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

GOP Attempts to Woo Hispanic Voters

Hispanic Republicans of Texas (HRT). Left to right,  Juan Hernandez, Sonia Medina and Jacob Monte.
Hispanic Republicans of Texas (HRT). Left to right, Juan Hernandez, Sonia Medina and Jacob Monte.
In the first installment of a three-part series, Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune looks at a new Republican effort to recruit, train and fund Hispanic candidates.

Robert Perkinson on the History of Texas Prisons

Texas has long been a “tough on crime” state, but there has been a movement in recent years to change the system known more for its executions than for its rehabilitations. Robert Perkinson talked with Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune about the history of the state’s prison system and the possible changes ahead.

Dan Neil Removed From Air Over Equal Access Law

A local battle over politics and access to the media has led one candidate to leave his weekday spot on sports radio. Dan Neil had been a co-host of ESPN Radio’s morning show in Austin. But the Republican’s bid for a State House seat will leave him on the sidelines because of equal access rules. Ben Philpott is covering this November's elections for KUT News and the Tribune.

Historian Talks Violence on El Paso/Juárez Border

David Romo gives a tour of El Paso just north of the Mexican border.
David Romo gives a tour of El Paso just north of the Mexican border.
Historian David Romo calls both El Paso and Juárez home. The day after a gunfight in Juárez sent a bullet across the border — into the wall of El Paso City Hall no less — he describes how violence has changed local business in both cities, and his own life.

EPA takes over TCEQ air quality permitting

The Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t think Texas is doing enough to keep its air clean, so today the agency is expected to tell the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that the feds will take over air quality permitting for about 39 plants. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.

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.