Sharia Law Bill Correspondence

Teresa Ross filed this request with the Kentucky State Legislature of Kentucky.
Est. Completion None
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No Responsive Documents

Communications

From: Swathi Shanmugasundaram

To Whom It May Concern:

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

I am requesting emails and other records of correspondence (including meeting notes, faxes, letters, and memos) sent to or from the following legislative member and their staff members: Rep. King (R - Bunch)

I am only requesting correspondence from the above with the following individuals and organizations:

The Center for Security Policy
Christopher Holton (Vice President of Outreach at CSP)
ACT for America
American Public Policy Alliance
Stephen Gele (President of APPA)

Please limit this request to documents generated between these dates: January 1, 2016 - current

If your email search and retrieval system is better configured for keywords searches, you may also search for emails and other communications that mention the above names (i.e., responsive records would be emails from the above legislators that include the term “Center for Security Policy” or “Christopher Holton”).

If you believe that this request is too broad or if you have questions or suggestions to reduce its burden, please let me know and I’m happy to discuss further.

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.

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 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,

Swathi Shanmugasundaram

From: Weber, Robert (LRC)

Good morning,

I have forwarded your message to the person in my agency who handles open records requests, General Counsel Greg Woosely.

From: Woosley, Greg (LRC)

Ms. Shanmugasundaram,

Attached is a response to your recent open records request.

Please let me know if you have any trouble with the file, or any questions.

Greg Woosley
General Counsel
Director's Office
Legislative Research Commission
Capitol, Rm. 300 | 700 Capitol Ave. | Frankfort, KY 40601 | 502-564-8100 ext. 731

Confidentiality Notice: This electronic mail communication, including any attachments, is intended solely for the addressee or intended addressee, and the information contained herein may be confidential or protected from disclosure by legislative immunity or by attorney-client, attorney work product, or legislative drafting communications privileges. Any unauthorized interception, review, use, or disclosure is prohibited and may violate applicable laws, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender of the erroneous transmission immediately and thereafter delete this message and any attachments from your system. Any dissemination to an unintended recipient shall not be deemed to be a waiver of confidentiality or any applicable privilege.

From: Swathi Shanmugasundaram

To whom it may concern,
I’d like to appealing the rejection of my public records request seeking “correspondence (including meeting notes, faxes, letters, and memos) sent to or from the following legislative member and their staff members: Rep. King (R - Bunch)...with the following individuals and organizations: The Center for Security Policy, Christopher Holton (Vice President of Outreach at CSP), ACT for America, American Public Policy Alliance, Stephen Gele (President of APPA).
In Kentucky email is subject to the Kentucky Open Records Act (ORA) pursuant to Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.870(2). Furthermore, 00-ORD-97 holds that any document created on a public computer is subject to the ORA.
The agency cites Section 43 of the Kentucky constitution as one provision exempting the requested records from disclosure, but I would like to contest their assertion that it applies in this situation.
Section 43 of the Kentucky Constitution states that “The members of the General Assembly shall, in all cases except treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance on the sessions of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House they shall not be questioned in any other place.”
It is unclear how Chapter 43 of the Kentucky Constitution has any bearing on the rejection of a public records request for emails.
The Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 61.878: Subsection (1)(a) is cited as justification for denying the release of the emails, however this provision is meant to protect information of a “personal nature” that would constitute an “unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” Public policy discussions via email between lobbying groups and legislators cannot reasonably be characterized as being of a personal nature.
Also cited in the public records exemption is KRS 61.878 (i), which exempts disclosure of “preliminary drafts, notes, correspondence with private individuals, other than correspondence which is intended to give notice of final action of a public agency.”
The request asks for communications between legislators and people and organizations that exist and function for the purpose of influencing public policy. These are hardly “private individuals.”
KRS 61.878(j) exempts from release “Preliminary recommendations, and preliminary memoranda in which opinions are expressed or policies formulated or recommended.”
I’d like to contest the complete exemption of the requested material based on this provision, as the exempt language can be redacted.
As for KRS 61.872 (6) which states “If the application places an unreasonable burden in producing public records or if the custodian has reason to believe that repeated requests are intended to disrupt other essential functions of the public agency, the official custodian may refuse to permit inspection of the public records or mail copies thereof. However, refusal under this section shall be sustained by clear and convincing evidence”
The Legislative Research Commission has presented absolutely no evidence that the request constitutes an “unreasonable burden,” or that the intent of the request is to “disrupt other essential functions of the public agency.”
Also cited is KRS 7.120 which states that the “Commission shall maintain
the confidentiality of each item of legislation which it is requested to prepare, and of
the fact that the request has been made, until the member or members of the General
Assembly having made the request shall introduce the legislation at a regular or
extraordinary session of the General Assembly or shall in writing authorize its
publication by the Commission.”
The bill to which this request applies is HB 40, and is not subject to KRS 7.120 due to the fact that it was introduced in the Kentucky legislature on Jan. 3 2017, and is currently pending in the judiciary committee.
KRS 7.117 exempts from disclosure communications about legislation between the General Assembly and the Legislative Research Commission. The communications sought in this request are between members of the General Assembly and various lobbying groups - not between the General Assembly and the Legislative Research Commission.
Thank you for you attention to this matter. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
Swathi Shanmugasundaram

From: Woosley, Greg (LRC)

Ms. Shanmugasundaram,

I was forwarded a letter you sent to our Public Information Office Staff requesting "to appeal the rejection of my public records request . . . ."

As our response to your initial request stated, "there are no records responsive to your request." Although in our response we cited, for your reference, a number of privileges and exemptions that generally apply to requests for the types of records you sought, we intended to make it clear that regardless of the stated exemptions and privileges, no records exist that are the subject of your request.

In other words, it is my opinion that there is nothing to appeal because this is not a case of there being certain records that we claim are exempted from disclosure, there simply are no responsive records.

With this attempted clarification in mind, please contact me to discuss if you would indeed like to pursue an appeal under KRS 7.119.

Greg Woosley
General Counsel
Director's Office
Legislative Research Commission
Capitol, Rm. 300 | 700 Capitol Ave. | Frankfort, KY 40601 | 502-564-8100 ext. 731

Confidentiality Notice: This electronic mail communication, including any attachments, is intended solely for the addressee or intended addressee, and the information contained herein may be confidential or protected from disclosure by legislative immunity or by attorney-client, attorney work product, or legislative drafting communications privileges. Any unauthorized interception, review, use, or disclosure is prohibited and may violate applicable laws, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender of the erroneous transmission immediately and thereafter delete this message and any attachments from your system. Any dissemination to an unintended recipient shall not be deemed to be a waiver of confidentiality or any applicable privilege.

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