Shelley Kofler

Managing Editor/Senior Reporter

Shelley Kofler is managing editor/senior reporter for KERA News. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who has served as KERA news director and the 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; and 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 and the KERA news team have received numerous journalism awards for their public radio and television work. In addition to all-staff honors she has been individually singled out with a first place Edward R. Murrow award for a series of reports on the Trinity toll road decision; first place honors for political reporting from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the Houston Press Club’s Lone Star competition; a first place award for covering water issues and the battle over building the Marvin Nichols dam; and a first place Lone Star award for hosting a call-in show about employment entitled, “Getting Back to Work.”

As news director, Shelley organized and participated in KERA’s coverage of the 2010 Texas gubernatorial race. She moderated the statewide-televised primary debate among Republicans: Governor Rick Perry, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and candidate Debra Medina. The debate aired in every TV and radio market in Texas.

Shelley joined the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas board in 2011. She’s a native “Hoosier” from Indiana but has lived in Texas for more than two decades. She’s happiest when she can slip on her hiking boots and explore a new trail.

Ways To Connect

Biologists have found the DNA of invasive zebra mussels in six additional Texas lakes. That doesn’t mean the mussels are there, but KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports the discovery has heightened concerns.

Right now Texoma is the only Texas lake known to be infested with zebra mussels and officials want to prevent their spreading.

That’s why biologists became concerned when they found zebra mussel DNA in six additional lakes: Eagle Mountain, Lewisville, Ray Roberts, Arrowhead, Bridgeport and Caddo.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

U.S. Senate Candidate Ted Cruz’s income increased almost six-fold between 2006 and 2010 according tax returns Cruz released Friday.

Tax information released Friday afternoon by U.S. Senate Candidate and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst show generous gifts to charity and tax payments that seem sizeable. But without analysis of some 500 pages of supporting details still being provided it’s difficult to fairly characterize Dewhurst’s tax payments.
 

Following is information provided from his two most recently completed tax returns:

2010

Adjusted gross income $1,010,218.
Total taxes $ 443,646
Gifts to charity $1,199,869

2009

Wealthy Republican Senate Candidate David Dewhurst says he’ll release some of this tax records today. KERA’s Shelley Kofler says Dewhurst’s announcement follows opponent Craig James release of five years of returns yesterday and a challenge for his GOP opponents to do the same.

James: I have opted to step into this arena of public service. Therefore it’s important for me to open up so people get to know all they can about me.

Photo by Ben Philpott, KUT News

Governor Rick Perry is returning home after poor debate performances and political gaffes forced him to end his race for president. KERA’s Shelley Kofler looks at whether Perry’s national pummeling will cut into his political power in Texas.

Texans for and against the Keystone XL pipeline say President Obama’s rejection of the pipeline today will affect the Lone Star state. KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports.

The Frisco City Council has set the stage for a process that could close the Exide lead battery plant. But Exide is promising to fight back. KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports it may be a long, emotional battle.

Gage Skidmore (cc) flickr

For the first time last night the top five GOP candidates for the U.S. Senate met to debate. KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports sparks occasionally flew as the state’s former solicitor general took aim at the Lieutenant Governor.

Neil R (cc) flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court may be considering instructions that would delay Texas primary elections again. KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports Justices asked about a delay yesterday when they heard arguments over Texas’ election maps.

jmtimages (cc) flickr

Legal teams from Texas are gathered at the US Supreme Court today for arguments over which redistricting map should be used for this year’s elections. KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports the impact on minority voters is at issue.

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