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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington Legislative Caucuses Race Freeze On Fundraising

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
Invitations to legislative caucus fundraisers in Olympia before the December 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 December 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."