Ben Philpott http://kut.org en Castro-Patrick Immigration Debate Offers Plenty of Attacks, Few Solutions http://kut.org/post/castro-patrick-immigration-debate-offers-plenty-attacks-few-solutions <p>Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor <a href="http://www.danpatrick.org/home/">Dan Patrick</a>&nbsp;has been making headlines for taking what some consider a hard line on immigration in his campaign. Last night, he squared off against San Antonio Mayor&nbsp;<a href="https://www.sanantonio.gov/mayor">Julian Castro</a>&nbsp;over the topic.</p><p>The genesis of the debate was a&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/JulianCastro/statuses/425846445455859712">squabble on Twitter</a>&nbsp;between the two –started in large part because of State Sen. Dan Patrick's comments calling undocumented immigrants entry into Texas an "<a href="http://www.danpatrick.org/donate-stop-illegal-invasion/">invasion</a>." In the debate, Mayor Castro quickly revisited that topic.</p><p>“I want to break news to the Senator, that we’re about to celebrate San Jacinto Day, but Texas is not being invaded by Mexico. I can assure you of that," Castro joked.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/144971927&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:52:52 +0000 Ben Philpott 10231 at http://kut.org Castro-Patrick Immigration Debate Offers Plenty of Attacks, Few Solutions How Sports Played a Role in the Civil Rights Movement http://kut.org/post/how-sports-played-role-civil-rights-movement <p>The role sports has played in America's civil rights struggle, especially with black athletes, has been well documented.</p><p>For many the movement started with <a href="http://www.jackierobinson.com/">Jackie Robinson</a> crossing the color line in baseball. But two other athletes were in Austin Wednesday to share their perspectives at the LBJ Library's <a href="http://www.civilrightssummit.org/">Civil Rights Summit</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PLAYER_ID=33">Jim Brown</a> is often called the greatest running back in the history of pro football. But he was never the most popular player. He told the crowd in Austin he attributes that to his role in pushing for civil rights and equality for himself and other black athletes.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/143942765&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 11:58:43 +0000 Ben Philpott 10186 at http://kut.org How Sports Played a Role in the Civil Rights Movement Immigration, Gay Marriage and the Expanding Definition of Civil Rights http://kut.org/post/immigration-gay-marriage-and-expanding-definition-civil-rights <p>When the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964">Civil Rights Act</a> was signed into law nearly 50 years ago, its main focus was on the treatment of the country's black population. But over the years, other groups have slipped under the act’s umbrella of protection. As the<a href="http://www.civilrightssummit.org/"> LBJ Library’s Civil Rights Summit</a> opened in Austin Tuesday, it began with a discussion of how two groups are hoping those protections will extend to them.</p><p>The opening panel at the summit dove right into one of the two civil rights issues dominating the American political and legal landscape: same-sex marriage.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/143856413&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:54:46 +0000 Ben Philpott 10174 at http://kut.org Immigration, Gay Marriage and the Expanding Definition of Civil Rights Four Presidents Will Be in Austin for the LBJ Civil Rights Summit http://kut.org/post/four-presidents-will-be-austin-lbj-civil-rights-summit <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Four U.S. Presidents headline a <a href="http://www.civilrightssummit.org/">three-day summit</a> in Austin this week, kicking off a celebration of the </span>50th<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> anniversary of the <a href="http://www.congresslink.org/print_basics_histmats_civilrights64text.htm">1964 Civil Rights Act</a>.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Life before the act can sometimes seem foreign to those of us who came after the landmark legislation was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. O</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">rganizers say that alone is a great reason to hold a summit.</span></p><p>"Of course it's appropriate to look back. I mean, I myself am a child of the segregated South. So I grew up in that world and I know in ways that our students really don't, what things were like before this legislation,"&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">LBJ</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;School of Public Affairs Dean Robert&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Hutchings says.</span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/143592759&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:09:46 +0000 Ben Philpott 10145 at http://kut.org Four Presidents Will Be in Austin for the LBJ Civil Rights Summit Tax Cut Promises Lead Campaigns, But May Be Hard to Fulfill http://kut.org/post/tax-cut-promises-lead-campaigns-may-be-hard-fulfill <p>Several Texas Republican candidates are pushing the idea of cutting taxes in the 2015 legislative session. That includes cutting property taxes and the state’s business tax.