“Missouri was never like this when I was growing up.”
After decades of Republican statehouse control, Missouri has fallen behind. But rather than fixing the problems they’ve caused, Republicans have doubled down on their extremism.
Please support the community that’s doing something about it.
Contributing to the administrative costs of Blue Missouri, you enable us to grow our community of people just like you who want to see a brighter future for our state.
|Paid for by It Starts Today Missouri and not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.|
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WHAT DO WE COLLECT?
Personal Information may be collected in a number of ways when you visit It Starts Today. We collect information you voluntarily provide to us, such as when you make a donation, send us an email, sign-up to receive email or updates, connect through a social feed, fill out a form, or request information. Such information may include Personal Information.
Campaign finance law and regulations also require us to collect certain Personal Information from those who donate.
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CHANGES TO THIS POLICY
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Effective date of this version: January 27, 2017
WHAT IS BLUE MISSOURI?
Blue Missouri, formerly known as It Starts Today Missouri, crowdsources support for Democratic statehouse nominees. Community members contribute monthly (our average is $14/mo); those funds are distributed to Missouri’s Democratic nominees for state legislature after the Democratic primary. Since 2017 our community has raised and distributed over $350,000 for Democratic nominees for Missouri state legislature. We are proud that our grassroots community is one of the largest donors to Democratic statehouse nominees.
If you want to read more about our story and how we came up with the idea, check out our article in Daily Kos!
On the legal side, It Starts Today Missouri is a nonprofit registered as a PAC with the Missouri Ethics Commission. All contributions to It Starts Today Missouri are reported to the MEC quarterly and publicly disclosed on their website.
HOW DOES BLUE MISSOURI WORK?
In a nutshell: your donation is split amongst a family of Blue Missouri NOMINEE PACs. Those ; NOMINEE PACs exist to evenly fund every Democratic nominee for state legislature each election cycle. Blue Missouri’s NOMINEE PACs donate directly to candidates and do not engage in "independent expenditures." Compliance for Blue Missouri’s NOMINEE PACs is provided as an in-kind contribution by It Starts Today Missouri, which is funded by your "tips." This allows IST-MO NOMINEE PACs to divvy up all available funds among Democratic nominees for state legislature.
Blue Missouri uses a “bathtub method” of funding, where the community funds are used to lift the nominees from the bottom up. After the primary, Blue Missouri will look at each Democratic primary winners' most recent campaign finance filings, and distribute community funds until the nominees all have at least $1,000. Then we'll continue raising the “water level” until the Blue Missouri community funds are exhausted.
And you will always be able to look up our filings with the Missouri Ethics Commission to make sure we're fulfilling our promises.
We can hear you do-it-yourselfers asking: Hey, if this is really just a way for me to save and organize funds now to donate after the primary, can’t I just do it myself? And the answer is - of course you can! But cutting individual checks and sending them to as many as 180 campaigns - all in enough time for the candidates to be able to actually use the funds… Well, it’s a project. But this is what we do, and we’re happy to do it.
Donations to support and market this project are contributions to It Starts Today Missouri, a nonprofit Missouri PAC.
WHEN WILL THE NOMINEES GET MY MONEY?
In general, each nominee will start to receive the money just after the primary election. After that first big lump sum, there are weekly distributions until the election.
WHAT ABOUT CONTRIBUTION LIMITS?
Good question. We spent a lot of time figuring this all out and arrived at a very simple solution: we'll need to do a lot of compliance filings with the Missouri Ethics Commission. Each PAC in Missouri is limited to donating $2,000 to a candidate for the House and $2,400 to a candidate for the Senate per election. The more of you who donate, the more PAC's we'll create (future donors to this project might not be funding the same PAC as you, but the PAC will have the same stated goals). And that's what we are going to do.
It's a lot of paperwork, but our co-Founder, Jonathan Zucker, is a campaign finance attorney and was the driving force behind getting ActBlue into all 50 states about a decade ago; he lives to solve these sorts of complex problems as efficiently as possible.
To answer a more personal question for each of you, because these are PAC donations, your personal donation limit to each nominee will not be impacted.
WHAT ABOUT FEES?
Credit cards are not free and just like everyone else (including ActBlue and Kickstarter), we have to account for processing fees. Blue Missouri’s payment processor is Democracy Engine, LLC. Jonathan Zucker (our founder) also founded Democracy Engine, which charges you a lower rate than other sites you might know of, like ActBlue.
