Austin Jenkins

Olympia Correspondent

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. His reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists. Austin is the recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Journalism Award from the Washington State Association for Justice.

Ways to Connect

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

There’s a lot of talk about “dark money” in politics these days. That’s money raised and spent by so-called “social welfare” organizations that don’t have to disclose their donors.

But sometimes these groups will reveal who’s giving them money -- if you ask.

Campaign photos

In their second debate, Democratic Governor Jay Inslee and his Republican challenger Bill Bryant sparred over taxes, education funding, transportation and the state’s response to homelessness.

But in the wake of last week’s deadly shooting at Cascade Mall in Skagit County, gun violence was the first issue the candidates were asked to address.

Austin Jenkins NW News Network

Gun rights advocates say Friday night's deadly shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington is an example of why law-abiding citizens should consider arming themselves and why malls and businesses shouldn't ban firearms on the premises.

Washington State House Republicans / Flickr - tinyurl.com/zlgo6qs

Washington’s largest labor organization has agreed to a $26,000 fine for past campaign finance violations. The attorney general’s office announced the penalty Friday against the Washington State Labor Council.

TVW

The head of Washington’s training academy for police officers says she’s open to changing the state’s deadly force law. Current law protects officers from prosecution unless they act in bad faith and with malice.

Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Lobbyists play a key role in political fundraising. Just consider the invitation to a fundraiser Wednesday night for the Speaker and the Majority Leader of the Washington state House.

TVW

It’s been 44 years since Washington voters approved an initiative to require the disclosure of campaign contributions – and 24 years since voters enacted limits on campaign donations. Now comes a proposal to update those laws and usher in a new era of publicly-financed elections.

TVW

If you thought the battle over pornography ended with The People vs. Larry Flynt, think again. Utah has taken the step of declaring pornography a public health threat much like tobacco. And now it’s on the agenda in Washington state.

Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Sponsors of Initiative 1464 on Washington’s fall ballot say they’re trying to limit big money influence on Washington politics. The initiative is a 23-page overhaul of Washington’s campaign finance and lobbying laws.

Campaign photo

Washington’s Republican candidate for governor said he supports raising the minimum wage in some parts of the state -- but not everywhere. Bill Bryant outlined his position Tuesday in a jobs and economy speech to the Association of Washington Business Policy Summit at the Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum.

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