The Can Kicks Back, and the Best Correction I Never Made

The Can Kicks Back, the deficit hawk group that was designed to organize and win over millennials, used to allow anyone to access its Google Group. It doesn’t anymore. Some time before the door was closed, though, Politico’s Byron Tau moseyed in and found that “the group’s cash reserves were down to $70,000, with more than $75,000 in outstanding commitments,” its fate relying on a fundraising firm and some angel donors.

“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,” Nick Troiano, co-founder and communications director of the group, wrote in a November email.

Troiano was referring to a large donation by hedge fund manager Stan Druckenmiller.

Right, that’s a solution that should be familiar to anyone whose pension or temporary government assistance has been cut—just wait for Stan Druckenmiller to bail you out. I link the piece because it’s wonderful and because, halfway through it:

In response to a 2012 Slate piece by reporter Dave Weigel linking The Can Kicks Back with the billionaire anti-debt activist Peter Peterson, Eisenstadt argued that the group should request a correction — saying that the perception that they are Peterson-funded was hurting their credibility, according to an email thread.

“Technically one can make an argument that we are …,” Parent wrote back in an email. “We receive most of our money from [Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget], which has received large amounts of funding from Peterson.” Slate never appended a correction to the piece. 

The piece in question was about the failure of the amorphous “grand bargain” groups that were vague enough about their policy desires to be endorsed by both parties and mistrusted by activists on all sides. Holds up, I’d argue.