Terms of Service
What is It Starts Today?
It Starts Today (IST) is a federal PAC (FEC ID C00630012) that specializes in earmarked contributions to candidates and committees registered with the Federal Election Commission (collectively “Recipients”) that fully comply with relevant campaign finance law and regulations. The reason you have to agree to our Terms of Service is that we want to make sure that you understand how your money flows and the impact of your donation on applicable contribution limits.
These Terms of Service (this “Agreement”), are made between you (“you” or “Donor”), and It Starts Today, a Delaware nonstock corporation registered with the Federal Election Commission as a hybrid non-connected political committee (“we” or “us”), and govern the terms and conditions of your access to and use of our Services (as defined below). You may not enter into this Agreement on behalf of any entity, such as a corporation, nonprofit corporation (whether registered as a political committee or not), unincorporated association, or limited liability company.
This Agreement also includes and incorporates by reference any operating rules, policies, price schedules, or other supplemental documents which may be published generally from time to time by us, both prior and subsequent to the effective date of this Agreement.
By checking and submitting the “Accept” box for this Agreement and/or using any of the Services, you confirm your acceptance of, and agree to be bound by, this Agreement.
1. Our Services
We provide only services to you to facilitate your donation of lawful Contributions to authorized recipients (“Recipients”) in the United States of America (the “Services”). We have no control or liability for the acts or omissions of the Recipients of your Contributions, or of any other entities or their web sites describing the Services or displaying Contribution pages or other portions of the Services.
2. Earmarked Contributions.
In most cases, we allow you to make donations, designated for specific Recipients (the expression of your intention is known as an “Earmark”). These donations are made in accordance with the Federal Elections Campaign Act (“FECA”), the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”)—specifically, 11 CFR 110.6, which governs earmarked contributions—and any applicable Advisory Opinion of the Federal Election Commission (the “Commission”).
In all cases, we require that your earmark to It Starts Today be specific enough that we have no discretion or control in following your instructions. If your earmark is not specific enough and would require us to exercise judgment in forwarding it to the appropriate party, we will return it to you and if unable to do so, will redesignate it as a donation to It Starts Today.
A. Nominee Funds.
Many earmarked donations we receive are intended for a Recipient identified only by office sought, election (meaning the year of the election) and political party. In other words, for the eventual nominee of a political party for a specific office in a particular election. These earmarkes are known as “Nominee Funds” and are the most common sort of earmarked contribution It Starts Today accepts.
Nominee Funds earmarks may be qualified beyond party, office and election. For example, one might provide a Nominee Fund earmark that is further limited to female nominees only.
IST only accepts earmarks for Democratic nominees or, in rare cases, for incumbent independent who caucus with Democrats (Senators Bernie Sanders and Angus King currently meet that definition).
Unless otherwise noted, 90% of Nominee Fund contributions will be forwarded to the designated Nominee within 10 days of the primary election and 10% of Nominee Fund contributions will be designated as a contribution to It Starts Today (this covers the administrative and compliance costs associated with each contribution). In the event that no Democrat is nominated or there are two Democrats on the general election ballot your entire contribution will be redesignated as a contribution to It Starts Today.
B. Draft Funds.
It is also possible to earmark a donation for a specific person who has not yet filed to run for federal office. This sort of an earmark is referred to as a “Draft Fund.”
IST only accepts Draft Fund earmarks for potential Democratic candidates for office.
Unless otherwise noted, 90% Draft Fund contributions will be forwarded to the designated Nominee within 10 days of their submission (and our awareness of) of a Statement of Candidacy to the Commission and 10% of Draft Fund contributions will be designated as a contribution to It Starts Today (this covers the administrative and compliance costs associated with each contribution). In the event that the individual named in the Draft Fund does not file a Statement of Candidacy prior to the applicable filing date for the office sought, your entire contribution will be redesignated as a contribution to It Starts Today.
C. Presumptive Nominee for President.
In the case of the Presidency, it is possible to not only earmark a donation for the actual Democratic nominee (a normal Nominee Fund), but also for the presumptive Democratic nominee.
We define the "presumptive Democratic nominee" as the candidate who, no later than 5:00 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time ("EDT") on the seventh day prior to the start of the next Democratic National Convention ("Convention"), has received enough pledged delegates to win nomination on the first ballot at the Convention. The pledged delegates must be registered with and certified by the Secretary of the Democratic National Committee ("DNC").
