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

(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.”

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)
NAACP President's Award winner Van Jones poses for a portrait during the 41st NAACP Image awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on February 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.   (Getty Images)
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