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

Enthusiasm, Yes. But Can the Democrats Win?

Gubernatorial candidate Mayor Bill White works the rope line of supporters after his keynote speech at the Texas Democratic Convention Friday night in Corpus Christi, Tex.
Gubernatorial candidate Mayor Bill White works the rope line of supporters after his keynote speech at the Texas Democratic Convention Friday night in Corpus Christi, Tex.

The Texas Democrats wrapped up their convention in Corpus Christi on Saturday, and the party's grass roots activists headed home newly energized to elect their candidates — including Bill White as governor. But as Ben Philpott of KUT and the Tribune reports, excitement may only be able to carry them so far.

Bill White Has a Feistier Week in Governor's Race

Rick Perry, Bill White
Rick Perry, Bill White

So far, Republican Rick Perry’s campaign has dominated the governor's race with a steady stream of attacks against Democratic challenger Bill White — but as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the White campaign is finally fighting back.

Opinions Mixed on Obama's Homelessness Plan

Homeless man near the UT-Austin campus
Homeless man near the UT-Austin campus
Barack Obama has announced a major initiative to end most homelessness in the United States within 10 years, specifically targeting veterans and single mothers with families. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune looks at how state agencies are responding to the president's plan.

Justice Sharon Keller's Lawyer Argues Lies Led to Accusations

Sharon Keller, presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Sharon Keller, presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
The investigation into Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Chief Justice Sharron Keller is closer to a conclusion today. Earlier this year a judge recommended that Keller should not be sanctioned after she was accused of closing the clerk's office and blocking a final appeal for death row inmate Michael Wayne Richard. Ben Philpott, who reports for KUT News and the Tribune, has more on today’s judicial oversight panel hearing.

TX Tea Party Works Way Into Texas GOP

Debra Medina on stage, after introducing another speaker at a We Texans rally during the state GOP convention.
Debra Medina on stage, after introducing another speaker at a We Texans rally during the state GOP convention.
Can the Republican establishment in Texas and the various Tea Party groups find enough common ground to keep the state GOP from splintering? Mississippi governor Haley Barbour told convention delegates this weekend that they have no choice. Ben Philpott filed this report for KUT News and the Tribune.

Texas GOP Works to Control National Conservative Message

Gov. Rick Perry, closing his speech to the first general session of the Texas Republican Convention.
Gov. Rick Perry, closing his speech to the first general session of the Texas Republican Convention.
Since George W. Bush exited the White House, Texas has lost in place at the center of the political universe. But Texas Republicans, who gathered this weekend in Dallas, say there's still plenty here for the rest of the nation to emulate and embrace. Ben Philpott filed this report for KUT News and the Tribune.

TX Lawmakers Debate Dropping Some From Sexual Offender List

There are more than 61,000 registered sex offenders in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s database. Some think the list includes people who aren’t a threat to society and that the stigma of being on it hurts them more than it helps the greater community. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune has this report.

How Budget Cuts Will Affect School Districts

Last week's request for additional budget cuts of 10 percent is expected to have a dramatic effect on state services — and local ones, too. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports on how a new round of slashing will affect school districts in particular.