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Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

While Ben first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool -- not necessarily by choice -- his introduction to politics might have come as a freshman at Northwestern University, near Chicago.  The infamous Cook County Democratic machine asked him to register to vote.  He declined, saying he was already registered to vote back home in California.  "That's okay," he was told.  "You can register here too!"

Ben made his radio debut (and blatant early mistakes) at Northwestern University's student radio station, WNUR. There, he spent much of his time broadcasting sports; an internship at Chicago Public Radio gradually helped bring him over from the "dark side."  He spent the summer of 2003 broadcasting Minor League Baseball in Great Falls, Montana, before turning full-time to public radio.  After several years covering the Monterey Bay Area for NPR member station KAZU, he joined Capital Public Radio in August 2007.

Since then, Ben has reported on the 2008 Sacramento Mayor's Race and won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for his continuing coverage of Sacramento's homeless "tent city" along the American River.  After stints as a local reporter and All Things Considered host, Ben moved to Capital Public Radio's Capitol Bureau in February 2011, where his love of politics made him a natural fit.  Now, as Capitol Bureau Chief, he oversees coverage of California politics and government, which is distributed to NPR stations across the state through Capital Public Radio's Network (CPRN).

By the way, Ben is registered in California -- and only in California -- as a "decline-to-state" voter.

    Stories by Ben Adler

  • Warrants To Be Required To Search Electronic Communications

    October 8, 2015

    California law enforcement agencies will have to obtain a warrant to search personal electronic communications under a bill signed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

  • Gary Kazanjian / AP

    Brown Gives Legislature Some Influence On Air Resources Board

    October 8, 2015

    The state agency leading California’s efforts to fight climate change has drawn criticism from lawmakers of both parties for having too much unchecked authority. Today, Governor Jerry Brown took a small step toward addressing that concern.

  • Billionaire Steyer To Fund California Cigarette Tax Effort

    October 7, 2015

    California voters have rejected the last two tobacco tax measures they’ve seen on statewide ballots. But anti-tobacco groups hope the third time will be the charm thanks to some new financial firepower to counter industry opposition.

  • Cal Channel

    Prop 49 Battle Reaches California Supreme Court

    October 6, 2015

    The California Supreme Court is considering whether the Legislature should be allowed to put non-binding “advisory” measures before voters.

  • California Governor Signs Hard-Fought, End-Of-Life Legislation

    October 5, 2015

    California will soon become the fifth state in the nation to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with a doctor’s assistance. Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation Monday that will legalize physician-assisted suicide.

  • Brown Signs Ivory Ban, DNA Collection, Beer Bike Bills

    October 4, 2015

    UPDATE: California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a measure allowing pedi-cab riders to drink on board. Earlier Sunday, he tightened the state's sales ban on ivory products and created a backstop to a DNA collection system currently under legal review.

  • Reed Saxon / AP

    Fiorina's Rise Reminiscent Of 2010 U.S. Senate Campaign

    September 28, 2015

    This isn’t the first time that Carly Fiorina has captivated Republican primary voters with her eloquence and tenacity. Five years ago, she overpowered two GOP opponents in California’s U.S. Senate race before losing to Democrat Barbara Boxer.

  • China Financial Turmoil Doesn't Slow California Economy

    September 18, 2015

    The worldwide stock market turbulence hasn’t appeared to hurt California’s economy so far. The state added 33,000 jobs last month – and its unemployment rate dropped slightly to 6.1 percent.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    California Regulators Warn Of Insurance Scams In Fire Zones

    September 17, 2015

    Hundreds of Californians whose properties have been damaged or destroyed by this summer’s wildfires must now work with insurance companies to rebuild their homes and lives – and state regulators are warning them to watch for scams.

  • August State Budget Revenues Top Projections

    September 16, 2015

    California tax revenues continue to stream in. The state is nearly half a billion dollars above budget projections just two months into the new fiscal year – though there’s one big caveat.