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Washington Legislative Caucuses Race Fundraising Freeze

Austin Jenkins
Invitations to legislative caucus fundraisers in Olympia before the Dec. 13 campaign freeze takes effect.


The election is over, but not the political fundraising. Washington state lawmakers are racing the clock to replenish their coffers before the freeze.

The freeze that hits on Dec. 13 isn't the plummeting temperatures kind; it's a freeze on campaign fundraising.

Washington lawmakers and statewide officeholders will be barred from raising campaign cash until after the 2015 legislative session. So there’s little time to waste.

A couple of caucus fundraisers are coinciding with something called Assembly Days. This is when lawmakers gather in Olympia to elect leadership, hold committee work sessions and otherwise get their ducks in a row for the upcoming session.

Lobbyists are also in town, so they’ve been invited to bring their checkbooks and attend morning and evening fundraisers. The money raised will help pay off campaign debts and keep the legislative caucus campaign committees alive to fight another day.

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. Austin’s 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.