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

Tx Lawmakers review changes to state school system

It has been a year since it was revealed that staff at the Corpus Christi State School were forcing their mentally disabled wards to fight each other. State lawmakers raced to enact new accountability measures. Ben Philpott, who's coving state politics and policy for the Tribune and KUT News, looks at what's actually changed.

Texas Legislature Review State Schools

State Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs
State Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs

A year ago, staff at the Corpus Christi State School were forcing mentally disabled wards to fight each other, and state lawmakers raced to enact new accountability measures. How are they working out? Ben Philpott, who covers politics and public policy for KUT News and the Tribune, has this report.

Federal Healthcare Could Save CHIP from Texas Cuts

The just-passed federal health care reform bill would prohibit states from dropping kids off the Children's Health Insurance Program and Medicaid until 2019. Texas budget writers used changes in CHIP eligibility to help balance the state's books in 2003. Ben Philpott, covering politics and public policy for the KUT News and the Tribune, reports on what the "no-drop" provision could mean to a state facing another multibillion-dollar budget shortfall next year.

Comparing Current Recession to Past Recessions

Both Texas and the U.S. at large have begun climbing out of the latest economic recession. Now economists have begun looking back on the 2008-2009 downturn to see how it compared to other recent down economies. KUT reports on a new study from the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas that puts the most recent recession at the top of the list. Ben Philpott is reporting for KUT News and the Texas Tribune.

Holly Turner & Paul Workman in HD-47 Runoff

Republicans in southwest Travis County still need to pick between Paul Workman and Holly Turner before setting their sights on Democratic State Representative Valinda Bolton. Ben Philpott, who's covering the 2010 elections for the Tribune and KUT News, has more on the runoff race in House District 47.

Texas Lands Millions for e-Health Records

Federal officials announced more than $162 million in health information technology grants today — including $28.8 million to help the Texas Health and Human Services Commission make the switch to electronic medical records. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius described the funding, which went to 16 states as part of the federal stimulus act, in an afternoon press conference.

Rick Perry & Bill White Change Gov's Race Messages

In the run-up to last Tuesday's primary, gubernatorial candidates of both parties courted activists by talking about topics that were near and dear to their hearts. For the general election campaign, as they compete for the votes of a broader electorate, Rick Perry and Bill White will likely shift the substance and tone of their stump speeches. Ben Philpott, covering the governor's race for KUT News and the Tribune, filed this report.

Why Did Kay Bailey Hutchison Lose Election

Now that the battle is over in the Republican primary for governor, the pundits can begin the task of figuring out what worked for Rick Perry — and what didn't for Kay Bailey Hutchison. Ben Philpott, who's covering the 2010 elections for the Tribune and KUT News, shares an early post-election view from two veteran strategists.

Bill White & Rick Perry Face Off in November

The race for Texas governor moves on to November, as Rick Perry and Bill White emerged from their respective primaries without a runoff. Each used his victory speech as springboards for the coming slugfest. Ben Philpott, covering the 2010 elections for KUT News and the Tribune, filed this report.

Perry and White Will Face Off for Governor

Rick Perry, Bill White
Rick Perry, Bill White

Gov. Rick Perry and former Houston Mayor Bill White claimed their parties' gubernatorial nominations Tuesday night. U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison conceded the GOP primary, congratulating Perry on his 11th consecutive statewide victory. White, meanwhile, had enough votes to call an early victory over Farouk Shami and five other Democrats, declaring, "We're gonna have some fun, and Texans are going to come together." Later, he sent a message about a conversation with Shami: "Just spoke to Farouk Shami. Very gracious. He'll help me. I do like his idea of building solar panel factories in Texas."

Perry and White Take Big Leads Into Election Day

If you believe the pollsters, the outcomes of today's Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries are all but set, as Rick Perry and Bill White have big leads in their respective races. It's not exactly the photo finish that pundits were expecting — especially from the GOP side. Ben Philpott, covering the 2010 elections for KUT News and the Tribune, filed this report.

Texas Election Cost Candidates $55 Million

Will gubernatorial contests that have already cost more than $51 million last another six weeks? Will there be runoffs in judicial, legislative, or other down-ballot races? Will Texas voters go for the smart ones, the rich ones, the kooks, the old pros, the kids, or the insurgents? We'll soon know the answers to these and other pressing primary questions.