Colorado Oil/Gas - Randy Baumgardner

David Sirota filed this request with the Office of Sen. Randy Baumgardner of Colorado.
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Crowdfund Request: Colorado Oil/Gas - Randy Baumgardner

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We are asking for your contribution to a fund to force the Colorado state government to release emails between the oil and gas industry and Colorado Republican lawmakers who played a pivotal role in killing recent legislation that would have forced oil and gas companies to limit their fracking and drilling operations near schools. The lawmakers just killed that bill days only days before a deadly explosion in Northeastern Colorado that was linked to nearby oil and gas operations. The lawmakers voted down the bill after their political fundraising organization raked in more than $738,000 from donors in the oil and gas industry.

International Business Times last week published a major report on the cash flowing into the Republican lawmakers’ group:

http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/oil-gas-industry-power-builds-wells-near-schools-colorado-trumping-environmental

We then requested emails to and from the lawmakers about the bill in question; emails to and from the lawmakers from their major oil and gas donors; and emails to and from the lawmakers from oil and gas industry lobbyists. In response, Colorado officials say they have many responsive records, but they are citing Colorado’s draconian open records law to declare that they will not release those records unless we pay $1,670.

Please chip in to this fund so that we can afford the public records fees and get these documents released into the public domain. These documents could shed critical light on how the oil and gas industry’s mega-donors influence public officials to kill safety and environmental legislation designed to prevent deadly disasters.

Backed by Peter Lee, Todd Landrum, Clifford Cary, Jeff Winslow, and 66 others.

$2,300.90 raised out of $1,920.50.

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Communications

From: David Sirota

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Colorado Open Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. This includes emails to or from email addresses at the domain name "@coga.org." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from employees or lobbyists from Anadarko Petroleum. This includes emails to or from email addresses at the domain name "@anadarko.com." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators that include any of the following keywords: "setback," "set back," "fracking," "HB 1256," "1256," "HB17-1256," "forced pooling," "HB 1336," "1336," or "HB17-1336." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

The specific legislators that this request covers are: Randy Baumgardner.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes. I am requesting a waiver of all fees under 5 U.S.C. Section 552(a)(4)(A)(iii). The information I seek is in the public interest because it will contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in my commercial interest. This request is not a commercial request -- it is being made by an award-winning media organization and is seeking documents of clear public interest and concern.

I believe I meet the criteria for a fee waiver recognized by the U.S. Justice Department - and by the federal courts, See Project on Military Procurement v. Department of the Navy, 710 F. Supp. 362 363, 365 (D.C.D. 1989).

My request concerns the operations or activities of government because the records relate to the enforcement of antitrust law at a time when there is significant public debate about consolidation, market power, and regulations. The records that are responsive to this request will spotlight the way the government shapes policy and will also show the ways that policy is shaped by corporate representatives seeking to influence public policy.

Also, the information sought has informative value, or potential for contribution to public understanding. Please note the decision in Elizabeth Eudey v. Central Intelligence Agency, 478 F. Supp. 1175 1176 (D.C.D. 1979) (even a single document has the potential for contributing to public understanding). As the senior editor for investigations at Newsweek/IBT, I plan to disseminate this information to the public at large through publication in Newsweek and at International Business Times. Those award-winning publications get millions of visitors per month.

In addition, the release of this information will have a significant impact on public understanding because it will illustrate how antitrust enforcement decisions are influenced and made by public officials. The policy matters this request covers millions of people in their daily lives, and these documents will show how those matters are perceived by public officials and influenced by outside interests.

In your deliberations, please take note of the following cases: Campbell v. U.S. Department of Justice, 334 U.S. App. D.C. (1998)(administrative and seemingly repetitious information is not exempt from fee-waiver consideration); Project on Military Procurement (agencies cannot reject a fee waiver based on the assumption that the information sought is covered by a FOIA exemption; and Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21722 (D.C.D. 1998)(the fact that the information will soon be turned over to a public body does not exempt the material from fee-waiver consideration).

In the event that there are fees, 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 3 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

David Sirota
IBT/Newsweek
(646) 867-7100

From: Matthew Dawkins

Mr. Sirota,

Attached is a digital copy of the response to the recent Colorado
Open Records Act requests you sent to each of the following members of the
Colorado Senate: Senator Randy Baumgardner, Senator John Cooke, Senator
Kevin Grantham, Senator Chris Holbert, Senator Vicki Marble, Senator Ray
Scott, and Senator Jerry Sonnenberg. This single letter responds to the
requests to all of the seven Senators. If you would like the original
letter mailed to you, please let me know.
Regards,

Matt Dawkins
Office Manager
Office of Legislative Legal Services
Colorado General Assembly
(303) 866-2045

From: David Sirota

Mr. Dawkins:

