Van Jones Resignation Rattles the White House

Van Jones linked to controversial groups and statements
By Mat Probasco,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2009 8:24 AM CDT
T. Boone Pickens listens to Van Jones speak at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas last month.   (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)
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(Newser) – The resignation of White House environmental adviser Van Jones, which handed President Obama an unwelcome distraction at a tough time, again showed a lapse in the administration's vetting, reports the Washington Post. Support for Jones, considered a highly skilled advocate for the green energy revolution, eroded over the weekend as more controversial connections emerged—his advocacy for convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, and involvement with with a now-defunct Bay Area radical group called Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement.

Republicans and allies first targeted Jones because of his signature on a petition questioning whether George W. Bush allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen as a pretense for going to war, and a speech in which he called Republicans "assholes." An organization Jones founded led the push to encourage advertisers to boycott the Glenn Beck show after Beck called Obama a racist. Jones wasn't vetted as thoroughly as other advisers because his position didn't require Senate confirmation.