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. He regularly files stories for NPR News. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin was a freelance general assignment reporter at KING–TV, the NBC affiliate in Seattle. He also worked as a freelance education reporter for KPLU–FM, the Tacoma–based NPR station. Austin spent 2001 in Washington, D.C. as a Knight Foundation/American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. Austin has also worked as a television reporter in Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Casper, Wyoming; and Bozeman, Montana. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and has a B.A. in Government from Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Over the years Austin has won numerous professional awards for his reporting. He lives in Olympia with his wife Jennifer Huntley and their two children.

Read Austin's blog, "The Washington Ledge: Dispatches From Olympia."

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Juvenile Lifer Barry Massey
4:14 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Wash. Juvenile Lifer Barry Massey Withdraws Clemency Plea

Barry Massey was one of the youngest juvenile killers in the country to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Now, in a rare move, the Washington inmate has withdrawn his plea for clemency.

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Northwest News
9:46 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Other Than Honorable Veteran Gets Benefits, Second Vet Killed By Police

Photo Credit: Phyllis Lewis

A decorated combat veteran who lost his medical benefits when he was kicked out of the Army for misconduct has learned he will, in fact, qualify for health care from the Veterans Administration.

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Northwest News
9:44 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Northwest Soldier Booted From Army Will Recieve VA Benefits

Photo Credit: Austin Jenkins

Former Staff Sgt. Jarrid Starks was initially barred from receiving VA health care. However, he recently learned he will now qualify for veterans’ benefits.

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Auditor Allegations
7:00 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Wash. State Auditor Candidate Denies Previous Allegations Of Fraud, Theft

State Auditor Candidate Troy Kelley responds to questions about past allegations of business impropriety against him.
Photo by Austin Jenkins Northwest Public Radio

“Untrue” and “unfounded.” Those are the words the Democratic candidate for Washington state auditor is using to describe past allegation of fraud and theft. Troy Kelley Thursday was forced to address a long list of allegations contained in lawsuits relating to his work in the real estate title and escrow business. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has details.

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Wash. State Auditors Race
4:36 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Explosive Allegations In Wash. State Auditors Race

Troy Kelley, the Democratic candidate for Washington state auditor, has been accused of past corrupt business practices.
TVW

Past allegations of corrupt business practices have come back to haunt Troy Kelley, the Democratic candidate for Washington state auditor. Kelley’s Republican opponent Thursday launched a website containing hundreds of pages of court documents. Some of them contain accusations that Kelley misappropriated funds and attempted to move the money offshore.

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Power Of Partisan Rhetoric
4:39 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Can Partisanship Trump Education Level On Hot Button Issues?

Your understanding of a hot-button issue could depend on which of these men you support.
Northwest News Network

As Democrats gather in North Carolina for their convention, there’s new research from the Northwest on the power of partisan rhetoric. Turns out, your core political beliefs can trump your education level when it comes to understanding the basic facts of a highly contentious issue.

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Democratic Party Donor
5:30 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

New Age Spiritual Leader Risks 'Ridicule' To Support Wash. Democrats

The gate to Ramtha's School of Enlightenment, Yelm, Wash.
Richard David Ramsey Wikipedia

She is perhaps the Northwest’s most famous new age spiritual leader. JZ Knight of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment in southwest Washington. Now Knight has a new role: major political donor. She recently wrote a $50,000 check to the state Democratic Party.

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Tribal Gas Tax
6:10 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Wash. Supreme Court Ruling Clears Way For Lawsuit Over Tribal Gas Stations

Gas station owners in Washington have won the right to proceed with a lawsuit against the state. They’re challenging the policy of gas tax refunds to Native American tribes who operate their own gas stations. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has more on the implications.

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Gubernatorial Debate
5:55 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Wash. Gov. Debate: Sparring Over Taxes, Tiff Over Tax Returns, Light Moments

The candidates for Washington governor sparred over taxes and personal tax returns in their second official debate Wednesday night. The face-off took place on the Vancouver campus of Washington State University. Correspondent Austin Jenkins has highlights.

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Gubernatorial Debate
6:30 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Wash. Gubernatorial Candidates Prepare To Meet For Second Debate

Southwest Washington is the setting for the second official debate of the 2012 governor’s race. Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee will face off Wednesday night on the Vancouver campus of Washington State University.

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