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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

  • Friday Roundup: Microbead Ban, "Yes Means Yes" Bills Advance

    September 4, 2015

    California lawmakers wrapped up their second-to-last week of work for the year Friday by advancing new high school sex education requirements and a ban on the sale of plastic microbeads. Other notable efforts stalled for the year.

  • Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

    Road Repair Deal At Capitol Still Elusive

    August 31, 2015

    Halfway through the California Legislature's final month of work, lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown appear no closer to a deal on transportation funding than when they first returned from summer recess two weeks ago.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    California Lawmakers Brace For Busy, Chaotic Final Two Weeks

    August 31, 2015

    The California Legislature begins its final two weeks of work for the year Monday – and the stretch is likely to be tumultuous. Major issues remain unresolved and leadership battles are threatening to wreak havoc with negotiations.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    Capitol Roundup: Bills Advance, Stall On Busy Thursday

    August 27, 2015

    California lawmakers sent dozens of bills to Gov. Jerry Brown Thursday, while moving many more toward final votes. Meanwhile, Democratic leaders blocked dozens of measures by holding them in key legislative committees.

  • CA Senate Republicans Select New Leader

    August 27, 2015

    The change comes as lawmakers are making final decisions on hundreds of bills, including big ticket items like how to pay for road repairs and Medi-Cal services.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    Brown Waives Exit Exam Requirement For 5,000 High School Grads

    August 26, 2015

    Gov. Jerry Brown has signed urgency legislation waiving the requirement that this year’s seniors pass California’s high school exit exam to graduate. The law allows the graduation of 5,000 students left in limbo when the state canceled its July test.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio file photo

    Brown To Sign Equal Pay Bill

    August 26, 2015

    California Gov. Jerry Brown’s office says he will sign equal pay legislation that's expected to be voted on in the Assembly Thursday.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    Republicans Wary Of New Special Session Taxes, Fees

    August 17, 2015

    California Governor Jerry Brown and legislative Democrats want Republicans to support new taxes and fees for road repairs and Medi-Cal funding, but GOP leaders are suggesting they will be a tough sell.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    They're Back: California Legislature Begins Final Four-Week Sprint

    August 17, 2015

    California lawmakers return from their month-long summer recess Monday and they’ve got a lot of heavy lifting to do in the next four weeks.

  • Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

    Brown's Retiree Health Care Proposal Stalls

    August 14, 2015

    Gov. Jerry Brown’s January budget proposal called for an overhaul of California’s state worker retiree health care system. It faces more than $70 billion in long-term debt. Seven months later, nothing’s changed.