Shelley Kofler | KERA News

Shelley Kofler

Former News Director/Reporter

Shelley Kofler is a former KERA managing editor and news director who most recently served as Texas Public Radio’s news director. She moved from KERA to TPR in December 2014. Before moving to public radio, Shelley was Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.

Her expertise on legislative policy issues includes school finance, foster care and transportation. Her stories on the overmedication of foster children captured the attention of state officials who strengthened laws for the use of psychotropic drugs.

Shelley also covered government issues for North Texas NBC affiliate KXAS-TV and worked with KERA on numerous public affairs projects, including nationally broadcast programs. She has reported on statewide elections and presidential primaries since the late 1980s. She also founded and operated her own communications firm, Kofler Communications, in Dallas and Austin. She served as a communications strategist and media trainer for various companies, agencies and public officials.

Shelley’s radio and television work has been honored by the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Association, the Houston Press Club, and the Radio-Television Digital News Association, from whom she received a prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for a series of reports on the Trinity toll road decision.

The battle over the border is escalating between Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Greg Abbott and the likely Democratic nominee Wendy Davis. It began last week when Abbott likened public corruption in South Texas to “third-world country practices” while unveiling his border security plan while in Dallas. Davis calls Abbott's comment "divisive" and says it's harmful to economic development along the border. Abbott may say more on the subject when he makes a campaign appearance in El Paso today.

Erik Hersman / (cc) flickr

Dallas County Commissioners are discussing whether to pony up more money to reach voters whose photo IDs don’t match their elections records.

The Democratic county judge says it’s an effort to make sure everyone who’s registered gets to vote, but the commission’s lone Republican thinks there’s another reason.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has been in the spotlight recently regarding her life story. News reports have suggested that Davis embellished her personal story of being a single, teen mother who escaped poverty by working hard and eventually getting a law degree. 

In addition, while she earned a degree from Harvard Law School, her two daughters mostly lived in Texas with her husband. The Dallas Morning News reported: "When Davis and her husband divorced in 2005, he was granted parental custody, and the girls stayed with him. Wendy Davis was directed to pay child support."

In a Tuesday speech, Davis said she never gave up custody of her children.

Is Davis telling the truth? PolitiFact Texas says it's "mostly true."

KERA News

Is it true that David Dewhurst is the first lieutenant governor in Texas to have a tax-supported security detail? Journalists with PolitiFact Texas, a fact-checking project, decided to find out after the claim was made by candidate Todd Staples during this week’s GOP lieutenant governor debate at KERA. 

They found the answer isn’t as simple as you might think.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Earlier this week, the Republicans running for lieutenant governor participated in the Texas Debates at KERA -- and they agreed on at least one thing:

All four said a judge was wrong when he ordered John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth to honor the wishes of a family and disconnect the ventilator of a brain-dead woman who was pregnant.

But, in an earlier debate, candidate Jerry Patterson said end-of-life decisions should be made by the family.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has released letters from her two adult daughters who say they want to correct “untrue things” and “ludicrous comments” about their mother.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Tonight at 8, the four Republicans running for lieutenant governor will meet at KERA studios in a debate being televised statewide.

With primary competition in the governor’s race, and Gov. Rick Perry not running for reelection, the lieutenant governor’s contest is taking on added importance in the March 4 primary.

Texas Dept. of Agriculture

Four seasoned, elected officials are duking it out to become the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor. Todd Staples accepted KERA’s invitation to sit down, talk about policy, and explain why he’s the best candidate for the job. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

A judge who declared the Texas school funding system unconstitutional will hear more evidence Tuesday before entering his final, written ruling. 

On Thursday Houston Mayor Annise Parker married her long-time partner Kathy Hubbard in Palm Springs, California. State Sen. Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican running for lieutenant governor responded with a press release stating: "This is obviously part of a larger strategy of hers to turn Texas into California."

Jerry Patterson Campaign

This week’s fundraising reports show at least three of the Republicans running for lieutenant governor have the money to compete on TV.  The fourth, Jerry Patterson, has a lot less cash, but unveiled an effort to target Hispanic voters.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

With less than eight weeks to go until the primary election, the four Republicans running for lieutenant governor continue to mix it up over an issue that always riles Texas voters.

