ALEC - AGs Request (Alaska)

Alex Richardson filed this request with the Office of the Attorney General - Alaska of Alaska.
Est. Completion None
Payment Required


From: Alex Richardson

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Alaska Public Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

- All communications between members of this office and employees or representatives of the American Legislative Exchange Council.
- All communications containing the keywords "ALEC" or "American Legislative Exchange Council".
- Any files or documents attached to the above communications.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.


Alex Richardson


To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 13, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Scholl, Madeline A (LAW)

Dear Mr. Richardson:

Please find the attached letter from Chief Assistant Attorney General, Alan Birnbaum, regarding clarification of the Public Records Act Request, received May 13, 2015. The original letter will follow via regular U.S. mail.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the attached letter, please contact Mr. Birnbaum directly at<> or at 907-269-5263.

Thank you,

Madeline Scholl, Administrative Assistant
State of Alaska - Department of Law, Civil Division
Information & Project Support Section

From: Office of the Attorney General - Alaska

A fix is required to perfect the request. The request has been rejected as being too vague, burdensome or otherwise unprocessable.

From: Alex Richardson

Hello Ms. Scholl,

Thank you for getting in touch! I'll try to provide clarification on each point. If you need further narrowing down, etc., please get in touch.

1. The search may be limited to the period 2010 to the present.
2. My approach is pretty broad in nature. I would be interested in communications from all four of those categories, but my focus is on the Office of the Attorney General itself. If looking into all four categories proves too arduous, perhaps we can limit it to the first category. Could you provide me with an estimated number of communications in these categories?
3. I am interested in both, but I am opening to revising my request if this becomes too arduous.
4. Are these registration materials publicly available? I am interested in these materials, but there is no need to send them to me if they are available elsewhere.
5. Yes, I am interested in those!
6. In the interest of keeping this request cheap, I will waive my request in regards to former employees.
7. That is correct.
8. Yes, we can exclude legally protected communications.
9. I am interested in internal communications that are about ALEC, members of ALEC, ALEC events, etc.

Thank you! Again, let me know if I can make this less arduous. If you come back with an insane number of documents, get in touch and I can narrow the scope.

Alex Richardson

From: Mead Wright, Cloe E (LAW)

Mr. Richardson,

Thank you for your response below.

Alaska Statute 40.25.110(c) states “If the production of records for one requester in a calendar month exceeds five person-hours, the public agency shall require the requester to pay the personnel costs required during the month to complete the search and copying tasks. The personnel costs may not exceed the actual salary and benefit costs for the personnel time required to perform the search and copying tasks.”

We canvassed the Department to determine who might have responsive records and how much time their searches would take. The Criminal and Administrative Services Divisions responded that they are unlikely to have records and therefore are not included in the cost estimate. To search for all the other categories of requested records will exceed the five hour monthly limit. If searches are completed by June 30, then the FY 2015 search costs will apply. If searches are not completed until after July 1, then the FY 2016 search costs will apply. The estimated costs can be generally broken down by office or category as follows:

Office or Category

Search and Copy Time

Estimated FY2015 Search Cost

Estimated FY2016 Search Cost

Office of the Attorney General

4 hours



Civil Division

3.83 hours



Charitable Organization Registrations*

2.25 hours



Public Record Requests

50 minutes



*In addition to the search costs, the registration documents from registration years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 are in boxes that are at an off-site records center. To retrieve those boxes and return them to storage after the searches are complete will incur costs. The standard retrieval and delivery cost, which can take a week, is $35.10 round trip. The cost for rush retrieval and delivery is $49.02 round trip.

We know the Department has charitable organization registration documents and communications from public record requests, but cannot estimate how many, if any, other communications the Department has with or about ALEC. Please note that some of the people who responded with search estimates were uncertain if they had records or not and won’t know until after searching, if you would like a revised cost estimate to exclude these people, let me know.

If you want the Department to conduct searches in excess of five hours we will require payment by check or money order—made payable to the State of Alaska—for the estimated cost. Upon receiving your payment the Department will begin the requested searches. In light of these costs, do you still want the Department to conduct all the searches, or do you only want one subset, and which one?

Thank you.

Cloe Mead-Wright
Information & Project Support
Alaska Attorney General’s Office
(907) 269-5136