</p><p>The State of Texas has been flush with cash the last two years. There was a nearly $9 billion dollar surplus in 2013. With another $2.6 billion dollar surplus reported for 2014.</p><p>"Our current trends suggest that we're going to do even better than that with the continued health of the oil and gas industry," says&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Dale&nbsp;Craymer,&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">president of the&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.ttara.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Texas Taxpayers and Research Association</a>. "<span style="line-height: 1.5;">The prospects for next session look very good on the money front and I think that's going to give the Legislature a number of options."&nbsp;</span><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/141562924&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 10041 at http://kut.org Tax Cut Promises Lead Campaigns, But May Be Hard to Fulfill Immigration Rhetoric in Lt. Gov Race Disappoints Some Hispanic Republicans http://kut.org/post/immigration-rhetoric-lt-gov-race-disappoints-some-hispanic-republicans <p>Before the March primary, a handful of Hispanic Republican leaders questioned the tone on immigration among some GOP candidates – especially statements from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.danpatrick.org/home/">State Sen. Dan Patrick</a>, who’s running for Lieutenant Governor.</p><p>This year's Republican primary has been an exercise in running to the right of everyone else on the ballot. In the race for Lieutenant Governor, candidates began pushing further and further rightward when talking about border security.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/141167659&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 13:41:29 +0000 Ben Philpott 10021 at http://kut.org Immigration Rhetoric in Lt. Gov Race Disappoints Some Hispanic Republicans An Interview With Controversial Conservative Michael Quinn Sullivan http://kut.org/post/interview-controversial-conservative-michael-quinn-sullivan <p>Candidates backed by the most conservative wing of the Texas Republican Party were the big winners in March's state primaries. Support from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and local Tea Party groups have gotten much of the credit for those wins. But support from a conservative policy group called <a href="http://www.empowertexans.com/">Empower Texans</a> also helped carry the day.</p><p>The group's leader, Michael Quinn Sullivan, has taken some heat for what's been called his <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/us/michael-quinn-sullivan-gets-his-conservative-message-heard.html?_r=0">efforts to purify the GOP</a>, working to get rid of Republicans he says aren’t sufficiently conservative.</p><p>Sullivan stopped by KUT&nbsp;to speak with Ben Philpott about what would be different in a Legislature run by his kind of Republicans.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/140250408&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 21:47:58 +0000 Ben Philpott 9992 at http://kut.org An Interview With Controversial Conservative Michael Quinn Sullivan Rapper Tyler, the Creator Arrested on Riot Charge http://kut.org/post/rapper-tyler-creator-arrested-riot-charge <div class="page" title="Page 1"><div class="layoutArea"><div class="column"><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Police have arrested a</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;rapper who performed at South by Southwest after officials say he encouraged a crowd to push through doors keeping them out of an already overcrowded venue.</span></p> Sat, 15 Mar 2014 22:17:17 +0000 Ben Philpott 9975 at http://kut.org Rapper Tyler, the Creator Arrested on Riot Charge Texas Tea Party Taking Power Back From Conservative Business Groups http://kut.org/post/texas-tea-party-taking-power-back-conservative-business-groups <p>Last week’s&nbsp;<a href="http://kut.org/post/november-winners-2014-texas-primaries?nopop=1">GOP primary</a>&nbsp;showed the continued strength of the Tea Party in Texas.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">But it also showed a weakening of another stalwart Republican demographic: the businessperson.</span></p><p>First, a disclaimer: The results don't prove anything definitive. One election does not a trend make. And it's not hard to find people who say the state's business leaders still have a large role in Republican Party politics.</p><p>"I think the business community hasn't lost its voice,"&nbsp;Rice University&nbsp;<a href="http://politicalscience.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=103">Political Science</a> department chair Mark Jones says.&nbsp;"But its influence is much less then it was say 10 years ago."</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/138327926&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 15:12:49 +0000 Ben Philpott 9911 at http://kut.org Texas Tea Party Taking Power Back From Conservative Business Groups On Farms, School Lunches & Gas Pumps, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Weighs In http://kut.org/post/farms-school-lunches-gas-pumps-texas-agriculture-commissioner-weighs <p>When Texans – mostly farmers and ranchers – sat down to write the state constitution in the 1800's, they didn’t see the need for an elected Agriculture Commissioner.</p><p>That oversight was quickly remedied.