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OCTOBER 29, 2003
2:45 PM
Trevor FitzGibbon, Jessica Smith (202) 822-5200
Jack Black, Moby, Van Sant & Others Help Voter Fund Ad Contest - Grassroots Search for Creative New Approaches Will Highlight Leadership Failures of the President
WASHINGTON - October 29 - A cadre of organizers and artists affiliated with the Voter Fund Wednesday announced a nationwide search for a TV ad that tells the truth about George W. Bush’s policy failures, and a prize for the person – whether professional or amateur first-time producer – who creates it.

The winning 30-second ad will be the product of judging, first by visitors to the new website during December, and then by a panel of entertainment and political experts. It will be aired the week of President Bush’s State of the Union address, early next year.’s panel of judges includes the following entertainment personalities and political leaders: Jack Black, Donna Brazile, James Carville, Margaret Cho, Hector Elizondo, Janeane Garofalo, Stan Greenberg, Moby, Michael Moore, Mark Pellington, Tony Shalhoub, Michael Stipe, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Gus Van Sant, Eddie Vedder, and others.

The ad search is part of Voter Fund’s ongoing campaign to use television and print ads and other activities to get the message out of Washington and into battleground states, exposing the failures of the Bush Administration at home and in Iraq.

“We know that the President is going to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in the next year, mostly from wealthy donors and special interests,” said Eli Pariser, campaigns director for the Voter Fund. “A lot of that money will go toward ads that will attempt to deceive and manipulate swing state voters about the President’s agenda.

“There are two key strengths that we have on our side. First, the truth is on our side. Second, although we’ll never have the kind of money President Bush can raise from his corporate friends, by bringing millions of ordinary Americans together, we can level the playing ground with the special interests,” concluded Pariser.

Award-winning musician and performer Moby—one of the project’s organizers—believes that President Bush has managed to hide behind a carefully constructed “compassionate” image. “It is crucial that voters understand what President Bush's policies really mean for our country. And to do that, we need creative new ads that clearly show what's at stake,” the artist said.

“The ‘Bush-in-30-Seconds’ ad contest has been developed by a small team of people. We've come together because we believe that by tapping into the vast talent pool of creative people beyond the Beltway, we'll find the right messages and ads to expose the failure of President Bush's policies,” said Moby.

MoveOn and project organizers hope the ‘Bush-in-30-Seconds’ project will inspire the electorate.

“This is pretty exciting stuff. I have to say that I can’t remember most of the political ads that I've seen lately,” said Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile. “If nothing is sticking out with someone like myself, then I worry what the average voter is taking from these ads. We have to start thinking outside the box. So I fully support the idea of finding ways to develop fresh, creative and inspiring ways to communicate in politics.”

The Voter Fund is a Section 527 political organization affiliated with, which will create and run political ads in swing states to challenge President Bush’s policies and his administration., the Voter Fund’s sister organization, is an online grassroots advocacy organization with over 1.7 million members nationwide.

Rules for the contest can be found on the website:

The following are confirmed members-others may be added-of the panel of entertainers and political experts who will pick the winner of the TV ad contest:

Jack Black

Jack Black is a multi-faceted performer with TV, movies, theatre and music on his resume. He is the front man for the band Tenacious D and he currently stars in the movie "The School of Rock." In 2000, Black had one of his most recognizable and enthusiastically received screen roles to date in "High Fidelity." He got his professional start on the stage, appearing in Tim Robbins' production of "Carnage" at the 1989 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Black grew up in Santa Monica, California, and attended college at the University of California - Los Angeles.

Donna Brazile

Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile was the campaign manager for Gore/Lieberman 2000-the first African-American to lead a major presidential campaign. Earlier, she was chief of staff and press secretary to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia, where she helped guide the District's budget and local legislation on Capitol Hill. She is a weekly contributor and political commentator on CNN's Inside Politics and Late Edition. She appears regularly on MSNBC's "Hardball" and Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes."

James Carville

James Carville is one America's most well known and most colorful political consultants. He has managed more campaigns than any other political consultant in America and has expanded his realm of influence to include Europe, the Middle East and South America. Carville is a co-host of CNN's political debate program "Crossfire." An outspoken political strategist and commentator, he served as senior political adviser to President Bill Clinton, whom he is credited with helping to elect.

Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho was born in San Francisco and started performing stand-up comedy at age 16. She moved to Los Angeles in the early '90s and hit the college circuit, where she became the most booked act in the market and received a nomination for "Campus Comedian of The Year." Margaret has been honored by GLAAD, American Women in Radio and Television, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the National Organization for Women for making a significant difference in promoting equal rights for all, regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Hector Elizondo

Actor Hector Elizondo has played a rich variety of comic and dramatic roles on stage and in films. After a brief fling with ballet, he became established as a versatile stage actor, winning an OBIE Award for playing God (in the disguise of a Puerto Rican steam room attendant) in the Off-Broadway comedy "Steambath." A New York native, Elizondo began his film career in the movie "Pretty Woman." In addition, he has been a regular on several television series: "Popi," "Freebie and the Bean," "Casablanca," and "Down and Out in Beverly Hills." Elizondo co-starred role as a demanding chief of surgery on the TV medical drama Chicago Hope. His recent films include: "The Princess Diaries," Tortilla Soup," and "The Runaway Bride."

Janeane Garofalo

Janeane Garofalo is a comedian/actress and an outspoken advocate for diplomacy and peace in Iraq and the Middle East. Garofalo rose to fame as a regular on "Saturday Night Live," "The Larry Sanders Show," and the Emmy Award-winning "Ben Stiller Show." She has acted in number of films, including: "The Laramie Project," "Dogma," "Wet Hot American Summer," "The Truth About Cats and Dogs," and "Reality Bites." Janeane was a guest co-host on CNN's political debate program "Crossfire" this summer.

Stan Greenberg

Stanley B. Greenberg is the Chairman and CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. He has served as polling advisor to President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, as well as to many international leaders. Greenberg provides strategic advice and research for companies, organizations and campaigns trying to advance their issues amid shifting social currents. He has focused on a range of social issues, including the environment and climate change, technology and the Internet, democratization, globalization and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Moby is an award-winning musician with 13 albums under his belt. He gained recognition in the early 1990's for his contributions to dance and techno music. Moby is also an activist and restaurateur, owner of the New York City restaurant, Teany. Trained in classical music, Moby majored in philosophy at the University of Connecticut and became a DJ in New York in the late 1980s. Moby's imaginative compilations combine different genres of music and are widely received by both fans and critics. Moby is a co-founder of's "Bush in 30 Seconds" project.

Michael Moore

Michael Moore is a writer, director and political activist. He became well known after his debut film "Roger and Me" in 1989, which became the highest-grossing American documentary of all time. Moore was host and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning "TV Nation." He is the author of the best-selling Downsize This and Stupid White Men. His most recent film, "Bowling for Columbine" provides a powerful and thought provoking commentary on America's culture of guns. As a political activist, Moore offers a down-to-earth and candid view of the American economic scene and national politics.

Mark Pellington

Filmmaker Mark Pellington's resume includes award-winning music videos, the acclaimed five-part 1996 PBS anthology "The United States of Poetry," a tour across America guided by poets and spoken word artists, and the eye-catching Emmy-nominated opening credits for the NBC series "Homicide: Life on the Street." He received his degree in rhetoric at the University of Virginia in 1984. He directed such movies as "Going All The Way" and "The Mothman Propechies."

Tony Shalhoub

Golden Globe winner Tony Shalhoub stars as "Adrian Monk" on the USA Network. His numerous feature film credits include roles in "Searching for Bobby Fischer," "Primary Colors," "Gattaca," and "Men in Black." He made his feature directorial debut with the independent film "Made Up." He was a series regular on the long-running hit series "Wings." Shalhoub won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for a Screen Actor's Guild Award for his role as "Adrian Monk" in the show's first season.

Michael Stipe

Michael Stipe is best known as the front man for the band, R.E.M. As their lead singer, he helped form the band in 1980 and has recorded 14 albums with the group. During this time, Stipe and his band members have participated in numerous benefit concerts and political causes, lending their name and beliefs to working for social change. Stipe is also a movie producer and has been responsible in part for such Indie hits as "Being John Malkovich" and the glam-rock tribute "Velvet Goldmine."

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel is Editor of The Nation. She is a frequent commentator on American politics on CNBC, CNN, and MSNBC. Vanden Heuvel also writes frequently about American and Russian politics. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. She is the co-author of Voices of Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev's Reformers and editor of two The Nation anthologies. She is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations and The Century Association and serves on the board of The Institute for Women's Policy Research, The Institute for Policy Studies, and many others.

Gus Van Sant

A critically acclaimed director, Gus Van Sant started his career in 1985 with the production of "Mala Noche." His later projects include: "To Die For," "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues," "My Own Private Idaho," a re-make of the Alfred Hitchcock classic "Pyscho." With the success of "Good Will Hunting," Van Sant gained more mainstream attention, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. Van Sant's latest film, "Elephant," is set to open on October 25, 2003.

Eddie Vedder

Eddie Vedder is the lead vocalist for the Seattle-born alternative rock band Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam is known for its melancholy "grunge" genre of songs about transcendence, self-realization, faith and acceptance. The group gained notoriety when it went head to head with big business by refusing to play ball with T-shirt vendors, promoters and Ticketmaster in an effort to keep tickets and merchandise more affordable for its fans. Vedder is an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration.


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