Van Jones and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge

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. Last April, in Slate magazine’s The Big Money, Chadwick Matlin wrote ‘Van Jones: The Face of Green Jobs’:
“Jones is the switchboard operator for Obama's grand vision of the American economy; connecting the phone lines between all the federal agencies invested in a green economy. The $787 billion stimulus Congress authorized in February had at least $30 billion of green-jobs funding attached to it. It's Jones' responsibility to work within all the government agencies to make sure it gets doled out appropriately.”
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!

President Obama had nothing in the way of real executive experience and abilities before becoming President, as even some of his supporters in the media are now allowing themselves to admit. But he does know what he knows, and he knows how to direct other people’s money to places where the donor’s intended results might not be accomplished, but his leftist goals could be advanced and his political allies funded under the cover of other stated aims. Thirty billion dollars of taxpayer money, supposedly meant to stimulate the economy and create jobs, put under the influence of an unconfirmed czar who has never created a single job is simply following and expanding upon a pattern Ayers and Obama tested and found effective years ago! It wasn’t about children’s education then and it isn’t about stimulating the economy or creating real jobs now.