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Gmail - Open Records Request - WDVA advocacy on the Burial Plot Allowance

ANTHONY HARDIE <anthony.d.hardie@gmail.com>

Open Records Request - WDVA advocacy on the Burial


Plot Allowance
ANTHONY HARDIE <anthony.d.hardie@gmail.com> Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 12:56 AM
To: "Cappozzo, Tony" <tony.cappozzo@dva.state.wi.us>
Cc: Dan Naylor <naylor@mwwb.net>, "Stewart, Jimmy" <jimmy.stewart@dva.state.wi.us>, "Black, Ken"
<ken.black@dva.state.wi.us>

Tony,
 
It's now been ten (10) calendar days since I initially sent this request to you.
 
Please advise on the progress of this Open Records Request.
 
Anthony Hardie
Madison, Wis.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ANTHONY HARDIE <anthony.d.hardie@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 11:56 PM
Subject: Open Records Request - WDVA advocacy on the Burial Plot Allowance
To: "Cappozzo, Tony" <tony.cappozzo@dva.state.wi.us>

Hi, Tony,
 
This is an open records request for records showing WDVA advocacy for the federal increase in the burial
plot allowance rates.  As you may know, an increase to $700 from the previous $300 level was recently
passed by Congress and is expected to be signed into law any day now.  As you may also know, while I was
at WDVA and even since that time, we and and I did a great deal of advocacy with Congress over several
years building momentum and seeking this increase. Like many of you who are still at WDVA, I'm very, very
pleased that Congress made this increase this year, which will be a wonderful fiscal boost for WDVA's
challenged budget. 
 
Specifically, I am seeking written records that show any and all WDVA advocacy efforts after I had ceased
working at WDVA (specific dates for this request are delineated below) showing any and all instances of
WDVA advocacy, and actions that could be construed as advocacy, specifically and solely with regards to an
increase in the federal burial plot allowance. 
 
Definitions.   

 "WDVA".  For the purposes of this request, I define "WDVA" as any and all paid or unpaid members of
the staff, Board of Veterans Affairs, Board Councils or Committees, Council on Veterans
Programs, interns, or any person or person specifically and intentionally designated by a member of
WDVA to function in the role of an emissary or representative.  In the case of an emissary or
representative, please provide the record(s) that prove the specifically designated emissary or
representative or emissary "advocacy" (as defined below) role on "this issue" (as defined below).
 "This issue".  For the purposes of this request, I define "this issue" as an increase in federal burial plot
allowance rates this year. 
 "Advocacy".  For the purposes of this request, I define "advocacy" on this issue as as any and all
efforts by WDVA specifically related to seeking to increase, seeking to influence an increase, or
seeking to influence others to influence an increase related to this issue.    
  "Written" records.  For the purposes of this request, I define written records as any record that is in
written form (including written and saved in electronic form on a computer, blackberry, iPad, iMac,

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laptop, Palm Pilot, etc. etc. etc., without regards to the ownership of the electronic device), including
but not limited to testimony, submissions for the record, letters, memos, emails, meeting summaries or
notes, phone conversation summaries or notes, correspondence, or any other record that is in any
written form and that is specifically related to WDVA advocacy on this issue.  Of particular interest (but
this request is not limited to these) are  WDVA communications and records of communications with
Congressional members, staff, committees, offices, interns, etc. related to WDVA advocacy on this
issue.  The written record should only contain the pages directly related to WDVA advocacy on this
issue (for example, a 163-page PowerPoint agency overview to the Deputy Secretary should not be
provided in its entirety; only the relevant page or pages showing WDVA advocacy work by WDVA
should be included) and a cover page or some other page identifying the nature of the document).

