Browse By

No Labels/Draft Walker/Peterson Clone Corp called The Can Kicks Back is Coming… Track It

Calling itself a “movement” of “millenials,” a website called The Can Kicks Back (TKCB) hasn’t yet made a public launch, but it is already at work behind the scenes to set up its organizational infrastructure.

Oddly enough, in a posting on a jobs board TKCB Communications Director Jake Parent reveals that it is anything but an organization led by “millenials”:

A group of Millennials is launching a campaign called “The Can Kicks Back” to get young people around the country involved in pushing for a non-partisan “grand bargain” to fix our fiscal future. Among our board of advisers is Erskine Bowles (Clinton’s Chief of Staff), former Senator Alan Simpson, former Senator Evan Bayh, Former Comptroller General David Walker, and Third-Way Founder Jonathan Cowan.

This is an exciting opportunity to learn how to run a winning campaign and a chance to make a better future for our country.

We are looking for interns to do work in communications, outreach, and field. Please see descriptions and details about applying below.

Jake Parent
Communications Director
The Can Kicks Back…

Parent continues in this jobs notice, talking up TCKB as a “grassroots coalition” but noting that even before its launch stipends are already available, indicating that some big funder has already stepped up to the plate. Who could that funder be? A millenial?

Evan Bayh’s not a millenial. Erskine Bowles is not a millenial. David Walker is not a millenial. Jonathan Cowan is fond of posting photos of himself that make him look young, but he was actually born in the 60s. If you think Alan Simpson is a millenial, you need to get a new pair of glasses. These are all aging or old wealthy men. They’re all affiliated with the activities of billionaire social security privatizer Peter G. Peterson, another non-millenial man. They’re associated with No Labels, an operation of billionaire Pete Peterson. They’re associated with the Concord Coalition, an operation of billionaire Pete Peterson.

Now, if you look deep enough you’ll notice that the nominal leadership of The Can Kicks Back is “millenial.” But these aren’t just any old millenials. Treasurer and cofounder Ryan Schoenike is on the Youth Advisory Board of the Concord Coalition and was also co-chair of the recent Draft David Walker for President campaign. Cofounder Nick Troiano is also on the Youth Advisory Board of the Concord Coalition, was also a co-chair of the Draft Walker Committee, and staffed the social media table for No Labels while working as Communications Manager for Americans Elect.

A look at the communication patterns and following relations of The Can Kicks Back and its associates on Twitter reveals that The Can Kicks Back is hardly grassroots. Although The Can Kicks Back has just 144 followers on Twitter and 61 likes on Facebook, most of those come from the Peter G. Peterson universe of think tanks and advocacy organizations. It’s firmly embedded in an old fogey DC beltway network. Look up these Twitter accounts following The Can Kicks Back before it ever begins and you’ll find a who’s who of Peterson billionaire funding and sponsorship:


TCKB’s incipient Twitter network looks like this:

The Can Kicks Back Twitter Followers, Dominated by Peter G. Peterson networks

With an almost completely connected central core:

Following Relations Among the 10 most central accounts in the Twitter network of The Can Kicks Back

It’s important to track this sort of thing now, because in a few weeks TCKB will buy tens of thousands of Twitter followers from a consulting company, obscuring its origins and basking in its paid-for stable of “grassroots followers.”

3 thoughts on “No Labels/Draft Walker/Peterson Clone Corp called The Can Kicks Back is Coming… Track It”

  1. AETransparency says:

    Brilliant work, Jim; thanks so much for this. Keeping an eye on the Peterson Puppets’ latest and greatest astroturf austerity-for-poor-folks promotion schemes is a lot like playing Whack-A-Mole, isn’t it? As quickly as they botch one, they pop up another…even before the previous effort’s Form 990s are filed. Ya gotta give ole man Pete Peterson credit for tenacity. Of course, if we were a reclusive octogenarian multi-billionaire like PP, we’d have the leisure and the resources for such tenacity, too.

    We’ll follow their antics closely, probably with extreme prejudice. Thanks again for the heads-up.

  2. Jim Cook says:

    Thanks for the kind words, AET.

    Wanna know the kicker? That Twitter account with the YLN icon that’s so closely embedded with The Can Kicks Back and associated Pete Peterson front groups… do you know what YLN stands for?

    Yep. The Young Lobbyists Network.

    Just about as far from grassroots as you can get.

  3. Hooligan says:

    Priceless. Yes, thanks, Jim, for exposing this. That first graph is too hilariously perfect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Psst... what kind of person doesn't support pacifism?

Fight the Republican beast!