This past Sunday, Joseph Sandler was featured on Channel One Russian TV, furthering the discussion of the funding of think tanks by foreign powers, an issue which was recently brought to light by an article in the New York Times.
To watch the entire Channel One Russian TV segment, click here.
This past weekend, Joseph Sandler and Joshua Rosenstein were quoted in a New York Times article, discussing the funding of think tanks by foreign powers, in order to gain influence within U.S. policy.
Joseph Sandler noted that the arrangement between foreign states and think tanks, “opened a whole new window into an aspect of the influence-buying in Washington that has not previously been exposed. It is particularly egregious because with a law firm or lobbying firm, you expect them to be an advocate. Think tanks have this patina of academic neutrality and objectivity, and that is being compromised.”
Joshua Rosenstein noted that the issue of foreign powers funding research within influential U.S. based think tanks is something that, “the Department of Justice needs to be looking at.”
To read the entire New York Times article, please click here.
The Firm is proud to announce that Joseph M. Birkenstock has become a member of the Firm. Mr. Birkenstock, previously a member of Caplin & Drysdale, brings to the firm two decades of expertise in all aspects of political law. Firm founder Joseph Sandler stated, “We are truly excited that Joe , who worked with us for several years as chief counsel at the DNC, will be re-joining us and bringing to our practice his exceptional reputation and skill in the political law field.”
In addition to Mr. Birkenstock’s addition to the Firm, the Firm has elevated Joshua Rosenstein to Partner. In recognition of these changes, the Firm is being renamed SANDLER REIFF LAMB ROSENSTEIN & BIRKENSTOCK, P.C.
The Super Lawyers 2014 Annual List of top attorneys in the Washington, D.C. metro area have just named Joseph Sandler, Neil Reiff and Joesph Birkenstock as three of only twenty-one lawyers for their outstanding work in the field of Legislative and Government Affairs. In addition, Elizabeth Howard was named as one of only five lawyers in the Rising Stars section for Administrative Law.
Joseph Sandler defended MoveOn.org in a court appearance before a US District Judge in Baton Rouge, Lousiana yesterday. At issue was a billboard that MoveOn.org critical of Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s rejection of Medicaid expansion. MoveOn.org parodied the state’s tourism slogan “Pick Your Passion” in the billboard, which then said “But hope you don’t love your health. Gov Jindal’s denying Medicaid to 242,000 people.”
In response, Louisiana sued MoveOn.org claiming trademark infringement. However, Mr. Sandler defended MoveOn.org, claiming that the billboard was clearly a parody, which is protected speech. He told the (Baton Rouge) Advocatethat the billboard “an appropriate and constitutional use of parody. The idea of the billboard is here the state promotes itself as a great place to live and visit yet we … want to make a point that it’s not such a good place to live and visit because of health care policy decisions of the governor. … This is a noncommercial use of the mark.”
Joseph Sandler and Amanda La Forge successfully defended the Friends of Anthony Brown gubernatorial campaign in a frivolous lawsuit in Anne Arundel Circuit Court. At issue was fundraising restrictions that Brown’s opponent sought to place on his ticket. In Maryland, elected state officials and state legislators cannot raise campaign funds during the 90-day legislative session. Thus, as Lieutenant Governor, Anthony Brown is prohibited from fundraising during this time. In addition, Brown’s primary opponents Attorney General Douglas Gansler and Delegate Jolene Ivey are also prohibited from fundraising. However his choice for Lieutenant Governor, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, is unburdened by these restrictions.
The Gansler campaign brought a frivolous suit against Mr. Brown and Mr. Ulman to try to prevent Mr. Ulman from fundraising during the legislative session. However, Joe Sandler and Amanda La Forge, counsel to Friends of Anthony Brown, successfully fought off the lawsuit. Not only did the Judge William C. Mulford II dismiss the lawsuit, he also rejected a request from the Gansler campaign for sanctions against the Brown campaign.
After the ruling, Mr. Sandler told the Baltimore Sun that the lawsuit was a “‘political stunt’ meant to ’embarrass and harass’ Brown and Ulman.” The Baltimore Sun also noted that the lawsuit was brought only against the Brown/Ulman ticket, and not against two Republican tickets where one or more of the candidates are similarly unburdened by the fundraising ban.
Joseph Sandler, Neil Reiff, and Jim Lamb were once again named by Washingtonian Magazine as three of the top attorneys in Washington, DC. They were recognized for their outstanding work in the field of Campaign and Election Law. Sandler, Reiff, Young & Lamb is one of only three firms to have three attorneys on the biennial list. This also marks the third consecutive biennial cycle that Mr. Sandler, Mr. Reiff, and Mr. Lamb were named by WashingtonianMagazine.
SRYL Founding Partner Joe Sandler was cited as an expert in Federal Pay-to-Play rules in an article about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for NJ.com. The article discusses how the rule could affect Governor Christie should he decide to run for President:
Under the rule, executives in firms that manage investments or give investment advice to state pension funds are barred from donating to candidates who have any say over how the work is awarded, unless the firms are willing to refrain from doing business with the state for two years.
In New Jersey, the governor appoints most members of the State Investment Council, which oversees the state pension system — including the chairman, Robert Grady, who is one of Christie’s closest advisers — so experts agree the rule clearly applies to him.
The result is that Governor Christie is largely restricted from accepting contributions from Wall Street executives, many of whom live in the Garden State. Mr. Sandler told NJ.com that the rule puts “‘any incumbent governor in [Mr. Christie’s] situation’ at a disadvantage ‘more than it would any incumbent senator or member of Congress.'” He added that “to the extent that you’re talking about a governor from a state who’s heavily dependent on donations from that industry, it would have a disproportionate effect” on Governor Christie.
Joe Sandler was cited as a FARA expert in a news item in today’ Politico Influence newsletter. The newsletter sought to follow up on a story last week in which actor Steven Seagal was described as the “face of the Russian weapons industry.” Politico Influnece asked Mr. Sandler about Mr. Seagal’s relationship with Russia as it relates to the Foreign Agent Registration Act. Mr. Sandler told Politico “if and when an agreement is reached, and regardless of whether he gets paid or not, to do the work described in the [original] piece would definitely require Mr. Seagal to register under FARA. To try to help move U.S. public opinion to support marketing of weapons on behalf of the Russian government would definitely trigger the need to register.”
Read the original story on Mr. Seagal’s relationship with the Russian weapons industry here.