Billionaire activist Peter Peterson (Reuters/Larry Downing)

Pete Peterson-aligned anti-debt group The Can Kicks Back is going broke

A group intended to rally millennials around raising taxes and cutting Social Security may need a bailout


Elias Isquith
February 13, 2014 8:45PM (UTC)

One of the seemingly countless number of Grand Bargain advocacy groups funded in part by billionaire Pete Peterson is experiencing a problem the United States never will: running out of money.

According to the Huffington Post (via Politico), The Can Kicks Back, a millennial-focused organization whose goal is to rally America's young in favor of raising taxes and cutting Medicare and Social Security, "is operating at a loss and may run out of cash as soon as April ..."

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This information comes from internal emails and documents that The Can Kicks Back accidentally left in a public Google group. One November email from Nick Troiano, co-founder of the group, says, "Without someone/something else covering staff costs and without fundraising miracles like Stan or near-Stan happening consistently, I don’t know how we both sustain [an] organization and do meaningful things."

The "Stan" Troiano makes reference to is Stan Druckenmiller, a wealthy hedge funder who donated $250,000 to the group in June.

However, The Can Kicks Back's executive director, Ryan Schoenike, claims the email doesn't accurately reflect his group's financial standing. "A qualification from cherry-picked internal email months old is hardly representative of TCKB’s current financial situation,” he said to Politico.

“We are grateful for the support we have received and have revised our outreach, digital, and fundraising plans in order to continue our work of increasing millennial turnout in 2014 and beyond,” Schoenike continued.

But assuming Troiano's email was legit (and besides Schoenike's protestations, there's no reason to think otherwise), The Can Kicks Back is going to need to think of a good way to quickly raise some dough. Perhaps former Sen. Alan Simpson, a high-profile supporter of a Grand Bargain, is willing to put on his dancing shoes one more time.


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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