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

Does Arpaio Help Perry?

Gov. Rick Perry picked up a substantial endorsement on Tuesday from controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. But as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, it's unclear whether the endorsement will be enough to turn around Perry's flagging campaign.

Evangelicals Assert Their Role in GOP Primary

Rick Perry being served water by Michele Backmann at the Family Leader forum in Des Moines Iowa.
Rick Perry being served water by Michele Backmann at the Family Leader forum in Des Moines Iowa.

While national security was the focus of last night’s Republican debate, some voters want to turn the conservation back to religion and social issues. As Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, even in a year of economic concerns, such voters could tip the scales in early-voting states like Iowa.

GOP Candidates Talk Faith In Iowa

Gov. Rick Perry at a presidential forum hosted by conservative group Family Leader in Des Monies, Iowa.
Gov. Rick Perry at a presidential forum hosted by conservative group Family Leader in Des Monies, Iowa.

It was a night of faith and politics for the GOP candidates in Des Moines, Iowa, where six of the eight top-tier candidates spoke at a forum hosted by a conservative Christian group. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.

What's Behind GOP Battle With Unions in Texas?

GOP PResidential hopefuls, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich before Lincoln-Douglas type debate on November 5th, 2011 The Woodlands, Texas
GOP PResidential hopefuls, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich before Lincoln-Douglas type debate on November 5th, 2011 The Woodlands, Texas

The economy — and how to improve it — has been at the center of the fight for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports on how unions and their future play into the GOP rhetoric.

Perry Promotes Galveston-Style Social Security Opt-Out

Retired Galveston County Judge Ray Holbrook at his home in Santa Fe, Texas, on Sept. 12, 2011. A public official for 28 years, Holbrook led the effort to opt out of Social Security in 1981.
Retired Galveston County Judge Ray Holbrook at his home in Santa Fe, Texas, on Sept. 12, 2011. A public official for 28 years, Holbrook led the effort to opt out of Social Security in 1981.

In his flat-tax speech on Tuesday, Gov. Rick Perry also listed five ways to fix Social Security. One of those, as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, is based on a system Galveston County created after opting out of the federal program.

Parsing Perry's Energy Plan

Gov. Rick Perry at the Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College on Oct. 11, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry at the Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College on Oct. 11, 2011.

Gov. Rick Perry today announced initial details of his energy-centric jobs plan. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune examines how the plan, centered on domestic drilling, has fared with energy experts.