The Right Wing Attack Machine Behind the Van Jones Affair

The Right Wing Attack Machine Behind the Van Jones Affair
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You probably won’t be surprised when I tell you that Glenn Beck wasn’t the mastermind behind the campaign to remove Van Jones from his position as a special advisor to the White House Council on Environmental Quality… that would be giving Beck way too much credit.

Turns out that the attack was orchestrated by a fringe group of free-marketeers called the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) who describe themselves as “grassroots leaders who engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets on the local, state and federal levels.” You can read a complete backgrounder on AFP here. It suffices to say they get a lot of money from some of the biggest players in the right-wing attack machine.

It will also come as no surprise that AFP is also behind much of the healthcare reform townhall shenanigans

On Fox News forum AFP’s director of policy, Phil Kerpen brags about how his organization brought down Van Jones:

“I spent the next two weeks researching everything I could find about Jones and the Apollo Alliance (much of which is still to be published, including a forthcoming paper from the Capital Research Center next month), the national umbrella organization for coordinating between the environmentalists, the labor unions, and the social justice street organizers that Jones has served as a board member and a primary national spokesman for.”

This was all then fed to Glenn Beck who gleefully took it to town and hammered away on Van Jones. No kidding, Beck is bent on bringing this administration to its knees and rallying the right-wing fringe players to follow suit. And it won’t stop here, the likes of Kerpen and AFP have found their rallying cry: “Don’t argue clean energy, but instead paint Obama’s policies as a socialist/communist plot to control America.”

To quote Kerpen’s Fox Forum article:

“There was so much material there, but what really stood out is what I used the next day on F&F: the “green jobs” concept was merely a new face on the old ideology of central economic planning and control, an alternative and a threat to free market capitalism.”

And,

“Please share with Glenn this article about green jobs czar Van Jones, a self-described communist who was radicalized in jail. Confirms “watermelon” hypothesis.”  (I was referring to an explanation we had offered on his show of the cap-and-trade bill as a “watermelon,” green on the outside but Communist red to the core.)”

I hate to echo Kerpen’s overheated rhetoric but he’s showed us his hand and we now know where the attack is coming from. We also know that their strategy moving forward will be to frame green jobs and the clean energy bill as a radical socialist plot. So the question is, what do we do about it?

I have my ideas, but I would love to hear yours.

The Right Wing Attack Machine Behind the Van Jones Affair

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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