Ben Philpott Reporter

Ben Philpott is a senior reporter for KUT-FM, Austin's National Public Radio affiliate. He has been covering state politics and dozens of other topics for the station since 2002, during which time he has been recognized for outstanding radio journalism by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, the Houston Press Club and the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters. Before moving to Texas, he worked in public radio in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Ala., and at several television stations in Alabama and Tennessee. Born in New York City and raised in Chattanooga, Tenn., Philpott graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Recent Contributions

Imperiled Doggett "Ready to Battle" New Texas Maps

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett shows state district map.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett shows state district map.

Under a new congressional redistricting map, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, would lose 60,000 constituents who voted for President Barack Obama in 2008. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune talked with Doggett about the proposal, which the congressman said "plunged a dagger into the heart" of Travis County.

For Texas Lege, Special Session Still Up in the Air

Rep. Sylvester Turner D-Houston, speaks with Sen. Steve Ogden R-Bryan during finance committee hearing on May 23rd, 2011
Rep. Sylvester Turner D-Houston, speaks with Sen. Steve Ogden R-Bryan during finance committee hearing on May 23rd, 2011

The Legislature has just a few days to get the state budget, the most important bill of the session, passed and to the governor's desk. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports on the final items needed to send lawmakers home on time.

Wildfire Politics Grip State as Disasters Hit Elsewhere

Gov. Rick Perry (l) gestures toward Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, during his visit to the Senate floor on May 5, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry (l) gestures toward Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, during his visit to the Senate floor on May 5, 2011.

Gov. Rick Perry has unsuccessfully tried to get a meeting with President Barack Obama, who will be visiting Texas today, to discuss the federal government's denial of a wildfire disaster declaration in Texas, as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.

Texas Comptroller Takes Responsibility for Breach

Comptroller Susan Combs giving a biennial revenue estimate in Austin on Jan. 10, 2011.
Comptroller Susan Combs giving a biennial revenue estimate in Austin on Jan. 10, 2011.

Comptroller Susan Combs now says she takes full responsibility for the data exposure. Some of her initial comments criticized the agencies that sent the data to her office. Today she says, "We're the last door. We're it. And as head of the agency, I am responsible."

Comptroller Offers Help After Data Mishap

Picture of one of millions of letters sent you by the Comptroller's office after it was discovered that the personal information of more than three million people was left unprotected for a year.
Picture of one of millions of letters sent you by the Comptroller's office after it was discovered that the personal information of more than three million people was left unprotected for a year.

Frustrated state employees continue to search for help — and answers — after the comptroller's office accidentally left sensitive personal data on an open server for anyone to see.

Texas House Redistricting Maps Debated

State Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, during House Committee of State Affairs on March 14th, 2011
State Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, during House Committee of State Affairs on March 14th, 2011
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There are 101 Republicans in the Texas House. But according to the map released by Redistricting Committee Chair Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, not all of them will get re-elected.