From:   Freeman, Robert (DOS)
Sent:    Friday, July 24, 2009 11:32 AM
Subject:           RE: Definition

Hi –

“Solicitation” is not defined in FOIL.  However, in consideration of the guidance offered by the courts and the replacement of the term “commercial” with “solicitation” in §89(2)(b)(iii) of FOIL, I believe that it involves situations in which a list of names and addresses would be used in an effort to sell some sort of a product or service, as in soliciting one’s business via direct mail.  With respect to fund-raising, if a candidate for political office seeks a list for the purpose of explaining his/her position on issues or merely to seek support, I do not believe that there would be a basis for denying access.  If, however, he/she is seeking monetary support for his her candidacy, I believe that would involve fund-raising and, therefore, that a list could be withheld in that circumstance.

I hope that this will help.  If you would like to discuss the matter, please feel free to call.

Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director
Committee on Open Government
Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
Suite 650
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231
Phone: (518)474-2518
Fax: (518)474-1927