Van Jones Is Back With New Lefty Group

Former 'green energy' czar has founded progressive movement
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2011 2:01 PM CST
Van Jones addresses protesters at a rally in support of Wisconsin workers fighting the Republican governor's plan to bust public workers' unions in Washington on February 26, 2011.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Once vilified as a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who called Republicans "***holes," Van Jones is back with a new grass-roots movement, Politico reports. Ousted from his White House post as "green energy" czar 2 years ago, Jones has helped found the American Dream Movement, a coalition of hundreds of progressive organizations that are uniting to oppose conservative economic and social policies. Jones' inspiration? The "open-source brand" of the Tea Party, he says.

He also says "progressives were too quick to go from hopey to mopey" over the past 2 years. "They skipped right to the middle." Now he's riding a wave of progressive protest driven by the Occupy movement and liberals frustrated with Obama's policies. Jones' September summit, "Take Back the American Dream," drew a few thousand people, and some of them recently gathered for a jobs protest on Capitol Hill. Naturally, Republicans are taking aim again: It's "the same Marxist foolishness that he’s been preaching," says one GOP spokesman. "He’s on the wrong side of history here.”

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