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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

  • Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

    Community College Transfer Initiative Targets UC's Most Popular Majors

    July 7, 2015

    The University of California is announcing a new initiative to make it easier for community college students to transfer into the UC system.

  • Jeff  Chiu / AP

    Ride-Share Drivers Face New Insurance Requirements

    July 6, 2015

    A new California law taking effect this month requires ride-share drivers to carry additional auto insurance policies.

  • Ben Margot / AP

    Pro Sports Cheerleader Bill Now On Governor's Desk

    July 6, 2015

    Cheerleaders for professional sports teams in California would be treated as employees – not independent contractors – under legislation now awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.

  • Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

    Vaccine Bill Referendum Filed

    July 1, 2015

    California’s vaccine debate may not be over yet. One day after Gov. Jerry Brown signed the end of the personal belief exemption into law, a leading opponent has filed a referendum on the measure with the Attorney General’s office.

  • Website of Attorney General Kamala Harris

    "Sodomite Suppression Act" Ruled Unconstitutional

    June 23, 2015

    A California judge has ruled a proposed ballot measure that calls for the killing of gays is "patently unconstitutional." That means Attorney General Kamala Harris does not need to prepare it for signature gathering.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    CAL FIRE Braces For Another Busy Week

    June 22, 2015

    Temperatures are expected to top triple-digits in much of California this week – and that has state fire fighters ready to go after battling more than 270 wildfires last week alone.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    Ronald Reagan's Nuanced Legacy As California Governor

    June 22, 2015

    A statue of President Ronald Reagan was unveiled in the California state Capitol rotunda Monday. Much has been said of Reagan’s legacy as president – but his time as California governor often goes overlooked.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    Brown Now "Open" To New Taxes Without Voter Approval

    June 18, 2015

    California Gov. Jerry Brown says he’s changed his position on taxes now that he’s been elected to another term. He says he’s open to new taxes that would fund road maintenance and health coverage for low-income Californians.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    "Redskins" Bill Advances In California Legislature

    June 17, 2015

    Sports teams using the nickname “Redskins” are coming under increased pressure nationally to abandon the name. A bill at the state Capitol would make California the first state to ban public schools from using “Redskins” as their nickname or mascot.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    Brown, California Lawmakers Reach Budget Deal

    June 16, 2015

    UPDATE: Gov. Jerry Brown got his conservative revenue estimates. Democratic lawmakers got money for some of their top priorities. And California now has a state budget deal.