Thank you for your response. Before proceeding on the payment schedule, I am requesting a revised cost estimate on a revised request (I am attaching your original response for your reference). Proposing this revision in no way is meant to revoke my right to proceed with the original request, but we would like a revised cost estimate on this revised request, that adds one set of searches and removes another. Please provide a revised cost estimate on the following request for Senators Grantham, Holbert, Baumgardner, Cooke, Scott, Marble and Sonnenberg:

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from email addresses at the following domain names: "@bmmk.com," "@politicalworks.net," "@coloradopetroleumassociation.org," "@lobby4co.com," "capstonegroupllc.com" or "@blackhillscorp.com." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. This includes emails to or from email addresses at the domain name "@coga.org." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from employees or lobbyists from Anadarko Petroleum, PDC Energy and/or Noble Energy. This includes emails to or from email addresses at the domain name "@anadarko.com," "@pdce.com" and "@nblenergy.com." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

I look forward to your revised cost estimate.

David Sirota
Newsweek/IBT

From: David Sirota

Mr. Dawkins:

As we await your revised cost estimate, I just want to additionally request that in accordance with the law, your office makes sure that none of the lawmakers in question deletes or destroys potentially responsive records. We are asking you to take the appropriate steps to make sure such document destruction does not take place, and that the potentially responsive records that you have identified are quarantined from any document destruction measures and are preserved as the CORA process now unfolds. Thank you.

David Sirota
Newsweek/IBT

From: David Sirota

Mr. Cartin:

Per our phone call today, we are seeking revised cost estimates for two revised versions of our request. The first revised request removes a part of our original request, but adds some companies and domain names to the original request. The second revised request keeps the original request intact, but adds companies and domain names to the request.

Thank you in advance for your revised cost estimates on both of these revised requests. We are prepared to make a payment as soon as we receive your revised cost estimates on these two revised versions of the request.

D

REVISED REQUEST #1

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. This includes emails to or from email addresses at the domain name "@coga.org." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from email addresses at the following domain names: "@bmmk.com," "@politicalworks.net," "@coloradopetroleumassociation.org," "@lobby4co.com," "capstonegroupllc.com" or "@blackhillscorp.com." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from employees or lobbyists from Anadarko Petroleum, PDC Energy and/or Noble Energy. This includes emails to or from email addresses at the domain name "@anadarko.com," "@pdce.com" and "@nblenergy.com." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

The specific legislators this request covers are: Senators Grantham, Holbert, Baumgardner, Cooke, Scott, Marble and Sonnenberg.

REVISED REQUEST #2

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. This includes emails to or from email addresses at the domain name "@coga.org." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from email addresses at the following domain names: "@bmmk.com," "@politicalworks.net," "@coloradopetroleumassociation.org," "@lobby4co.com," "capstonegroupllc.com" or "@blackhillscorp.com." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from employees or lobbyists from Anadarko Petroleum, PDC Energy and/or Noble Energy. This includes emails to or from email addresses at the domain name "@anadarko.com," "@pdce.com" and "@nblenergy.com." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators that include any of the following keywords: "setback," "set back," "fracking," "HB 1256," "1256," "HB17-1256," "forced pooling," "HB 1336," "1336," or "HB17-1336." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

The specific legislators this request covers are: Senators Grantham, Holbert, Baumgardner, Cooke, Scott, Marble and Sonnenberg.

From: MuckRock

To Whom It May Concern:

Please find enclosed a check for $1670.20 to satisfy the fee associated with the attached public records request.

Thank you.

From: Matthew Dawkins

Mr. Sirota,

Attached is a digital copy of the response to the recent revision
(revised request #1) you made to your earlier Colorado Open Records Act
requests to each of the following members of the Colorado Senate: Senator
Randy Baumgardner, Senator John Cooke, Senator Kevin Grantham, Senator
Chris Holbert, Senator Vicki Marble, Senator Ray Scott, and Senator Jerry
Sonnenberg. This single letter responds to the revised requests to all of
the seven Senators. If you would like the original letter mailed to you,
please let me know.

As you will see in the response, Senator Sonnenberg has several
public records that fall within the scope of your revised request. I will
send those records to you in a separate email. If that second email does
not arrive in your inbox, please notify me and we can discuss what may
have prevented its delivery and also identify alternative methods of
getting the records to you.
Regards,

Matt Dawkins
Office Manager
Office of Legislative Legal Services
Colorado General Assembly
(303) 866-2045

From: Matthew Dawkins

Mr. Sirota,

Per my earlier email message, attached are the public records
Senator Jerry Sonnenberg has in connection with your first revision to
your earlier Colo. Open Records Act request.
Regards,

Matt Dawkins
Office Manager
Office of Legislative Legal Services
Colorado General Assembly
(303) 866-2045

From: Matthew Dawkins

Mr. Sirota,

Attached is a digital copy of the response to the recent revision
(revised request #1) you made to your earlier Colorado Open Records Act
requests to each of the following members of the Colorado Senate: Senator
Randy Baumgardner, Senator John Cooke, Senator Kevin Grantham, Senator
Chris Holbert, Senator Vicki Marble, Senator Ray Scott, and Senator Jerry
Sonnenberg. This single letter responds to the revised requests to all of
the seven Senators. If you would like the original letter mailed to you,
please let me know.