Fort Worth Democrat Wendy Davis announced Tuesday she raised $12.2 million in the last half of 2013 for her governor's campaign. Republican Greg Abbott reported raising $11.5 million in the same time period but says he has a total of $27 million on hand to wage his campaign. Political analysts say each candidate will need close to $40 million to be competitive if they become their parties' nominees as expected. Davis, who entered the race in October, currently has about half as much money her her campaign account as Abbott. But she's demonstrated an ability to keep pace with his fundraising in the past six months.

Shutterstock

The city of Dallas is asking the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to withdraw or change its findings that the city violated policies for financing low and affordable income housing.

The city’s written denial of wrongdoing came Friday morning in a lengthy response to HUD’s claims. 

Dallas maintains HUD used outdated, incomplete and incorrect information in concluding the city erred in how it funded and approved low-income developments.

KERA

KERA Public Broadcasting today released details for the first live, statewide televised debate among the four Republican candidates running for lieutenant governor.

The debate will be held at 8 p.m. Jan. 27 at KERA studios in Dallas.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis outlined a plan Thursday for attracting more top students to teaching and for improving the pay of those already in the classroom.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

In Tarrant County, some employers are choosing to hire workers who’ve just gotten out of prison.  They’re taking part in a program that gives ex-offenders a second chance at life, while businesses get eager employees.

Carl J. Licari Photography

Fort Worth is remembering former mayor Bob Bolen as a visionary who created the framework for what the city has become today.

Bolen, 87, died at his home Monday morning, leaving behind a long list of achievements that earned him the title of “people’s mayor.”

Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce

Former Fort Worth Mayor Bob Bolen is being remembered today for helping launch Alliance Airport and for bringing the Federal Bureau of Engraving and Printing to the city.

Bolen, 87, died this morning at his home.  He served as mayor from 1982 until 1991, longer than any other.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

So now that you found that new cellphone or TV under the tree, what do you do with the old one?  If it’s still useable, you can donate it.  If not, think recycling. 

State laws in Texas make it easy.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

In just a few weeks, Dallas housing officials must respond to a four-year federal Housing and Urban Development investigation that found that the city misused federal financing aimed at creating low-income housing throughout Dallas.

The HUD inquiry comes as critics claim that Dallas is fostering economic and racial segregation by returning to a practice of placing nearly all its low-income housing in the southern part of town, home to some of the city's poorest residents.

Flickr

Sen. John Cornyn on Wednesday expressed confidence he’ll be the Republican Party’s nominee despite a last-minute challenge by Congressman Steve Stockman. 

Tea party activists have been gunning for Sen. John Cornyn. But even they were surprised when Steve Stockman, a Republican Congressman from the Houston suburb of Friendswood, filed on the last possible day to run against Cornyn in the March Republican primary. 

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

At midday Saturday, more than 115,000 North Texans were facing another day of deep-freeze temperatures with no electricity, which means no heat.

Oncor, the company that maintains most North Texas power lines, hopes that power will be restored for many residents and businesses by Sunday night. But that depends on several factors, including weather conditions.

Former Texas Republican Party Chair Tom Pauken is ending his campaign for governor saying he can no longer ask supporters and conservatives for help when there is "no realistic path to victory."

American Airlines

In less than two weeks Fort Worth is expected to become home to the world’s largest airline.  That’s because a federal judge today approved an antitrust agreement that will allow American Airlines and U.S. Airways to merge.

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved an antitrust settlement that paves the way for American Airlines and U.S. Airways to merge next month. In New York this morning Judge Sean Lane also rejected an effort by members of a consumer group to delay the merger while they pursue their own antitrust lawsuit against the airlines. When complete the merger will create the world's biggest airline which will be based in Fort Worth.

UTA

Within weeks some 1500 high school sophomores in the Arlington school district will receive letters telling them their admission to the University of Texas in Arlington is guaranteed, even though they have two more years of high school to complete.

Texas Senate

Six-term Democratic State Senator Leticia Van de Putte made her candidacy for lieutenant governor official on Saturday.  She told a crowd of some 500 in near her home in San Antonio that "Mama ain't happy." 

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

It was 37 degrees and a canopy of dense, gray clouds hung low over Dealey Plaza. Still, most of the 5,000 ticketed guests showed up, some covering their dark suits with clear plastic ponchos that ceremony organizers handed out.

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