Unless otherwise noted, It Starts Today will forward 90% all earmarked contributions to the primary committee of such presumptive nominee as soon as the nominee is identified, but not later than the sixth day prior to the scheduled start of the Convention and 10% of such contributions will be designated as a donation to It Starts Today to cover administrative and compliance costs associated with the donation. If no presumptive nominee has been identified by 5:00 P.M. EDT on the seventh day prior to the start of the Convention, unless otherwise noted, It Starts Today will forward 90% of the earmarked contributions to the general election committee of the Democratic Nominee for President as determined by the Convention delegates and 10% of each contribution will be designated as a contribution to It Starts Today (this covers administrative and compliance costs associated with each contribution).
In the extremely unlikely event that the eventual nominee were to decline to accept these funds, your entire donation will be redesignated as a donation to It Starts Today.
D. Standard Earmarks
From time to time IST might accept a less complicated earmark for a specific Democratic (or independent incumbent who caucuses with Democrats) candidate for office or for a Democratic party committee or progressive political committee. Unless otherwise noted, 90% of such earmarks will be forwarded within 10 days to the designated Recipient and 10% of such earmarks will be designated as a donation to IST (this covers compliance and administrative costs associated with such contributions).
E. Contribution Limits.
Please note that should you make any other contribution to any Recipient that, when added to a Nominee, Draft or Presumptive nominee contribution, causes the aggregate amount of the contributions to exceed the limit set by 11 C.F.R. §110.1(b)(1) (currently $2,800), an excessive contribution will have been made.
3. Donor Responsibilities
You represent that you have legal power and capacity to form a binding contract and are not barred from receiving the Services under the laws of the United States or other applicable jurisdiction.
You also represent that you are a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien, that you are not a federal contractor; that you are at least eighteen years old; that you are making this contribution with your own personal payment instrument (meaning a credit card or bank account) and not with a corporate or business payment instrument or a payment instrument belonging to another person; and this contribution is made from your own funds, which are not being provided to you by another person or entity for the purpose of making this contribution.
B. Registration and Equipment Obligations
You shall provide true, current and complete information about yourself on our online or offline forms, including but not limited to your name, contact information and payment information (such as the expiration date of any credit or debit card). We also may require further information in order to verify your identity and information, such as confirming your email address or ordering a credit report, or to comply with campaign finance disclosure laws. We reserve the right to verify your information with third parties. If you fail to provide required information, or we have reasonable grounds to suspect that any such information is not true, current and complete, we may limit, suspend or terminate your use of all or any portion of the Services.
You are responsible for obtaining at your expense all equipment and third-party services (e.g., Internet access and email service) necessary for you to access and use the Services, and for all related charges resulting from use of the Services. You will immediately notify us of any unauthorized use or other breach of security of the Services.
C. Use of the Services
We may establish or revise from time to time at our discretion general practices and limits (including the Acceptable Use Policy below) concerning your use of the Services. Should your use not comply with such practices and limits, we may at our discretion limit, suspend or terminate the Services to you, and may contact law enforcement and affected banks, credit and debit card issuers and recipients.
We may at our discretion establish or revise limits on the amount of money you can contribute through the Services (in total, to a particular recipient, for a particular time period, and/or otherwise). Some of these limitations may be required by law.
Your Contributions also are limited by the available credit on your credit card, or your available account balance on your debit card or bank account, on the date of Contribution. We also may limit, suspend or terminate the Services to you if have a credit score from a credit reporting agency that reflects a high risk associated with your use of the Services. You are solely responsible for over limit fees, overdraft fees, finance charges and the like imposed by your bank or card issuer if your Contribution(s) exceed your available credit limit or account balance.
If you select “Electronic Check”, “ACH”, or “Direct Debit” (collectively “EFT”) contributions, you authorize our vendor: Democracy Engine, LLC, to deduct your Contribution from the bank account provided using the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) system. You hereby certify that you have authority to authorize transfers from the account entered.
The full amount of each Contribution that you make using the Services (but not other, related Services if they involve a donation or payment to an entity other than us) constitutes a “contribution” to the eventual Recipient that is a political candidate or committee and it will be reported as such in accordance with applicable law, rules and regulations. You also are responsible for proper payment of all taxes in connection with your Contributions.
