The truth about Van Jones

Van Jones: taken down by Big Oil?

Van Jones: taken down by Big Oil?

A DUer posts an interesting find. Jones, it seems, wasn’t pushed out by Glenn Beck. Beck was just the vehicle. The real pushers were anti-climate change advocates from, wait for it, the oil industry. From this DU post, which identified Phil Kerpen from “Americans for Prosperity” as the man “who started it all.” Apparently, he even bragged about his role on Fox News yesterday, and also issued the following boast on his website:

How Van Jones Happened and What We Need to Do Next

Now that Jones has resigned, we need to follow through with two critical policy victories. First, stop cap-and-trade, which could send these groups trillions, and second repeal the unspent portion of the stimulus bill, which stands to give them billions.

The Van Jones affair could be an important turning point in the Obama administration if we use it as a window to understand the structure of the left and to stop the huge power-grab now taking place in the name of green jobs. It’s also one of the most significant things I’ve ever had the honor of being involved in. …

Kerpen claims that on July 9, he was invited to appear on “Fox and Friends” to discuss “green jobs,” which he was “glad to do… because exposing the green jobs scam is critical to fight cap-and-trade, my top legislative priority for the year. The producer asked me if I knew anything about green jobs “czar” Van Jones. I didn’t but said I would find out.”

Here’s what Kerpen says happened next: 

I e-mailed a friend who follows the green groups and he said he thought Jones was socialist. — I doubt he had any idea how deep it went. A couple Web searches later, I couldn’t believe what I found in an article from the alternative San Francisco newspaper the East Bay Express. The man was a self-professed communist, with ties to ACORN and a radical Maoist group called STORM. His real name was Anthony, with “Van” made up in college because he thought everyone cool has a one-syllable name.

… As soon as I got back to the office, I e-mailed the East Bay Express article to one of Glenn Beck’s producer, saying: “Please share with Glenn this article about green jobs czar Van Jones, a self-described communist who was radicalized in jail. Confirms “watermelon” hypothesis.”

Read Kerpen’s Fox News post here.
Kerper also claims that the “Color of Change” boycott was retaliation against Beck, and not the other way around:

Two days later, the stakes got higher when another Jones-founded organization, Color of Change, called for a boycott of the Beck show. Amazingly, many in the mainstream media would report the fiction that Beck’s coverage of Jones was retaliation for the boycott, even though coverage of Jones started first. Given the chronology, if there is any connection we should consider whether the boycott was retaliation for the coverage.

By the way, I’m sure you’re wondering what the “watermelon hypothesis” is. According to Kerpen, it’s his way of explaining cap and trade: “green on the outside, communist red on the inside.” I’m sure his and Beck’s choice of that particular fruit had nooooothing to do with the fact that both Jones and President Obama are Black…
And who is behind Mr. Watermelon and Americans for Prosperity?

AFP, and its former incarnation the Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation, are the third largest recipient of funding from the Koch Family of Foundations, which is run by the ultra-conservative oil baron Charles G. Koch. The Koch Family of Foundations has been a major funding source for many of the think tanks that are in the business of delaying action on climate change issues.

Americans for Prosperity is also the group that sent buses around the country to town hall dust-ups, where its speakers compared healthcare reform to the Holocaust, and its proponents hung members of Congress in effigy (they’re also connected to the Jack Abramoff web of intrigue and tangentially, to the birthers) but their main issue is climate change — or rather climate change denial, for the purposes of stopping any reform that would cost its financial benefactors money. From the DeSmog Blog:

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a conservative think-tank established in Washington, D.C. in 2003.  It replaced the Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation. AFP is the sister organization to FreedomWorks. FreedomWorks is an organization that formed in 2004 when Citizens for a Sound Economy merged with the think tank Empower America.  Both the Citizens for a Sound Economy and Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation were created by the Koch Foundations.

Americans for Prosperity describes itself as a grassroot organization that is committed to engaging “citizens in the name of limited government and free markets on the local, state, and federal levels.” Further, the AFP offers training to not only educate citizens about economic policy, but also, to mobilize those citizens to become advocates in the public policy process.  As a result, the AFP has state chapters in twenty-three states;  these chapters focus on issues particular to their region.

