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 to Doggett: "Doggone It!"

The state's GOP leaders say the strings attached to $800 million in federal education funding by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, are not only too restrictive — they could be unconstitutional. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune has this report.

The Weekly TribCast: Episode 41

Ben, Ross, Evan and Matt talk about President Obama's visit to Texas and who didn't want to be seen with him, the battle over strings attached to federal education money, Bill White's donor-appointees and the legal and political definitions of residency.

Every Doggett Has His Day

The U.S. House has passed a bill on Tuesday that is expected to send about $800 million to bolster the state’s education budget. But thanks to an amendment added by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, the funding comes with Texas-specific strings attached. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune has this report.

Obama Talks Higher Ed

President Obama give "Hook'Em" sign before speech at UT-Austin.
President Obama give "Hook'Em" sign before speech at UT-Austin.
President Obama wrapped up a trip to Austin this afternoon with a speech on higher education on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.

Fundraiser in Chief

A screenshot from a web ad by Gov. Rick Perry's campaign.
A screenshot from a web ad by Gov. Rick Perry's campaign.

President Obama is coming to Austin and Dallas on Monday. He'll make a stop on the University of Texas campus to deliver a speech before throngs of supporters — and, no doubt, protesters. But as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the main focus of his trip is green, not burnt orange.

A Court Date for Hopwood 2.0

A panel of federal judges will hear arguments today for and against the University of Texas at Austin’s race-based admissions system, which the school has used for decades as part of what its "holistic" admissions program. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.

An Itchy Situation

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently said that children should not be kept out of school if they get head lice — the opposite of what Texas law requires. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune has this report.

Courting Hispanics: The Future

Students at LBJ School's Subiendo: The Academy for Rising Leaders.
Students at LBJ School's Subiendo: The Academy for Rising Leaders.
For the final part of his three-part series, Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune sat down with Hispanic student leaders to find out whether Texas Democrats and Republicans can attract first-time voters in November.

Courting Hispanics: The Dems

The Hispanic vote in Texas is often referred to as a "sleeping giant" because of historically low turnout. If Hispanics were to show up at the ballot box in record numbers, they could easily influence elections of all kinds. In part two of his three-part series, Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports on the efforts of state Democrats to sound the alarm.

Courting Hispanics: The GOP

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.

Hide in Plain Sight

A few elected officials and municipalities in Texas are asking a federal judge to throw out the state’s open meetings law, which they claim is an infringement on free speech. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.

Texas Tough: The Rise of America's Prison Empire

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.

Howard 1, Neil 0

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.

Border Battles

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 to TCEQ: Step Off

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.