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

Everybody, even Republicans, seems to agree that Obamacare is not the electoral juggernaut it was supposed to be heading into the final weeks of the 2014 campaign. It still makes its obligatory appearances in stump speeches and debates, as well as some passing references in television ads, but the law has undoubtedly faded as other issues command the national debate.

But the last week suggests that Obamacare might still have a little life as a campaign issue in the Alaska Senate race -- meaning it could still play a role in swinging control of the Senate. The problem for incumbent Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) is that while Republican doomsaying about skyrocketing 2015 premiums has been hugely overstated for the most part, Alaska is actually facing much higher premiums that make for easy attack ads. And big-money outside groups are seizing on it as they back Republican challenger Dan Sullivan.

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As TPM reported earlier this week, big money has been largely absent from the Kansas Senate race, but that looks to be changing. First, there was a report Thursday from CNN that the Koch brothers behemoth Americans for Prosperity would finally come to the aid of Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS).

Now Politico is reporting that independent Greg Orman is getting a boost from independent-minded billionaires Peter Ackerman and John Burbank -- and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering getting involved as well.

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Cylvia Hayes, the fiancee of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), has admitted that she married an Ethiopian immigrant in 1997, in exchange for money, so that he could obtain a green card.

The Oregonian reported that Hayes, who was 29 at the time, acknowledged that she married 18-year-old Abraham B. Abraham in 1997. Their marriage allowed Abraham to secure his residency in the United States, the newspaper reported.

Hayes, who was introduced to Abraham by mutual acquaintances, was paid $5,000 for the deal. She used it to pay for a laptop and school -- she was a student at Evergreen State College in Washington at the time, according to the Oregonian.

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The independent candidate helping to muck up the South Dakota Senate race told The Hill on Wednesday that he'd be a "friend of Obama" if elected.

Larry Pressler is a former Republican Senator, but is running this year as an independent in a three-way race with Republican Mike Rounds, an ex-governor, and Democrat candidate Rick Weiland. He doesn't have much money, but he has been nipping at Rounds' heels in some recent polling, putting the race into the national spotlight.

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Leaders of St. Louis's black community want a Justice Department probe of Wednesday's police shooting of a black teen, convinced that the shooting was not justified.

Protesters gathered Thursday outside the St. Louis Police Department's headquarters and called for a Justice Department investigation, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. They said they believed that the shooting of 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers, Jr., had been a case of "racial profiling."

"This was a case of racial profiling turned deadly," Missouri state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed said, adding that she believed Myers had been shot in the back of the head.

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This post has been updated.

Details of the Wednesday night shooting of a black St. Louis teen by an off-duty police officer are still emerging, but the stories being told by the authorities and the teen's family thus far seem to be almost irreconcilable.

Protesters quickly came out to protest the shooting, which occurred in south St. Louis near the Missouri Botanical Garden. One relative of the dead teen called it "Michael Brown all over again," referring to the Ferguson, Mo., police shooting of an unarmed black teen in suburban St. Louis in August that sparked fierce protests and drew national attention.

Here is what is being reported so far, most of it courtesy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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Alaska GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan continues to hold a small but steady lead over Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), according to two new polls released Thursday.

The new CNN/ORC poll put Sullivan up 6 points, 50 percent to 44 percent among likely voters. Another new poll Thursday from Fox News showed Sullivan leading 44 percent to 40 percent.

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Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) held a one-point advantage over independent Greg Orman in a CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday, his first lead since the Democratic nominee dropped out of the race in September.

Roberts leads 49 percent to 48 percent among likely voters, according to the new poll. It was CNN/ORC's first poll of the Kansas race this year. The poll did not include libertarian candidate Randall Batson, who has been drawing up to 5 percent of the vote in other recent polls.

Former Democratic nominee Chad Taylor was formally removed from the race on Sept. 18.

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Bloomberg Politics reported Wednesday that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to spend $1 million on the South Dakota Senate race, as the race starts to draw unexpected attention as polls have shown the presumed GOP frontrunner, former Gov. Mike Rounds, failing to pull away.

It is a huge infusion of money into the race. As TPM reported earlier on Wednesday, the campaign-finance-focused MayDay PAC is also planning to spend $1 million to support Democratic candidate Rick Weiland. Outside groups had spent only $350,000 in South Dakota since Sept. 1.

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