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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."

Bringing In Campaign Cash Through Food, Drinks … And A Taser Demo

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House Republican Organizational Committee
A ''lucky private contributor'' will get the opportunity to Tase Washington state Rep. Dave Hayes at a campaign fundraiser.

‘Tis the season for campaign fundraising. That means candidates are dialing for cash and hosting at all manner of events to bring in the money. Some of them tried and true approaches and some a bit more novel.

The selling point for an invitation to a May 24 fundraiser for a Republican Washington state representative who is also a police officer stands apart. It is “an opportunity to watch Rep. Dave Hayes get tased.”

The fine print from the emailed invitation reads: “A lucky private contributor at this event will be given the opportunity to pull the trigger and Taser me!”

If you’re looking for a more traditional campaign fundraiser, there are sit down lunches, stand-up receptions and rounds of golf to be had.

For House Democrats the food is often the selling point at campaign events. You can have your pick from Korean barbecue, sushi and salsa, deep fried turkey and pizza. There’s even a religious-themed event: the 4th Annual Jewish Legislator Reception.

The price of admission to these events ranges from a few bucks to a couple of thousand dollars.

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."