Jason Kaune leads Nielsen Merksamer’s political law section. His practice focuses on government ethics, including the election, lobbying disclosure, conflict of interest, gift and gratuity, and campaign finance laws of federal, state and local governments. He additionally has administrative oversight of the firm’s San Francisco Bay Area office.
Mr. Kaune advises clients on the complex government regulation of the political intersection of the public and private sectors in the United States. For twenty years, he has pioneered the firm’s national compliance practice, building client-oriented resources and innovative systems with his political law colleagues that have served as benchmarks in the regulated community. As a recognized expert on corporate political compliance, his clients include the nation’s largest technology, pharmaceutical, energy, telecommunications, media, publishing, investment and consumer product companies.
He represents clients in regard to their dealings with federal, state and local government ethics agencies across the country, associating with local counsel as necessary. His expertise includes “pay to play” restrictions on government contractors, the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), California’s Political Reform Act (PRA), and similar laws at every level of government.
He is one of the leading political attorneys in California, advising individuals, entities and government agencies on complex election law and conflict of interest matters. He serves as counsel and treasurer political action committees, advocacy groups, social welfare organizations, independent expenditure committees and ballot measures on topics ranging from land use restrictions to government reform.
He is a past president of the California Political Attorneys Association and member of the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws and other professional associations. He co-chairs the Practicing Law Institute’s widely regarded annual conference on Corporate Political Activities and has been appointed to the Standing Committee on Election Law for the American Bar Association. He serves as an elected trustee of a California public school district.
Before joining Nielsen Merksamer, Mr. Kaune worked in the private and non-profit sectors, as a speechwriter in Washington, D.C., on a presidential campaign, and as an extern for a U.S. Federal District Court Judge and for the California Law Revision Commission. He received his degrees from Yale University, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the University of California Hastings College of the Law.