Contributions to candidates for federal office and federal political committees are not tax deductible under federal tax law.
All Contributions via the Services must be made in U.S. Dollars.
Refunds are issued on request for up to 60 days after donation.
In the event that our anti-fraud systems detect behavior which suggests fraudulent use of stolen cards (including “card testing”), we will refund those Contributions without receiving a request from you or the intended recipient.
Recipients are not required to accept your Contributions through the Services. You agree that we have no liability to you resulting from any Recipient’s non-acceptance or refund of any Contribution. While IST makes reasonable efforts to ensure that all Contributions are deposited by their intended Recipients, in the event that a Recipient (a) fails for 90 days to cash a check from our vendor, mailed to the campaign address registered with the Federal Election Commission, which includes your contribution, (b) fails for 90 days to provide updated account information for ACH deposits for rejected direct deposits, or (c) affirmatively refuses a Contribution, your contribution will be re-designated as a contribution to It Starts Today.
You are responsible for all fees, interest, penalties or the like in connection with your use of the Services. Contributions may be refunded, voided or adjusted due to, among other things: (a) voiding or adjustment by your bank or card issuer; (b) correction of manifest error; (c) claims made by us or others against you; and/or (d) any actual or proposed Contribution in violation of this Agreement or applicable law. If we pay any claim, chargeback, refunded or voided Contribution that you make against a Recipient, you agree that we assume your rights against the Recipient, and may pursue those rights directly or on your behalf.
For payments by EFT, if your payment is returned unpaid, you authorize us to make a one-time ACH transfer from your account to collect a fee of $25.00.
D. Acceptable Use Policy
In connection with your use of any Services, you agree not to, directly or indirectly: (i) use any Services in any way that would breach this Agreement or would be abusive, harassing, tortious, or otherwise could result in civil or criminal liability or in excessive non-acceptance or refunds of Contributions; (ii) violate any applicable law, rule or regulation, including election, campaign finance, and/or tax law, rules or regulations, and/or debit/credit card system or association rules; (iii) send or receive funds obtained by or connected with fraud; (iii) use any Services in connection with unsolicited or unauthorized email or other unethical or illegal methods; (iv) provide false or misleading information or impersonate any person or entity, including, but not limited to, any representative of us or any Recipient, or misrepresent your affiliation with any person or entity; (v) refuse to reasonably cooperate in any investigation related to the Services; (vi) intercept, monitor, interfere with or disrupt any Services or the servers, networks or communications systems connected to them or any security functionality of us or any third party; (vii) use or introduce any spyware, adware, viruses, trojan horses, worms or similar invasive, destructive or self-replicating code in connection with the Services; or (viii) use any automated system, such as “robots” or “spiders,” to access our systems or Services significantly faster than a human or to monitor activity on such systems or Services. We shall be the sole arbiter as to what activities violate the foregoing.
E. Privacy and Other Policies
F. Content and Communications
You understand that by using the Services, you may be exposed to content that is inaccurate, offensive or objectionable. The Services, or content or third parties included on the Services, may provide links to other Internet sites or resources. Because we have no control over such content, sites or resources, you acknowledge and agree that we do not endorse and are not responsible or liable for anything on or available via such content, sites or resources. You may communicate directly with persons or entities mentioned on the Services, and you agree that we have no liability or responsibility for such communications.
4. Suspension or Termination
A. We reserve the right to suspend or terminate your use of any of the Services (e.g., by not processing pending Contributions) and/or this Agreement without notice at any time and with or without cause. Without limiting the foregoing, we may suspend or terminate your use and/or this Agreement upon any of the following: card expiration, insufficient funds, rejection of any Contribution, payment or card charges, violation of our Acceptable Use Policy or other policies, if your accounts are frozen, if a legal order directs us to suspend or terminate providing the Services to you or otherwise limits or prohibits Contributions by you, or if your financial institution (or its agent or affiliate) seeks return of amounts previously paid to us when we believe you are liable for the charge. Such rights are in addition to and not in lieu of any other legal rights or remedies available to us.
B. You may terminate your use of the Services and this Agreement at any time, with or without cause, upon written notice.