The organization is extremely conservative in its economic and governance beliefs.  It’s mission is to reduce taxes and government spending, promote entrepeunership, and restore fairness to the American judicial system.


AFP is a non-profit organization who does not to disclose its donors.  However, the Media Transparency project shows from 2003-2006, Americans for Prosperity received $1,181,000 from conservative foundations.  $1 million of that funding was given by the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation–one of the Koch Family Foundations.

The AFP is the third largest recipient of funding from the Koch Family Foundations, behind the Cato Institute and the George Mason University Foundation.

Before 2003, when the AFP was still named the Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation, it received $18,460,912 in funding. 84% of that funding came from the Koch Family Foundations ($12,906,712) and the Scaife Family Foundations ($2,510,000).

Koch Family Foundations is funded by Koch Industries.  According to Forbes, Koch Industries is the second largest privately-held company, and the largest privately owned energy company, in the United States.  Koch industries has made its money in the oil business, primarily oil refining.  Presently, it holds stakes in pipelines, refineries, fertilizer, forest products, and chemical technology.

Americans for Prosperity is also connected to oil giant ExxonMobil.  According to ExxonSecrets, between the years 1998-2001, Citizens for A Sound Economy and Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation received $380,250 from ExxonMobil.

Alternet is also on this story, and expect Keith and Rachel to be up on it tonight too. Bottom line: this wasn’t about Van Jones calling Republicans “assholes,” or about “communism” or the 9/11 truth movement. It was about big business, big oil, and creating President Obama’s next “Waterloo” — on cap and trade.

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10 Responses to The truth about Van Jones

  1. Jane_Doe says:

    The truth about Van Jones is that he’s “dead sexy.” Soooo cute!

  2. Josh Brehm says:

    Glenn Beck is not a racist. If you ever actually watch his show then this is quite obvious. Just because he is criticizing the federal governement when a black man is in the White House does not make him racist. He is not trying to get the American people to run back to the arms of the Republican party. Both major parties have betrayed America for their own purposes. What he wants is the rule of law. Please read the United States Constitution and it will be obvious that the federal government is way out of line no matter which party is in power. Please wake up! The citizens of our great nation have been losing power to a corrupt two party system for years. Quit playing partisan politics. Don’t listen or not listen to someone because they are Republican or Democrat or because they are neither. We need people willing to stand up for liberty or freedom or it will be gone before we know it. Again I will repeat, please read the United States Constitution! It is flabergasting how much the federal government does that is absolutely illegal.

  3. JReid says:

    Josh -
    Where were you when GW Bush was taking a blowtorch to the Fourth Amendment, eavesdropping on Americans, whisking U.S. citizens off to secret detention and doing it all in plain view, with his hack lawyers claiming that he was a “unitary executive” — something unheard of in the U.S. Constitution (but very familiar to King George III). Sadly, I think it is the right that has never read the Constitution, though you use it as a convenient foil to argue for such deep seated American principles as corporate tax cuts and no-bid contracts for GOP cronies. And I HAVE listened to Beck’s show, particularly on the radio. His boogeymen always happen to be black … hm … and he has said straight out that he is “afraid” of Black people, and would be upset if his daughter dated a black man. Racist? Yep. But more than that, he’s insane. People who take him seriously (even he admits to being a comedian, not a journalist) are themselves not to be taken seriously. Pretending that “it’s not partisan” just isn’t credible.

  4. Pingback: Funding Beck’s Witch Hunt « Glenn McCarthy Beck – Take Action

  5. Pingback: Big Business Targeted Van Jones in Plot to Stop Climate Progress « It’s Getting Hot In Here

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  7. d says:

    van jopnes is a jerk

  8. sackman says:

    this piece of crap is a cross betwn a commy and a black panther racist…he’s only for liberal blacks…owned and payed for by george sorros…obama agree with him thats why he was hired ny the obama admin….he’s pro terrorist America’s enemies…his agenda is socialism/communism, no borders global rule…all in all he and his counter parts must be destroyed!!!! what do u expect from a welfare baby!!

  9. Sue says:

    Van Jones hung himself. His own words, played for all the world to hear was
    all it took. There was no need for you to have wasted your time trying to weave a complicated tale of conspiracy designed to “take” him ” down.” He did that all by himself.

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