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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

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    Brown Signs Drought Legislation, Calls For Conservation

    Friday, March 27, 2015

    Just over a week after proposing a billion dollars in drought help, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed the aid package into law.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    California's State Capitol - Like You've Never Seen It Before

    Thursday, March 26, 2015

    Take a tour of the California state Capitol - but not just any tour. This one includes a little history, some surprising details that are easy to miss, and a rare trip to the top of the Capitol dome.

  • Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

    Lawmakers Send California Drought Aid Package To Governor

    Thursday, March 26, 2015

    The California Legislature has sent a $1 billion emergency drought aid package to Gov. Jerry Brown. But one of the two measures in the package drew opposition from Republicans.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    California Senate Approves Drought Aid Package

    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    California Gov. Jerry Brown’s $1 billion drought response legislation is on its way to the Assembly after winning Senate approval Wednesday afternoon.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    Poll: Drought Seizes California's Attention

    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    Californians show deep concern that the state’s drought may be a long-term problem in a new survey by the Public Policy Institute of California.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    CSU To Name Next Sac State President Wednesday

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015

    Sacramento State is about to learn the identity of its next leader. The California State University Chancellor's Office says it will announce the person to replace retiring President Alexander Gonzalez at Wednesday's Board of Trustees meeting.

  • CalChannel screenshot

    Chief Justices Urges Governor, Lawmakers To Better Fund California Courts

    Monday, March 23, 2015

    California’s chief justice is promoting a new kind of trial court that she says is intended to reduce recidivism in local communities. Tani Cantil-Sakauye also called on the other two branches to increase funding for the court system.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    California Adds 30,000 New Jobs In February

    Friday, March 20, 2015

    The 30,000 new jobs are about half of January’s total but still suggests the state economy is growing at a healthy pace. The statewide unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a point to 6.7 percent.

  • Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

    More Money For Drought Aid, But No Mandatory Conservation

    Thursday, March 19, 2015

    Nearly half of last year’s emergency drought relief money has yet to be spent – but Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders are rolling out a new aid package of more than $1 billion. They’re not calling for mandatory water conservation – yet.

  • Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

    Brown, De León, Atkins To Unveil Emergency Drought Legislation Thursday

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015

    The $1.1 billion emergency drought legislation to be announced Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders will include money for water recycling, desalination, water quality and flood protection projects.