As you will see in the response, Senator Sonnenberg has several
public records that fall within the scope of your revised request. I will
send those records to you in a separate email. If that second email does
not arrive in your inbox, please notify me and we can discuss what may
have prevented its delivery and also identify alternative methods of
getting the records to you.
Regards,

Matt Dawkins
Office Manager
Office of Legislative Legal Services
Colorado General Assembly
(303) 866-2045

From: David Sirota

Mr. Dawkins:

Thank you for your response. I received Sen. Sonnenberg's documents.

Separately, I appreciate the revised cost estimate for revised request #1. Per my discussion with Mr. Cartin, can you also please provide me with a revised cost estimate for revised request #2, which is attached. Once I have that cost estimate in hand, I will provide you with the deposit. Thank you.

D

REVISED REQUEST #2

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. This includes emails to or from email addresses at the domain name "@coga.org." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from email addresses at the following domain names: "@bmmk.com," "@politicalworks.net," "@coloradopetroleumassociation.org," "@lobby4co.com," "capstonegroupllc.com" or "@blackhillscorp.com." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from employees or lobbyists from Anadarko Petroleum, PDC Energy and/or Noble Energy. This includes emails to or from email addresses at the domain name "@anadarko.com," "@pdce.com" and "@nblenergy.com." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators that include any of the following keywords: "setback," "set back," "fracking," "HB 1256," "1256," "HB17-1256," "forced pooling," "HB 1336," "1336," or "HB17-1336." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

The specific legislators this request covers are: Senators Grantham, Holbert, Baumgardner, Cooke, Scott, Marble and Sonnenberg.

From: Matthew Dawkins

Mr. Sirota,

Attached is a digital copy of the response to the second revision
(revised request #2) you made to your earlier Colorado Open Records Act
requests to Senator Randy Baumgardner, Senator John Cooke, Senator Kevin
Grantham, Senator Chris Holbert, Senator Vicki Marble, Senator Ray Scott,
and Senator Jerry Sonnenberg. As with the earlier letters, this single
letter responds to the revised requests to all of the seven Senators. If
you would like the original letter mailed to you, please let me know.
Regards,

Matt Dawkins
Office Manager
Office of Legislative Legal Services
Colorado General Assembly
(303) 866-2045

From: David Sirota

Mr. Dawkins:

We would like to proceed with Revised Request #2 (attached for reference below) but have it only apply to Senators Cooke, Grantham, Holbert and Marble, not Senators Scott and Sonnenberg. Based on the totals you have provided, that would require us to give you a deposit of $2,025.60 ($740.10 + $879 +$210 + $196.50). That deposit check will be sent to you to fulfill this request. Thank you.

David Sirota

REVISED REQUEST #2

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. This includes emails to or from email addresses at the domain name "@coga.org." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from email addresses at the following domain names: "@bmmk.com," "@politicalworks.net," "@coloradopetroleumassociation.org," "@lobby4co.com," "capstonegroupllc.com" or "@blackhillscorp.com." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators to or from employees or lobbyists from Anadarko Petroleum, PDC Energy and/or Noble Energy. This includes emails to or from email addresses at the domain name "@anadarko.com," "@pdce.com" and "@nblenergy.com." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

- Specific emails to or from specific legislators that include any of the following keywords: "setback," "set back," "fracking," "HB 1256," "1256," "HB17-1256," "forced pooling," "HB 1336," "1336," or "HB17-1336." The specific emails being requested are those from the dates 12/1/16 to the present.

The specific legislators this request covers are: Senators Grantham, Holbert, Baumgardner, Cooke and Marble.

From: MuckRock

Hi,

Enclosed is a check for $355.40, in addition to the check for $1,670.20, bringing the total payment up to $2025.60. Thank you for processing this request as amended.

From: Matthew Dawkins

Mr. Sirota,

As was noted in the response originally sent in connection with
revised request #2, Senator Baumgardner has no records that are responsive
to your request and therefore has nothing to produce in connection with
revised request #2. I'm uncertain what the purpose of the May 29 follow-up
request below is. If additional information is needed or expected, please
provide direction accordingly.

Matt Dawkins
Office Manager
Office of Legislative Legal Services
Colorado General Assembly
(303) 866-2045

From: David Sirota

This follow up was also in error. Please proceed with the request we agreed on and that we paid for.

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