KUT-FM: Ben Philpott, KUT News | KERA News

KUT-FM: Ben Philpott, KUT News

Ben Philpott covers politics and policy for KUT 90.5 FM. He has been covering state politics and dozens of other topics for the station since 2002. He's been recognized for outstanding radio journalism by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and twice by the Houston Press Club as Radio Journalist of the Year. 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.

Public radio stations from across the state collaborated on this series looking at the death penalty in Texas – its history, how it has changed, whom it affects and its future. 

It's just a week until the start of the 85th session of the Texas Legislature. And, while you've probably heard lots of stories about lawmaker priorities for the 140-day session, it's not always about what bills are being debated, but whether the Texas House or Senate is leading the charge.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick recently released his top 10 priorities for the 2017 legislative session. And now with several hundred bills filed, we have some glimpses of how he plans to meet his goals.

You've heard it all before. Texas is a red state. Democrats are hoping that shade of red will fade this November as voter registrations increase, but could more voters actually change the outcome? 


By now you've probably heard what Super Tuesday means in terms of the delegate count for the presidential nominating contests. There are almost 2,000 delegates up for grabs across 12 states for the two parties today. But how are those special votes divided up in a primary or caucus?


As he pursues the GOP presidential nomination, a key part of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s Iowa strategy has been to visit all 99 counties in that state — a strategy called "the full Grassley, named after an Iowa U.S. Senator who visits each county every year. 

But, some have criticized the Cruz campaign for spending more time last week in rural parts of the state in an effort to hit every county, instead of going to the Hawkeye State’s population centers.


Gov. Greg Abbott has directed the Texas Health & Human Services Commission's Refugee Resettlement Program to not help place Syrian refugees in the state. No one is questioning his ability to block that state program from working with Syrian refugees. But does his power extend to the non-profits that are using federal money to help resettle refugees in Texas?


Constitutional elections in Texas don't draw many voters. Over the last three elections, no more than 8 percent of registered voters have gone to the polls, and typically, it’s propositions like this cycle's Proposition 5, a statewide vote on constitutionally mandated population limits for road funding, that might keep people away.


The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce wraps up its annual national convention in Houston today. Yesterday the event jumped into the national spotlight, as protestors interrupted a speech by GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush.


The State of Texas has yet to file an appeal over a ruling against the state's voter identification law. Last week the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the law violated the Voting Rights Act.

But where do things stand now, and does the ruling mean Texans don't have to bring a photo ID when they vote this fall?

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