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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

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and his office stymied investigations into political allies and associates being undertaken by an independent commission that Cuomo created to stop public corruption, the New York Times reported on Wednesday after a three-month investigation by the newspaper.

The most obvious interference, according to the Times, came when the commission sent a subpoena to Buying Time, a media company through which Cuomo had spent $20 million on ads since 2002. The commission was looking into the company's relationship with the New York Democratic Party, and it did not know of the firm's ties to Cuomo when it issued the subpoena.

A top Cuomo aide, Lawrence Schwartz, quickly scuttled the order. "This is wrong," he told a commission chairman, according to the Times. "Pull it back."

The episode was, according to the newspaper's investigation, part of a broader pattern of behavior by the governor's office. Cuomo disbanded the commission a full eight months before it was supposed to finish its work, claiming a legislative reform package that many criticized as watered down was the culmination of its duties.

In a 13-page statement to the Times, Cuomo's office dismissed the premise of the newspaper's investigation as "legally, ethically and practically false."

"Your fundamental assertion is that the Commission was independent. It wasn't," the office wrote. The statement also said that many of the companies for which Cuomo's staff had reportedly interfered did eventually receive subpoenas. That included Buying Time, according to the Times.

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After apparently watching too many James Bond marathons, the Michigan Republican Party equipped some of its staff members with eyeglasses outfitted with high-tech hidden cameras to track Democratic candidates.

The Detroit News reported last week that Michigan Democrats had come into possession of a disk recorded from a secret camera that had been used to spy at a campaign fundraiser for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer. The amateur snoops ate appetizers, discussed the interior design of the private home where the fundraiser took place and chatted with other attendees.

The Michigan Republican Party did not deny their methods and in fact volunteered to the News that the trackers had been using spyglasses with a secret camera installed in the frames.

“Republicans do it; Democrats do it,” Darren Littell, communications director for the state GOP, told the News. “People use different ways to get the footage. ... This is a newer approach.”

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The Obama administration caught a glimpse of the worst-case scenario for the president's signature health care law on Tuesday in a ruling by a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.

The ruling will be appealed, but even if it ends up being upheld, policy experts told TPM that it might be fairly easy for the administration to craft a workaround to keep a key piece of the law from falling apart.

The D.C. federal appeals court initially appeared to throw a stunning legal blow to Obamacare with its decision to invalidate financial subsidies offered through HealthCare.gov. The loss of those subsidies could affect 4.7 million people and send premiums skyrocketing. But the ruling was quickly tempered by a separate appeals court ruling that upheld the subsidies in another case.

Either way, the legal case is far from over and likely to work its way through another court panel or two before possibly heading to the Supreme Court.

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Of the roughly 5.4 million people who purchased health insurance through HealthCare.gov this year, 87 percent -- 4.7 million -- received premium tax credits, according to the latest estimate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Those are the people who would stand to lose their financial benefits under Obamacare if the U.S. appeals court decision on Tuesday that invalidated the subsidies offered through the federal website were to stand.

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A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit on Monday from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) that challenges Obamacare and the Obama administration's decision to keep the government-subsidized insurance that Congress receives under the law.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ruled that Johnson did not have legal standing to challenge the policy. The Obama administration decided last year to allow Johnson and others on the Hill to continue receiving government-provided employer contributions when, as required by Obamacare, they purchase health coverage through its insurance marketplaces.

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Jeremy Johnson's name appears 80 times in the charging documents against former Utah attorneys general Mark Shurtlef and John Swallow.

The pair of former officials were accused last week on multiple felony counts of bribery and obstruction of justice in what local media have described as the largest corruption case in Utah's history. Prosecutors allege that Johnson, a wealthy businessman who was trying to get the state to approve of online poker, was at the center of much of it.

Shurtleff and Swallow took advantage of Johnson's private jet, and Swallow and his family spent nights aboard Johnson's luxury houseboat, according to the indictments. In exchange, the former attorneys general allegedly helped Johnson propel his online poker ambitions as well as navigate a Federal Trade Commission probe into his business, I Works. Swallow allegedly offered, with the help of another associate, to connect Johnson with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to address the federal inquiry. (Reid's office has dismissed any connections to the case, saying the senator has not even been questioned by authorities.)

Now, as Johnson simultaneously faces that FTC investigation and a related federal criminal case alleging more than 80 counts of conspiracy and fraud, he has reportedly turned over evidence on Shurtleff and Swallow to local prosecutors in the probe that resulted in last week's charges.

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New York City has approved a real estate developer's plan to construct an apartment complex with a separate entrance for its less fortunate residents, the New York Post reported Monday.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development signed off on the application from Extell to build a 33-story building on the Upper West Side. The building will have 219 luxury condos that overlook the waterfront, according to the Post, and 55 "affordable" units that face the street. They will have separate entrances, which, as Gawker noted, sparked outrage last year when the plans were first revealed.

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A report published last week in the esteemed New England Journal of Medicine provided an overview of Obamacare's first year, its successes and the challenges ahead. It also offered a yet another estimate of the number of people covered by the law: 20 million.

The NEJM report pulled a wealth of information, much of it already known by those closely following the law's implementation but presented together by the journal, from think tanks and government agencies. It covered a range of topics, including the number of people covered, 2015 premiums, and the adequacy of provider networks for plans offered through the law.

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