates' praise; Young people pushed them to get online," Judy Keen, USA Today, October 17, 2006 
- "Nonprofits Look for New Ways to Shape Campaign". Peter Overby, National Public Radio, June 25, 2008 
- "50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America," by Michael Huttner and Jason Salzman, PoliPointPress, 2009 
- Made in Colorado Obama fans, foes take their fight to reading chairs, The Denver Post, September 20, 2009 
- "Pro-Health Care Rallies Starting Around the Country," Fox News with Neil Cavuto, August 31, 2009 
- Young Blood: Rising political powerhouse Jared Polis is rich, tireless and filled with contradictions. Michael Roberts, Denver Westword; August 19, 2004. 
- "Buzz: 'McCain is a Raiders Fan'? Now that's just hate speech", San Jose Mercury News, November 2, 2008 
- "Bill Husted's Bar & Grilled Progressive pol proudly embraces the 'L-word'", Denver Post, January 14, 2010 
- Huffington Post