5. Modifications to this Agreement and/or Services
A. We may amend this Agreement at any time by (a) posting revised Terms of Service accessible via web sites for the Services, and/or (b) sending information regarding the amendment to your email address of record with us. You are responsible for regularly reviewing such web sites to obtain timely notice of such amendments. You shall be deemed to have accepted such amendments by continuing to use any Services after such amendments have been posted or information regarding such amendments has been sent to you. If you do not agree to any of such changes, you may terminate this Agreement and immediately cease all access and use of the Services. You agree that such termination will be your exclusive remedy in such event.
B. We reserve the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue all or any portion of any Services without notice to you. We shall not be liable to you or any third party should we exercise such rights. We may specify from time to time the version(s) of related products required in order to use the Services (e.g. browsers and hardware).
6. Disclaimer of Warranties and Limitation of Liability
A. THE SERVICES ARE PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE” BASIS, AND NEITHER WE NOR ANY OF THE OWNERS OF SITES THAT LINK TO OR DISPLAY CONTRIBUTION FORMS OR PAGES PROVIDED BY US (“SPONSORS”) NOR OUR SUPPLIERS OR AGENTS MAKES ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES TO YOU REGARDING THE SAME. WE AND OUR SPONSORS, SUPPLIERS AND AGENTS DISCLAIM ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, TITLE, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, COMPATIBILITY, OR SECURITY, AND DO NOT WARRANT THAT THE SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, SECURE OR ERROR-FREE.
B. NEITHER WE NOR ANY OF OUR SPONSORS, SUPPLIERS OR AGENTS WILL BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES (INCLUDING CONSEQUENTIAL, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, OR LOST REVENUES, PROFITS OR SAVINGS) ARISING OUT OF YOUR USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THE SERVICES, AND YOU HEREBY RELEASE AND WAIVE ANY CLAIMS WITH RESPECT THERETO, WHETHER BASED ON CONTRACTUAL, TORT OR OTHER GROUNDS, EVEN IF WE OR ANY SUCH SPONSOR, SUPPLIER OR AGENT HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF DAMAGES. AS TO SUCH MATTERS, If you are a California resident, you waive your rights under California Civil Code § 1542, which states, “A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his favor at the time of executing the release, which if known by him must have materially affected his settlement with the debtor.” Residents of other states similarly waive their rights under comparable state law. THE ENTIRE LIABILITY OF US AND OUR SPONSORS, SUPPLIERS AND AGENTS AND YOUR EXCLUSIVE REMEDY WITH RESPECT TO THE USE OF THE SERVICES OR ANY BREACH OF THIS AGREEMENT ARE LIMITED TO THE LESSER OF: (I) THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY PAID BY YOU FOR ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE OUR SERVICES IN THE THREE (3) MONTHS PRECEDING THE DATE OF YOUR CLAIM OR (II) U.S.$50.00. YOU HEREBY RELEASE US AND EACH OF OUR SPONSORS, SUPPLIERS AND AGENTS FROM ANY AND ALL OBLIGATIONS, LIABILITIES AND CLAIMS IN EXCESS OF THIS LIMITATION. You agree that any claim or cause of action arising out of or related to use of OUR SERVICES or this Agreement must be filed within one (1) year after such claim or cause of action arose or be forever barred.
C. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW IMPLIED WARRANTIES TO BE EXCLUDED OR MODIFIED OR LIABILITY TO BE LIMITED, SO NOT ALL OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS MAY APPLY TO YOU.
7. Ownership and Limited Right to Use
A. You agree that all programs, services, processes, designs, software, technologies, trademarks, trade names, inventions, patents, other intellectual property and materials comprising the Services are wholly owned by us and/or our suppliers except where expressly stated otherwise.
B. Subject to your payment of applicable fees and compliance with the other terms and conditions of this Agreement, we grant you a limited, nonexclusive, non-transferable, revocable right to use the Services solely for your personal use. You agree not to use for any other purpose, sell, resell, rent, sublicense, or create a derivative work of, the Services, without our prior written permission. All rights not specifically granted by us are reserved by us.
C. We may provide forms or mechanisms for you to provide content for feedback, testimonials, suggestions and ideas about our products and services, or you may provide such content through other means (“Responses”), and accordingly, We may use any Responses in any way, including in future versions of its products or services, and/or its advertising or promotions. You grant us a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, irrevocable, transferable, sublicenseable, license without royalty or other compensation to use, copy, distribute, create derivative works of, transmit, perform and display the Responses, in any manner and for any purpose.
You agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless us and each of our officers, directors, employees, Sponsors, suppliers and agents from and against any and all losses, liabilities, expenses (including attorneys’ fees and costs) and damages arising out of claims based upon or caused by your breach of this Agreement or use of any Services.
9. Notices; Consent
Notices given by us to you will be given by general posting on the our web site, or by email, overnight courier, first class or express mail to your address of record at our offices. Notices given by you to us must be given by first class or express mail, certified or registered, postage prepaid and sent to us at 237 Florida Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001. All notices shall be effective upon web site posting or, if delivered by other means, upon receipt.
10. Arbitration; Waiver of Class Action Rights
A. You hereby agree that any dispute, claim or controversy (other than those for equitable relief or concerning our intellectual property) between you and us arising from this Agreement (each a “Claim”) shall be resolved by binding arbitration. Arbitration replaces the right to appear in court, and you also agree to waive any right that you might have to a jury trial or the opportunity to litigate any Claims in court before a judge or jury. Either you or we may require the submission of a Claim to binding arbitration at any reasonable time notwithstanding that a lawsuit or other proceeding has been commenced.
B. Neither you nor we will be entitled to join or consolidate Claims by or against the other in any arbitration, or to include in any arbitration any Claim as a representative or member of a class, or to act in any arbitration in the interest of the general public or in a private attorney general capacity.
C. This section 10 is made pursuant to a transaction involving interstate commerce, and shall be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (Title 9 of the United States Code, as amended). The party filing a Claim(s) in arbitration must file its Claim(s) before a single arbitrator appointed by the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) under its then-current commercial disputes rules. For any Claim of less than $10,000, we may elect non-appearance based arbitration through AAA or another mutually-approved arbitration provider, and in such event the arbitration shall be conducted by telephone, video conference, and/or online, and/or be based solely on written submissions of the parties. The arbitrator must be a lawyer actively engaged in the practice of law or a retired judge, and must have relevant expertise.
D. The arbitrator shall not have authority to vary the terms or conditions of this Agreement. The arbitrator’s award shall be final and binding on the parties, except that either party may seek judicial relief for any alleged failure by the arbitrator to comply with the preceding sentence, and either party may also seek judicial relief to enforce an award if necessary.
E. This section 10 does not prevent you or us from exercising any lawful rights to other self-help remedies, such as setoff rights.
F. You and we each shall take all steps and execute all documents necessary for the implementation of arbitration proceedings. Neither the parties nor the arbitrator may disclose the content or results of any such arbitration, except as required by court order or applicable law, rule or regulation. The parties shall share equally the costs assessed by the AAA or the arbitrator, and other joint costs of the arbitration, but each party shall bear its own attorneys’ and experts’ fees and other costs incurred that are solely attributable to that party’s decisions and actions.
G. Subject to the foregoing, you agree that exclusive jurisdiction for any dispute, claim or controversy arising from this Agreement shall be in the federal and state courts located in Delaware, U.S.A.
11. General Terms
A. The laws of the State of Delaware, U.S.A., excluding its conflicts of law rules, govern this Agreement and your use of the Services. If any provision of this Agreement is held to be invalid or unenforceable, such provision shall be struck and the remaining provisions shall be enforced. Our failure to act with respect to a breach by you or others does not waive our right to act with respect to subsequent or similar breaches. You may not assign or transfer this Agreement or any rights hereunder, and any attempt to the contrary shall be void. Subject to the preceding sentence, this Agreement benefits and binds the respective successors and assigns of the parties. We at our sole discretion may contract with third parties to process payments and/or provide any other of the Services. We shall not be liable for any delay or failure to perform resulting directly or indirectly from any causes beyond our reasonable control. This Agreement supersedes all prior or contemporaneous agreements, representations, warranties, understandings or communications between the parties regarding the subject matter herein. There are no third party beneficiaries to this Agreement. Our rights and remedies in this Agreement, at law or in equity, are cumulative and are not intended to be exclusive of one another. Sections 3, 4, 6, 7(A) and (C), and 8 to 10 inclusive of this Agreement shall survive the termination of this Agreement.
Revised: June 1, 2019
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