Ben Bradford

Ben Bradford is a city kid, who came to Charlotte from San Francisco by way of New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Prior to his career in journalism, Ben spent time as an actor, stuntman, viral marketer, and press secretary for a Member of Congress. He graduated from UCLA in 2005 with a degree in theater and from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2012. As a reporter, his work has been featured on NPR, WNYC, the BBC, and Public Radio International.

A measure to eliminate surprise medical bills in California has passed the state Legislature.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports lawmakers think they have a novel solution.

New requirements for campaign ads on TV could pass the California Legislature this week, after six years of attempts by local government advocates.  But a state elections watchdog says the legislation has been compromised, and would actually make it easier for special interests to hide money.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports.

Katie Orr/KQED

Widely-watched, heavily-lobbied legislation that would allow California farm workers to receive overtime pay more quickly did not come up for a vote yesterday (Thursday) as it was expected to.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports that led to a renewed pledge from the Assembly Speaker that it will pass.

The California Senate has passed new rules to crack down on sexual harassment, violence, and low pay in the janitorial industry.  A bill passed yesterday (Thursday) would require companies providing janitorial services to register with the state and offer sexual harassment training.  The bill passed with bipartisan support, in spite of the protests of the protests of an Inland Empire legislator.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports.

California's top court will not change teacher tenure and the policy of "Last In, First Out."  The state Supreme Court yesterday (Monday) declined to reconsider a lower court decision that upheld those laws.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports that could end legal uncertainty over tenure.

UCLA coaches once again earned the highest public salaries in California in 2015. The State Controller's Office published the annual pay list for public employees on Tuesday.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford has more.

The Democratic National convention in Philadelphia is over after four days of soaring speeches, political hob-knobbing, and some intra-party bickering.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford spoke with California delegates from the Clinton and Sanders camps about what they would like to see happen now.

After his speech last night (Wednesday) ripping into Donald Trump, California Governor Jerry Brown has now spoken at two Democratic National Conventions a quarter-century apart, where the candidate's name was Clinton.  But as Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports from Philadelphia, the context is quite different.

Bernie Sanders supporters will continue to protest in Philadelphia through the end of the Democratic National Convention, and his California delegates will continue to be at the center of it.  But, as Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports from the convention, their tone has nevertheless softened from the convention's opening days.

Democratic party leaders at the national convention in Philadelphia have tried to frame the protests of Bernie Sanders supporters as a family disagreement, rather than party disunity.  For at least one family, that's true, as Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports from the convention.

The Democratic National Convention has showcased the challenge party leaders and the Hillary Clinton campaign face in bringing Bernie Sanders supporters into the fold.  But California delegates pose an extra challenge, as Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports from the convention.

Last week, Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler embedded himself with the California delegation to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.  This week, we'll follow California's delegation to the Democratic National Convention with reports from Philadelphia from Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford.  Here's his preview.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are making their preferences known in the California U.S. Senate race.  They issued a short statement yesterday (Tuesday) endorsing state Attorney General Kamala Harris.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports that leaves the race's other Democrat out in the cold.

Solar and wind power have grown rapidly in California over the past decade, and now batteries to store that energy are expected to follow suit.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports.

California air regulators want the state's cap-and-trade program to operate for another decade.  The Air Resources Board released new draft rules last night that would continue emissions reductions through 2030 -- a decade longer than the program is due to expire.  As Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports, opponents of expanding cap-and-trade are vehemently opposing the proposed extension.

California Assemblyman Roger Hernandez -- Democrat from the San Gabriel Valley -- will lose a significant amount of his power at the state Capitol, now that Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is stripping him of his committee assignments.  Rendon announced the move Friday, shortly after a judge issued a restraining order against Hernandez for physically abusing his ex-wife.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford explains the significance of the punishment.

California lawmakers want to augment some of the nation's toughest gun laws, after the latest mass shootings.  The state Legislature sent a package of bills to Governor Jerry Brown that would tighten restrictions on ammunition and rifle sales.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports.

Volkswagen will spend more than $2 billion in California, under a settlement for selling cars that evade federal and state emissions tests.  Capital Public Radio Ben Bradford reports on the California portion of the deal announced yesterday (Tuesday).

A gun control measure has qualified for the November ballot in California.  The Secretary of State's office announced yesterday [Thursday] backers of the initiative have collected enough signatures.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports that doesn't necessarily mean it will appear on the ballot.

The long, slow decline in unemployment in California continued during the month of May, according to new state numbers.  As Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports, job creation slowed from April, but the overall trend is positive.

The California state Legislature yesterday (Monday) commemorated the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando.  Lawmakers largely avoided the usual debate after a mass shooting about gun control.  But that conversation was expected to begin again today (Tuesday).  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports.

Ken Vincent for KVCR

Voters across California are going to the polls today (Tuesday).  Precincts opened at 7 a.m., but not everywhere.  Three California counties will not have any polling places today.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports that mail-in-only elections could be in the future for the entire state.

An effort to dissolve California's embattled Public Utilities Commission is moving forward.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is campaigning in California this week, even though he does not need to win the party's primary.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports that the candidate drew thousands to an airport hangar in Sacramento.

They watched in hundred degree heat as the Trump jet landed to the orchestral theme song from the movie Air Force One.

[orchestral music]

Trump told the crowd he’s campaigning to win the general election in California.

A new poll shows Hillary Clinton with a wide lead over Bernie Sanders in the California Democratic primary.  That's on the heels of another poll showing a tight race.  The discrepancy speaks to the difficulty of predicting who will vote in the California race, as Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports.

Capital Public Radio

It's a marathon week at the California state Capitol, as lawmakers in the state Assembly and Senate look to pass hundreds of bills before a deadline.  They began yesterday (Tuesday), as Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports.

With polls showing the Democratic primary race in California tightening, Bernie Sanders will look for an edge from the state's most theatrical union ... Not Actor's Equity -- nurses.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports.

Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will be hosting many more political rallies and other events before California's June 7 primary.  Both Democratic Presidential contenders consider California key to finally closing the book on their primary races before this summer's national convention in Philadelphia.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford explains.

Californians who wish to vote in the June primary have until the end of the day [MONDAY] to register. The state has already seen a surge in registration, as Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla says close to a million people in California have registered or updated their information so far this year.

Padilla 1 – What we’re seeing this year is far above and beyond what’s typical for a presidential election year. (7s)

200,000 voters updated or registered early last week.

The California economy had a much better April than March, according to new unemployment data.  The jobless rate ticked down again, and the state created more jobs, as Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports.

For the 67th month in a row—that’s more than five and a half years—the state unemployment rate continued its slow dip. Data from the California Employment Development Department shows the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in April, down a tenth of a percent from March. But that’s still above the national mark of 5 percent.