Accuracy in Media

When the list of donors to the Van Jones “Green for All” organization is examined, one name stands out-the Open Society Institute of billionaire George Soros. The Green for All 2008 annual report is also notable for the pictures of the powerful people who associated with Jones. They include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Vice President Al Gore.

While the Open Society Institute was supporting Green for All in 2008, when Jones was running it, the Soros-funded organization was financially underwriting the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights when Jones was in charge of that group. The Open Society Institute gave the Ella Baker Center $151,800 in 2006 and $140,000 in 2007. Jones ran this group during the years 1996-2007. He then emerged as a senior fellow at the Soros-funded Center for American Progress.

Other funders of the Green for All group included Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, the Rockefeller family, Men’s Warehouse, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the New World Foundation, the Schwab Charitable Fund, the Streisand Foundation, the Service Employees International Union, and the Tides Center and Foundation.

The 990 IRS forms of the Open Society Institute also disclose $560,000 in 2007 and $455,000 in 2006 to the Equal Justice Society, whose president, Eva Paterson, emerged as the major apologist for Jones when he came under attack for his communist background and anti-American statements. Paterson, who said that she hired Jones at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, wrote a column for the Huffington Post about how Glenn Beck, one of Jones’ major critics, was allegedly “fabricating” his attacks on Jones. 

“Beck has said repeatedly that Van is some kind of a mysterious ‘czar,’ accountable to no one but the President,” she said. “A simple Internet search shows that this claim is false. A March 10, 2009, press release announced that Van was hired by the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality-to work on her staff as a ‘special advisor.’ In other words, Van is within the normal White House chain of command, reporting to an office confirmed by the United States Senate, just like most White House staffers. Media outlets sometimes use the ‘czar’ shorthand. But the facts show that Van has no mysterious role or extra-constitutional powers.”

In fact, that March10 release does not say that Jones was “hired” by the chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. It says that, “White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Nancy Sutley announced today that Van Jones will serve as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at CEQ.”

Sutley had a role in announcing the appointment, but not in making the hiring decision. This was confirmed when my Freedom of Information Act requests to the CEQ failed to disclose any documents about his hiring. Instead, the CEQ told me to contact the White House, which did not respond. We have subsequently learned that White House official Valerie Jarrett said that “we” had recruited Jones for his job at the CEQ. The “we” has never been identified but Jarrett is close to Barack and Michelle Obama.

Paterson did report a piece of information that, if true, is startling. She said, “Beck has implied on two occasions that Van Jones and other Obama appointees were not vetted by the FBI. False. I was interviewed in my own office by an FBI agent, dutifully vetting Van. Yet another fabrication on the part of Mr. Beck.”

If the FBI did investigate Jones’ background, we don’t know what the bureau discovered, and whether that information was taken into consideration or disregarded before he was hired by the White House. Jarrett, however, had said that the White House had been following Jones’ career for years.

Josh Nelson, another advocate for Jones, wrote an ill-timed column for the Huffington Post entitled “I Stand With Van,” appearing on September 5, just hours before Jones submitted his resignation. He urged people to go to a website to show their solidarity with Jones. One of the featured prominent endorsements of Jones came from Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP.

For those interested in finding out how a real communist got a White House job, the Van Jones scandal isn’t over. One of the most fascinating preliminary answers involves the George Soros connection. Why would an organization associated with someone who made billions of dollars by exploiting the global capitalist system want to underwrite the activities of a communist? We have previously noted that Soros has escaped press scrutiny because he has funded a variety of news media organizations, in addition to major elements of the Democratic Party. Soros was a major backer of Obama during the 2008 campaign.

“Impeach George Soros: Our Real President,” declared one sign at the 9-12 march on Washington, D.C. 

Equally significant, Communist Party official Jarvis Tyner has written an article, “The persecution of Van Jones and the struggle for democracy,” defending Jones against the “racist and red baiting attack” that he blames on those to whom capitalism is a “cult-like religion.” 

In a case of what seems like strange bedfellows, this communist official approvingly quoted George Soros, supposedly a capitalist himself, as calling such people capitalist “fundamentalists.” But the communist praise of Soros makes perfect sense, in view of the fact that, in the words of the Washington Post, Jones “rose from near obscurity in the Oakland, Calif., grassroots organizing scene to the leader of a national movement to spur the green economy.” The Post, of course, neglects to mention-but Tyner must fully understand-that Jones made his mark in part by using Soros money and Soros connections-before his past finally caught up with him.

Despite the forced resignation of Jones, Tyner is more determined than ever to support Obama. “It’s time for action,” Tyner went on to say. “Contact your representative and let them know what you think. Support the local demarcations candle light vigils, demonstrations and house gatherings being sponsored by Move on and Organizing for America.” is another Soros-funded organization, while Organizing for America is the official successor to the Obama for President campaign and continues to organize people to support the Obama agenda.

In an article in Political Affairs, the CPUSA publication, Tyner says that Obama is not a socialist but “is heading in a positive direction” and “the left and progressive forces are linked to Obama’s destiny.”

The interesting development is that today’s “progressive” forces don’t need funding from Moscow anymore. They have George Soros. The communists know this, even if most of the public does not.

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