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Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at dylan@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Dylan

On the night of Sept. 11, two gay men were walking on a downtown Philadelphia street, just a few blocks away from one of the most gay-friendly areas in the city. But by the end of the night, they were in the hospital, one of them with their jaw wired shut, in an alleged hate crime that has rattled the city of Brotherly Love.

Last week, two men and a woman were charged with aggravated assault for the incident, among other charges, according to the Associated Press. Their attorneys have alleged that the gay couple instigated the incident, but prosecutors aren't buying it.

Now the community is left to figure out what to do next -- and gay rights advocates are pushing for a change to state law because the trio will not be charged with a hate crime, even though the entire altercation allegedly started with a question about the victims' sexuality.

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As he faces a strong independent challenger, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) is shuffling to his right. He has been deploying more heated rhetoric, invoking the specter of "national socialism" at a campaign event. He has been making calls to tea party leaders to galvanize support, after he nearly lost to one of their own, Milton Wolf, in his primary this year. Sarah Palin has appeared on the stump.

But will it be enough?

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An Arizona's state senator's vote for the infamous anti-LGBT discrimination bill that attracted national attention earlier this year is now being held against her in campaign ads.

The vote by state Sen. Michele Reagan (R), who is now running for secretary of state, is the subject of a new ad from her Democratic opponent Terry Goddard, a former state attorney general. In the ad, which the Goddard campaign plans to spend six figures on, a lesbian couple lambasts Reagan for Senate Bill 1062, which would have allowed discrimination based on deeply held religious beliefs.

"But state senator Reagan voted for that hateful legislation and stood with those who would make us second-class citizens," one of women says.

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Whether they'll admit it or not, Democrats have put all their eggs in Greg Orman's basket. The Kansas independent was polling so well against incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts that the Democratic nominee, Chad Taylor, was pressured to drop out of the race, and the state Democratic party has expressed no interest in filling his slot unless forced to do so by a court.

Democrats are making a bet. Orman has been publicly insistent that he hasn't decided which party to caucus with yet, though Republicans have repeatedly pointed out that he toyed with a 2008 Senate run as a Democrat. "Both Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have been too partisan for far too long to earn my vote for Majority Leader," he says on his website. If no party holds a clear majority and he and the other independents (currently Sens. Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont) dictate control of the Senate, Orman says that he will "caucus with the party that is most willing to face our country’s difficult problems head on and advance our problem-solving, non-partisan agenda."

And what exactly are Democrats getting in Orman? A review of his policy statements and known history reveals an interesting mix. His background -- an investor with up to $86 million in private wealth and links to a jailed Wall Street figure -- seems superficially at odds with the message Democrats have been delivering since the economic collapse. But on policy, while Orman is always careful to straddle partisan lines, he seems to come down closer to the Democratic side than the Republican on high-profile issues like health care, guns and immigration.

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Updated: Sept. 26, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT

Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza's ex-wife alleged in a letter sent this week to the federal court that heard his criminal case that D'Souza was abusive, that he lied in his defense against the criminal charges, and implied D'Souza had manipulated the couple's daughter into making positive public statements about him.

D'Souza pleaded guilty in May to violating federal campaign finance law, admitting that he used straw donors to funnel money to New York Republican Senate candidate Wendy Long. He had also been accused of making campaign contributions in the name of other people -- namely, his ex-wife Dixie.

On Tuesday, he was sentenced to five years probation starting with eight months in a community confinement center. But he faced no prison time, despite prosecutors reportedly seeking at least a 10-month prison sentence.

On the day before D'Souza was sentenced, Dixie sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Richard Berman and, after outlining allegations of lies and abuse, urged him to "impose a just sentence." The letter was published by the Smoking Gun.

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A bench warrant has been issued for Cliven 'Lance' Bundy Jr., the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, the second time in the last few months that a warrant has been put out for him.

KTNV reported Thursday that the warrant resulted from Bundy's failure to appear in Clark County drug court on Tuesday.

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Earlier this month, a white South Carolina Highway Patrol officer shot an unarmed black man during a traffic stop at a gas station in the city of Columbia. While the incident at the time was enough to catch the attention of local investigators, it exploded into the wider consciousness on Wednesday when dash cam video of the shooting became public and the officer was charged with aggravated assault.

The case against officer Sean Groubert, 31, highlights how rare it is for a law enforcement officer to be charged in a shooting and also shows the vital role that video cameras can play in these types of altercations.

If convicted, Groubert could face up to 20 years in prison, according to The State newspaper in Columbia. He had already been fired from the highway patrol last week, the newspaper reported, after the Department of Public Safety reviewed the evidence.

The incident began on Sept. 4 when Groubert pulled over a sport utility vehicle being driven by 35-year-old Levar Jones. A camera mounted on the officer's vehicle captured the shocking and frantic moments that followed. The video was posted online by The State on Wednesday.

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