Van Jones and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge

Denis Keohane
The American Thinker
September 06, 2009

If one asks what does President Obama’s Green Jobs czar Van Jones (assuming he still holds the position as of this being read) and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) have to do with each other, the answer is both nothing and everything. Jones was not a part of CAC, but in the history of Barack Obama’s association with and leadership of CAC we see exactly why Van Jones was made an unconfirmed czar overseeing the expenditure of $30 billion dollars of the people’s money as we also see the active hand of President Obama.

Before the last election, effort was made by a precious few, including Stanley Kurtz of National Review Online, blogger Steve Diamond and American Thinker’s Thomas Lifson, to goad the media into serious scrutiny of Obama’s years (1995-1999) as founding chairman and president of the CAC, but to no avail. It was always striking that Obama, who had written two autobiographies at such an early age, had paid no real attention in either book to his only real executive experience before seeking the Presidency. The media went along.

Under Obama’s leadership CAC doled out 150 million dollars in an effort that was supposed to improve public education in the Chicago public schools. As Lifson reported, CAC’s expenditures and efforts under Obama had: “failed to produce any measurable academic gains, according to the project’s own final report.”

Yet was that expenditure a failure? Perhaps by the stated goals of improving education in Chicago in measurable ways, yes. However, if the intent of Bill Ayers (who applied for and received the Annenberg grant) and Obama was to use the grants to funnel money to radical organizations and to incrementally radicalize Chicago public education in ways that might not show up at all in standard student performance evaluation, CAC may have been judged a success worth repeating. Obama and Ayers served together on the boards of CAC and the Woods Fund and both organizations funneled grant money to, among others for example, ACORN!

Which brings us to Van Jones. He wrote a book about a green economy from a decidedly leftist perspective that earned him praise from the left but there is no evidence I have seen that he has ever created a single job

Van Jones’ appointment as Green Jobs Czar was not an example of poor vetting. This was Obama repeating what he knew and what Bill Ayers had done with him: get your radical operative in a position from which he influences the direction of the money!

Van Jones’ selection and appointment was Obama’s action, not that of his staff.

Jeffrey Lord writes at The American Spectator of his experience in the Reagan administration and explains how no one with a record like that of Van Jones would have gotten past Secret Service scrutiny and being barred from the White House and proximity to the President unless someone very, very high up in the administration intervened in his behalf. It had to be either the President or someone extremely close and powerful to do that!

The entire article is on The American Thinker.

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