</p><p>Texas agriculture, crops and cattle are known across the country and around the world. Its "Go Texan" campaign can be seen in grocery stores and TV ads across the state: Why buy vegetables from California, when you can pick from that (noticeably labeled) batch from Texas?</p><p>But the office does more than sell the product. It also helps farmers and ranchers successfully grow it.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/137716845&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 17:56:43 +0000 Ben Philpott 9887 at http://kut.org On Farms, School Lunches & Gas Pumps, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Weighs In The Main Thing People Think Texas' Attorney General Does (But Really Doesn't) http://kut.org/post/main-thing-people-think-texas-attorney-general-does-really-doesnt <p>Texas' current Attorney General, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, has his own memorable description for his job.</p><p>"My job description has been simplified over the past four years," Abbott said during a speech in April. "Because what I do is I go into the office, I sue the federal government and then I go home."</p><p>Abbott was purposely oversimplifying what his office does, but defending the state's laws is a key element.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/137716982&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 20:29:46 +0000 Ben Philpott 9886 at http://kut.org The Main Thing People Think Texas' Attorney General Does (But Really Doesn't) Texas Comptroller, the State Bureaucrat Who Can Grind Budgets to a Halt http://kut.org/post/texas-comptroller-state-bureaucrat-who-can-grind-budgets-halt <p>The Texas Legislature writes the state budget. The Governor signs it into law.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">But with a single action the Texas Comptroller can kill the entire appropriations process.</span></p><p>But before we get to that. let's start with the real burning issue:&nbsp;How do you pronounce it?</p><p>"No that's the argument right, is do you pronounce it controller or comptroller," UT Law School professor Hugh Brady says.</p><p>OK. Pronunciation aside, what does the office do?</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/137717099&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 20:01:28 +0000 Ben Philpott 9884 at http://kut.org Texas Comptroller, the State Bureaucrat Who Can Grind Budgets to a Halt Whoever Wins in November, Texas Gets a Weaker Governor. Here's Why. http://kut.org/post/whoever-wins-november-texas-gets-weaker-governor-heres-why <p>1876. It was a time of rebirth in Texas. Or maybe more precisely – time to get rid of those Reconstruction-era carpetbaggers.</p><p>"When the North sent folks down to Texas to govern as governors, Texans felt like these king-like people came down from the North and ran roughshod," says Sherri Greenberg with the LBJ School of Public Affairs. "So Texans wrote the Texas Constitution, this very populist document with as much power as possible vested in the people and at the lowest, most local, level of government."</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/137717568&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 19:21:04 +0000 Ben Philpott 9885 at http://kut.org Whoever Wins in November, Texas Gets a Weaker Governor. Here's Why. The Surprising Role of Land Commissioner, Launch Pad of Texas Politics http://kut.org/post/surprising-role-land-commissioner-launch-pad-texas-politics <p>The state of Texas owns a bunch of land. That's because, in case you didn't know, we used to be our own country and joined the United States without the need for a land grant from the Feds.</p><p>All that land needs someone – and an office – to look after it.</p><p>"I think the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.glo.texas.gov/">Land Office</a>&nbsp;describes the duties of the Land Commissioner pretty well," says the Texas Public Policy Foundation's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texaspolicy.com/experts/bill-peacock">Bill Peacock</a>. "It's basically to take care of the public lands of the state of Texas that don't belong to a specific agency or universities or things like that."&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/137715451&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 17:36:02 +0000 Ben Philpott 9883 at http://kut.org The Surprising Role of Land Commissioner, Launch Pad of Texas Politics A Brief History of Texas' Most Powerful Political Office: Lt. Governor http://kut.org/post/brief-history-texas-most-powerful-political-office-lt-governor <p>When I moved to Austin in 2002, one of the first things I did to acclimate myself to Texas was visit the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thestoryoftexas.com/">Bullock Texas State History Museum</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>I remember standing on the second floor, staring at the statue of the man whose name was chiseled onto the side of the building. Then I started to read his history on the plaque at the base of the statue to see just how long he'd been Governor or U.S. Senator.</p><p>That's when I discovered Bob Bullock had only been Lieutenant Governor.</p><p>"Lieutenant Governor is basically the Vice President of the United States," University of Texas School of Law professor Hugh Brady says.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/136863163&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 21:47:33 +0000 Ben Philpott 9853 at http://kut.org A Brief History of Texas' Most Powerful Political Office: Lt. Governor