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.

Pages

2014 Election Campaign
3:37 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

George P. Bush Steps Into Texas Political Limelight

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 5:31 pm

George P. Bush is expected to win Tuesday's GOP primary for land commissioner. Ben Phillpott of KUT brings the story of the young Bush's low-key campaign and outreach to Hispanic voters.

Texas Politics
2:54 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Texans Could Vote to Help Cut Veterans' Property Taxes

Voters could give property tax breaks to soldiers and their families on November 5th.
Photo by KUT News

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 10:43 am

When Texans go to the polls beginning Monday, they’ll have the chance to vote on nine constitutional propositions. Two of them would cut property taxes for disabled veterans or their surviving spouse. 

Both propositions have their origins in an oversight and look to tweak current laws to give returning Texas veterans and their families property tax breaks.

Read more
Texas
10:02 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Expanding Reverse Mortgages on November Ballot

Proposition 5 would let Sr's purchase homes with a reverse mortgage.
Ben Philpott

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 8:01 am

Texans head to the polls later this month to vote on constitutional amendment propositions. Though water funding is receiving the most attention, there are 8 others to consider, including one that expands the use of what’s called a reverse mortgage in Texas.

A reverse mortgage is a financial tool that allows senior citizens to receive equity payments each month while staying in their home. The reverse mortgage is paid back, with interest, only after the house is sold when the owner either moves out or dies.

Read more
2014 Governor's Race
4:44 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Could A Democrat Become Governor In Texas?

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democratic candidate for governor, speaks at a rally in Haltom City on Oct. 3.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 7:44 pm

In 2014, Texas voters might just see something they haven't experienced in two decades — a competitive race for governor.

Current Republican Gov. Rick Perry isn't running for re-election, so it's an open race, with new faces and new optimism for Texas Democrats.

Earlier this year, the Democrats were once again facing the prospect of scrambling to find someone to run as their candidate. Then, on June 25, state Sen. Wendy Davis came to the Capitol in Austin wearing running shoes and ready to block a restrictive abortion bill.

Read more
Abortion In Texas
11:47 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Women's Clinic Closed in Wake of Texas Law Offered More Than Abortions

Ben Philpott for KUT News

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:37 am

A handful of clinics in Texas have closed, or are planning to, just weeks after a controversial bill restricting abortions passed the state legislature.

Planned Parenthood says the closures will hurt the women who came to the clinics for general healthcare services. Anti-abortion groups say there are other doctors for the women to go to. So who's right?

Read more
Around the Nation
3:36 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Miss., Texas Won't Offer VA Benefits To Same-Sex Partners

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 4:22 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

Read more
2014 Election Campaign
1:52 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Some Texas Democrats Waiting on Davis Before Joining 2014 Races

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 8:50 am

The Wendy Davis Watch continues in Texas politics. The Fort Worth state senator is expected to announce in the next few days whether she will or won’t run for the Democratic nomination for Governor. But Democratic activists aren’t the only ones waiting.

So are potential Democratic candidates, as state-wide races up and down the ticket, so far, remain empty. 

Read more
2014 Election
1:18 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Democrats Crank Up Pressure on Wendy Davis to Run for Governor

wewantwendydavis.com

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 1:23 pm

Update: Texas Democratic Party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa has released a statement explaining the new website gathering support for a Davis run for Governor.

"We know she can win this race. Wendy has faced long odds before – and they've never stopped her. But before she decides to run, we need to show her that we have her back."

Original post (12:04 p.m.): Texas Democrats appear on the fence over whether Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, should run for governor in 2014 – much like the candidate herself.

But with nobody else on the ballot so far, the minority party is ramping up its efforts to make sure their new rising star will have money and manpower – just in case.

Read more

Pages