Limits.  I am interested in records that show WDVA advocacy on this issue during the 111th Congress that
were created before March 13, 2009 or after October 12, 2010.  Therefore, please do not include any of the
following: 

 Please do not include Records created before March 13, 2009 or after October 12, 2010;
 Please do not include Federal legislative bill text or bill summaries (not only because these are
already readily available, but primarily because I am interested in records specifically showing WDVA
advocacy on this issue and not information about this issue);
 Please do not include Publicly available materials not produced by WDVA, NASDVA, or other non-
governmental associations;
 Briefing documents or other similar records prepared for internal or external use that do not specifically
mention or describe specific WDVA advocacy measures on this issue;
 Please do not include records that state WDVA Goals but which has not been used as part of specific
advocacy action(s) by WDVA;
 Please do not include Meeting minutes of Board or Council on Veterans Programs meetings, whether
approved or draft (not only because these are already publicly available on WDVA and other websites,
but because in only one instance do they discuss specific advocacy by WDVA on this issue);
 Please do not include NASDVA emails or other written records about this issue in which the email or
record is provided to one or more members of WDVA but in the content of the email or record there is
no mention of specific advocacy on this issue by WDVA;
 Please do not include NASDVA emails about the advocacy actions on this issue by anyone outside of
WDVA;
 Please do not include NASDVA letters or other correspondence that does not specifically mention or
was distributed by WDVA;
 Please do not include NASDVA motions or resolutions that were not wholly or partially created or
distributed by WDVA;
 Please do not include Multiple copies of records that are essentially the same record with multiple
recipients. (For example, if the same advocacy email text was sent on this issue to 435 Members of
Congress, please provide only one copy of the emailed text and a notation that it was provided to 434
other members of Congress).
 Please do not include Press releases.
 Please do not include Speeches for whom the audience was anyone other than Congress.
 Please do not include Any summary of the enacted legislation that does not specifically describe,
state, or otherwise mention WDVA advocacy on this issue by WDVA (Because I am seeking only
records related to WDVA advocacy on this issue, for example, an email from the Department Secretary
to the Board Chair stating that the legislation had passed and describing the legislation, but which does
not include any description of specific advocacy by WDVA should not be included).
 Please do not include Draft communications that were never sent.
 Please do not include records that state only generalities but provide no specific description of
specific advocacy action by WDVA on this issue (for example, an email saying "we're moving forward
on getting a burial plot allowance" but which provides no specifics details of actual advocacy actions on
this issue should not be included).

Scope.   Using the definitions and limits above:  

1. Please provide a copy of all written records specifically related to WDVA advocacy on this


issue that were produced, signed, emailed, sent, or otherwise created, prepared by,

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Gmail - Open Records Request - WDVA advocacy on the Burial Plot Allowance

or transmitted by Jose Leon;
2. Please provide a copy of all written records specifically related to WDVA advocacy on this
issue that were produced, signed, emailed, sent, or otherwise created, prepared by,
or transmitted by Ken Black;
3. Please provide a copy of all written records specifically related to WDVA advocacy on this
issue that were produced, signed, emailed, sent, or otherwise created, prepared by,
or transmitted to Jose Leon;
4. Please provide a copy of all written records specifically related to WDVA advocacy on this
issue that were produced, signed, emailed, sent, or otherwise created, prepared by,
or transmitted to Ken Black;
5. Please provide a copy of all written records specifically related to WDVA advocacy on this
issue that were produced, signed, emailed, sent, or otherwise created, prepared by,
or transmitted by or to any other member of WDVA (as defined above).
6. Please provide a copy of all written records specifically related to advocacy by WDVA on this
issue with NASDVA or any other non-governmental organization or at a meeting(s) of NASDVA
or any other non-governmental organization.

Please advise me in advance if the costs of this open records request will exceed $25.00.   I recognize that I
have an outstanding balance of less than $5.00 from a prior Open Records request.  I regret the delay in
sending that amount to you, and if possible, would prefer to pay that balance combined with the fees
associated with this request, and prior to being provided the records requested in this request.
 
Please also feel free to call or email me should you wish for further clarification or if you wish to discuss this
request for any reason.
 
Thank you, Tony,
 
Anthony
 
 
Anthony Hardie
1722 N. Sherman Ave.
Madison, WI  53704

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