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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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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Alleged Plot By Former Soldiers
4:50 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Former Soldiers Allegedly Plotted To Blow Up Washington Dam, Poison Apple Crop

Prosecutors in Georgia say a group of current and former U.S. soldiers plotted to blow up a dam in Washington and poison the state’s apple crop. The allegations were revealed Monday as one of the group’s members pled guilty to manslaughter in a Georgia courtroom.

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Deported Washington Inmates
4:20 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Thirteen Deported Wash. Inmates Caught Back In The U.S.

Thirteen Washington prison inmates who opted to be deported, instead of serving out their sentences, have been re-arrested back in the United States.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Thirteen Washington prison inmates who opted to be deported, instead of serving out their sentences, have been re-arrested back in the United States. All but one returned from Mexico. The inmates were part of an early deportation program begun last year to reduce prison costs.

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ACLU Lawsuit Against Yakima
4:40 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

ACLU Lawsuit: Yakima At-Large City Council Elections Dilute Latino Vote

Lead plaintiffs Rogelio Montes (L) and Mateo Arteaga have filed a lawsuit against the City Of Yakima alleging at-large city council elections disenfranchise Latino voters.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

The ACLU of Washington says at-large city council elections in the city of Yakima dilute the Latino vote and violate the federal Voting Rights Act. The ACLU filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the city.

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Third-Party Spending In Elections
5:36 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Wash. Election Regulators Brace For Onslaught Of Third-Party Spending

Independent Super PACS are playing a big role in the presidential election. At the state level, Washington campaign regulators also predict a deluge of spending by third-party interest groups.

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Congressman Todd Akin
5:24 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

McKenna Says Rep. Todd Akin's Credibility "Irretrievably Damaged"

Missouri congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin is under fire for comments regarding pregnancies resulting from rape.
U.S. House of Representatives

"Irretrievably damaged." That's how Washington Republican candidate for governor Rob McKenna describes U.S. Senate candidate and current Congressman Todd Akin. The Missouri Republican is engulfed in a firestorm of criticism after comments he made over the weekend regarding pregnancies resulting from rape.

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