While ActBlue collects 3.95% and Kickstarter keeps 5% on top of processing fees, Democracy Engine collects a 3.75% + $0.30 processing fee on top of your contribution to the Democratic nominees. This sum covers both the processing fees—credit card, debit card, ACH, etc.—and costs of distribution to candidates.
We believe in transparency, which is why we show you those processing charges right up front. That means 100% of the funds you donate to nominees go to nominees, credit card processing fees are broken out separately for you to easily see, and Blue Missouri does not take a percentage of the funds you donate.
Instead, we rely upon your generous “tips” to Blue Missouri to grow and sustain this project and others.
ARE YOU PART OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY?
No, Blue Missouri is independent. Our funds go directly to the nominees, not the party or the coordinated campaign. We have only one goal: break radical Republican control over the Statehouse.
CAN I HELP YOUR EFFORTS BEYOND MY SUBSCRIPTION?
First and foremost, you can share what we are doing with your friends, family and fellow progressives (a post on Facebook or a tweet is great, but even better is sending personal e-mails to people you know care about Missouri).
Second, if you have the means, you can help our outreach efforts by funding them directly. Just click here to make a donation.
WHEN WILL MY SUBSCRIPTION END?
You can end your subscription at any time by contacting us at email@example.com.
WHO IS BEHIND IT STARTS TODAY?
Glad you asked. The prime mover is Jonathan Zucker: a progressive campaign finance attorney and political technology entrepreneur who has been at the heart of some of the most innovative campaign finance initiatives of the last fifteen years.
Jonathan was the first employee of ActBlue, where he served as the first COO and second Executive Director (CEO) between 2005 and 2008. During his tenure, ActBlue grew from $870k in total donations to over $85 million. Before joining ActBlue, Jonathan was the national director of operations for finance at the Democratic National Committee, overseeing the infrastructure of the DNC’s (then) record-breaking $100-million major donor program during the 2004 election.
After leaving ActBlue, Jonathan founded Democracy Engine, LLC: a software platform that's all about executing complex political contributions (in compliance, of course, with applicable laws and regulations). In 2011, he joined Ruck.us as co-founder and COO, since 2013 he’s been serving as senior strategist and counsel to Crowdpac, and in 2014, he co-founded if.then.fund and progressive.fund.
Before getting into political technology, Jonathan took on the roles of field organizer, fundraiser, administrator, and attorney for a variety of progressive organizations, including the Interfaith Alliance, Human Rights Campaign, Color of Change, Genderpac, Democratic Leadership Council, and the Gill Foundation.
Jonathan has authored, commissioned, and/or consulted on several groundbreaking Advisory Opinions from the Federal Election Commission. He holds a J.D. from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Yale University.
Jonathan is joined by Jerald Lentini, a campaign veteran who has worked with dozens of Democratic campaigns and organizations such as the AFL-CIO, Ready for Warren, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee; Caitlin Howarth, an experienced organizer and strategist who has worked with the Truman National Security Project, the New Leaders Council, and the Roosevelt Institute, among other groups; Laura Duncombe, a writer, organizer, and mother whose work can be found on Jezebel and who has been knocking doors for Democrats since 2008; and Ben Resnik, a Democratic operative with experience in startups at the intersection of politics and tech, including Ruck.us, if.then.fund, and DSPolitical.
The one thing on which everyone opposed to Trump and this radical GOP Congress can agree is that we need a Congress that's going to work for the people, and not just rubber stamp the Trump agenda. To do that, Democrats need to take back Congress. There is strength in numbers and we need to replace as many Republicans with Democrats as possible in the 2018 midterm elections.
We know that to win those races, Democrats are going to need money.
And we believe in the profound power of large numbers of people making small, monthly, contributions.
Directly funding every Democratic nominee for Congress in 2018 is not the only thing people should be doing to resist Trump and the radical GOP Congress, but it is a simple, easy thing that all of us who can afford to do should be doing along with everything else. It Starts Today makes that possible.
We hope you will join us in this effort.
You can read about It Starts Today in the following articles (we’re just getting started, so expect this list to grow):
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You can reach us at email@example.com. Press inquires should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.