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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

  • File / Charles Rex Arbogast /AP

    Proponents Of Tobacco Tax To Try Again In 2016

    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Two years after California voters rejected a measure that would have raised the tax on tobacco products, a coalition is forming to try again – in the Legislature or on the November 2016 ballot.

  • Eric Risberg / AP

    UC Regents Approve Five-Year Tuition Increases

    Thursday, November 20, 2014

    University of California students again tried to block a tuition increase proposal – without success.

  • Jeff Chiu / AP

    Board Of Regents Expected To Approve UC Tuition Plan

    Thursday, November 20, 2014

    The plan to raise tuition at the University of California is expected to be approved Thursday.

  • Jeff Chiu / AP

    UC Students Caught In Middle Of Tuition Battle

    Monday, November 17, 2014

    The University of California Board of Regents is set to debate a proposed tuition increase Wednesday. UC President Janet Napolitano’s plan would raise tuition by five percent for the next five years – unless the state increases the UC's funding.

  • Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

    UC, Defying Brown, Calls For Tuition Increases

    Thursday, November 06, 2014

    University of California President Janet Napolitano is proposing five consecutive years of five percent tuition increases – unless Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers give the UC more money in the state budget..

  • Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

    Brown Promises Both Fiscal Restraint And New Projects

    Wednesday, November 05, 2014

    California Gov. Jerry Brown acknowledges there’s a paradox in his platform of fiscal restraint combined with big projects like the Delta tunnels and high-speed rail. He says striking a balance will be key to his unprecedented fourth term.

  • Rich Pedroncelli / AP

    Governor Jerry Brown Sails To Historic Fourth Term

    Wednesday, November 05, 2014

    Democrat Jerry Brown has won an unprecedented fourth term as California governor – and he’s promising to reach out to Republicans:

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    Election Preview: Statewide Races And Ballot Measures

    Monday, November 03, 2014

    Tuesday isn’t a presidential election, but Californians will still elect a governor, seven other state office holders and three-quarters of the state Legislature. They'll also vote on six statewide ballot measures.

  • Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

    GOP Hopes To Catch Dems In GOTV

    Friday, October 31, 2014

    California Republicans acknowledge their get-out-the-vote operations have lagged behind those of Democrats in recent years but insist they’ve caught up for Tuesday's election.

  • Swearengin, Yee Face Off In Race For State Controller

    Friday, October 31, 2014

    Republicans don’t often win statewide races in California these days. But their best shot this year could be the campaign for state Controller.