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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

  • 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.

  • California Secretary of State's website

    Initiative Would Overhaul California Campaign Finance System

    September 15, 2015

    Critics of California’s current campaign finance system will submit a ballot initiative Wednesday that they say would offer a much-needed overhaul. They’re hoping to qualify it for the November 2016 ballot.

  • Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

    Rare Defeats For Brown As California Legislature Wraps Up

    September 14, 2015

    This year’s California legislative session ended with a whimper rather than a bang – particularly for Gov. Jerry Brown, who failed to win passage of several of his top priorities.

  • Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

    Medical Marijuana Deal On Agenda For Legislature's Final Day

    September 11, 2015

    California lawmakers are scheduled to wrap up their work for the year Friday – but not before they debate climate change, end-of-life and medical marijuana legislation.

  • Capitol Round-Up: Climate Change, Property Forfeiture, 'Redskins' Ban

    September 10, 2015

    California’s efforts to fight climate change have sustained a second major setback at the state Capitol in as many days. Meanwhile, lawmakers continued to work though hundreds of bills.

  • Vehicle Petroleum Mandate Out Of Climate Bill

    September 9, 2015

    In a blow that strikes at the heart of Gov. Jerry Brown's climate change agenda, Senate Leader Kevin de León is removing a key provision in his bill mandating new greenhouse gas reductions. There will also be no transportation funding deal this week.

  • California Assembly Passes End-Of-Life Bill

    September 9, 2015

    Following more than two hours of impassioned debate, the state Assembly on Wednesday passed legislation that would allow terminally ill Californians to take prescription drugs to end their lives.