Ben Philpott — Click for higher resolution staff photos

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

A Slippery Slope

The fallout over the BP oil leak has Texas Democrats at odds over deep sea drilling: Environmentalists have called for a permanent ban, but the party’s candidate for governor, Bill White, opposes the idea. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune has this report. Full Story 
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. Spencer Selvidge

Enthusiasm, Yes. But Can the Democrats Win?

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.

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Rick Perry, Bill White Caleb Bryant Miller, Callie Richmond

White Makes a Fist

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.

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With its sprawling campus, UT-Austin deals with populations and issues common to urban areas. Erik Reyna

Homing In on Homelessness

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. Full Story 
Sharon Keller, presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Dallas Bar Association

Keller's Lawyer: Lies Led to Accusations

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. Full Story 

Takeover Imminent

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has tweaked some of its air quality rules in response to the Environmental Protection Agency's attempt to wrest control of Texas' permitting authority. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune has this report. Full Story 

Mapping Broadband Access

After months of compiling data from around the state, Texas officials have released a comprehensive map of areas that do and don't have broadband internet access. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports. Full Story 

Waiting to Exhale

The Environmental Protection Agency will roll out new air quality standards for the entire country in August. That means cities like Austin — which knows it's out of compliance — have very little time to get their improvement plans in place. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune filed this report. Full Story 
Debra Medina on stage, after introducing another speaker at a We Texans rally during the state GOP convention. Bob Daemmrich

Let's Stay Together

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. Full Story 
Gov. Rick Perry, closing his speech to the first general session of the Texas Republican Convention. Bob Daemmrich

Spreading the Gospel of Texas

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. Full Story 

Fewer Sex Offenders in the DPS Database?

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. Full Story 

Slash and Learn

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. Full Story 

The Weekly Tribcast Episode 31

In this week's TribCast, Ross, Evan, Ben and Reeve discuss the summer political fundraising season, TxDOT's audit, how population projections will impact into redistricting and the politics of pollution.

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