Did you know there is a way to fund
every Democratic nominee
for the Missouri state legislature that believes in
- and will vote for -
common sense gun reform?
You just found it!Join us.
If you’re like most Missourians, you’ve been shocked by the Missouri legislature’s passage of radical pro-guns-everywhere legislation, even in the face of opposition by law enforcement, educators, clergy and parents. It’s clear that the legislators in Jefferson City aren’t listening to the voices of the people of Missouri (maybe because their ears are stuffed with the NRA’s cash).
Our aim is to show the Missouri legislature that we won’t just oppose legislators that promote a guns-everywhere agenda - but that we’ll actively fund legislators who prioritize our safety by favoring common sense gun reform. We think of it as a carrot-and-stick approach. (Hey, if it works with six-year-olds, it will probably work with lawmakers.)
While we may not be affiliated with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America, we agree wholeheartedly with their mission and recognize them as the experts on this issue in Missouri. Therefore, we define our Gun Reform nominees as those Democratic nominees for Missouri legislature that have earned (and publicly announced) the Moms Demand candidate of distinction award or endorsement.
Contributions are to IST-MO GUN REFORM NOMINEE PAC NUMBER ONE (90%)—the stated purpose of which is to make contributions, in equal amounts, directly to “Gun Reform” Democratic nominees for Missouri state legislature—and It Starts Today Missouri (10%) which will use the funds to cover costs of vetting Gun Reform nominees, administration and, most importantly, filing compliance reports with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
IST-MO GUN REFORM NOMINEE PAC NUMBER ONE will be the sole arbiter of what constitutes a Gun Reform nominee. That said, in 2018, we defined a Gun Reform nominee as any Democratic nominee for Missouri state legislature who had earned and publicly shared their Gun Sense Candidate distinction from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America or were included in the www.gunsensevoter.org website. We are keeping that definition for 2020. However, we reserve the right to include endorsees of other statewide or national organizations advocating for gun reform.
|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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The Site may contain links to other web sites. It Starts Today is not responsible for the privacy practices of other web sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our Site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects personally identifiable information. This Policy applies solely to information collected by our Site.
WHAT WE DO WITH YOUR INFORMATION
We use your Personal Information to facilitate your use of the Site. We may over time use your email address to let you know about new services on our Site, or information about political issues, candidates and elections that may be of interest to you.
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MINORSIt Starts Today does not knowingly ask for or collect personally identifying information from children under the age of 13. If you become aware that your child has provided It Starts Today with Personal Information without your consent, please contact us at email@example.com. If we become aware that a child under 13 has provided us with personal information, we will take steps to remove such information and terminate the child’s use of the Site.
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CHANGES TO THIS POLICY
We reserve the right to change the provisions of this Policy at any time and will alert you to changes in this policy with an effective date at the bottom. Questions or comments regarding this Policy should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Effective date of this version: January 27, 2017
WHAT IS IT STARTS TODAY MISSOURI?
It Starts Today Missouri crowdsources support for Democratic statehouse nominees. We recognized that the Resistance has become an insurmountable force by helping people take regular, small steps - the effects of which are amplified because of the vast numbers of people taking them. We do that same thing - except with monthly donations that will be split among every single Democratic nominee for Missouri state legislature. So, really we’re just taking what’s already worked for the movement to oppose the Trump/Ryan/McConnell agenda and applying it to fundraise for Missouri’s Democratic 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 in half, half of it going to the named beneficiary (such as the Missouri Democratic Party, the Democratic House Victory Committee or a Democratic Club for a County or Township) and the other half going to a separate PAC in a family of IST-MO NOMINEE PACs (IST-MO NOMINEE PAC #1, etc (our vision will require up to 50 such IST-MO NOMINEE PACS)); The IST-MO NOMINEE PACs exist to evenly fund every Democratic nominee for state legislature each election cycle. IST-MO NOMINEE PACs donate directly to candidates and do not engage in "independent expenditures." Compliance for IST-MO 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 (with 5 times as much going to Missouri Senate nominees because state senate districts are 5 times as large).
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.
WHAT ABOUT "FORGOTTEN" or "UNDERFUNDED" DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FUNDING?
These efforts, such as our partnership with the Democratic Rural Caucus, work very similarly to the other Blue Missouri projects, but instead of giving to a IST-MO NOMINEE PAC with a stated purpose of dividing funds equally between every Democratic nominee, the money is given to an IST-MO FORGOTTEN DEMOCRATS PAC that is dedicated to getting every Democrat to a specific funding floor first. Specifically, we set our funding threshold at 50 cents per district resident. This works out to just over $18,000 for a State House race and $88,000 for a State Senate race. Donations from IST-MO FORGOTEN DEMOCRATS PACS engaged in this effort are split among all the nominees who had not raised that much as of the August primary (and who have a Republican opponent in the general election) in each election cycle. Because Senate districts are five times the size of House districts, we will allot each Senate nominee proportionally five times as much as each House nominee.
Once we get every nominee to the funding floor, we then will divide any funds remaining in these IST-MO FORGOTTEN DEMOCRATS PACs evenly among all Democratic nominees, just like the IST-MO NOMINEE PACs.
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.
WHEN WILL THE NON-NOMINEE RECIPIENT GET MY MONEY?
We distribute funds to the non-nominees each week. Non-nominees are entities like the House Victory Committee or the Rural Caucus that have collaborated with us on a Blue Missouri program.
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 $2,600 per nominee 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. It Starts Today relies on Democracy Engine, LLC, to process and distribute contributions. Jonathan Zucker (our founder) also founded Democracy Engine. But while that means he does have a financial interest in the success of this effort, the goal here is to save the world. So Democracy Engine charges you a lower rate than other sites you might know of, like ActBlue.
Democracy Engine collects a 3.75% + $0.20 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. It also provides Democracy Engine with a small profit, which is required by campaign finance law. And just to compare: ActBlue collects 3.95% and Kickstarter keeps 5% on top of the processing fees.
Democracy Engine charges you low rates and has the services we need. So we're happy to work with them in our effort to crowdsource democracy, cut the GOP off at the knees, and make the country - and world - a better place.
All “tips” to It Starts Today itself go to the nonprofit PAC and will be spent building this concept into a movement.
ARE YOU PART OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY?
It Starts Today Missouri is independent. While we support the efforts of the Missouri Democratic Party, and they seem to love what we are doing, we are not them and our funds go directly to the nominees, not the party or the coordinate campaign; we have only one goal: break radical Republican control over the Statehouse. Our partner in this project may be part of the MDP, but IST-MO is not.
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. For each $10 dollars we've raised to date, we can reach a new subscriber and each new subscriber will donate, on average, over $230 every 2 years to Democratic nominees. It's one heck of a return on investment. 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):
Press inquires should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can reach us at email@example.com. Press inquires should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.