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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

A nurse who was quarantined in New Jersey after returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa described the experience in a harrowing first-person account published Saturday.

The Dallas Morning News published the narrative from Kaci Hickox, who worked in Sierra Leone for Doctors Without Borders. She showed no symptoms upon her return, but the hospital is requiring her to remain quarantine for the 21 days that will ensure she does not have the disease.

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An Anchorage polling firm is giving Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) an unexpectedly huge lead in his re-election bid less than two weeks before Election Day and with early voting underway.

Hellenthal and Associates shows Begich up 10 points over Republican challenger Dan Sullivan, 49 percent to 39 percent. It is by far the biggest lead that Begich has seen and runs counter to most public polling, which has shown Sullivan with a consistent advantage since mid-September.

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Remember the much ballyhooed House Republican lawsuit against President Barack Obama for his executive overreach? About that...

Politico reported Friday evening that the lawsuit -- which was supposed to challenge Obama's executive orders regarding Obamacare (and appease the impeachment caucus in the lead-up to the midterm elections) -- hasn't actually been filed yet.

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Uber and the traditional taxi industry have been at each other's throats since the upstart came onto the scene in 2010, but the feud has escalated to a whole new level with vicious campaigns demonizing each other that feature allegations that drivers have sexually assaulted their passengers.

Who's Driving You, the anti-Uber initiative founded earlier this year by the Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association, is paying to promote a tweet that reads: "A passenger was sexually assaulted by an uberX driver. Listen to this 911 call." It then links to a YouTube video.

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Judy Melinek, one of the forensic experts who was quoted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Tuesday about the Michael Brown autopsy report, is taking issue with how the newspaper portrayed her comments.

The key piece of Melinek's analysis, according to the Post-Dispatch's original report, was that the report of Brown's autopsy "supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound. If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”

That would be consistent with Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson's version of events, as reported by the New York Times and others. Melinek was also paraphrased by the newspaper saying that the autopsy was inconsistent with witness accounts of Brown having his hands up in surrender when he was shot by Wilson.

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Former GOP Sen. Larry Pressler, now running as an independent in South Dakota, has come under attack from Democrats and Republicans as his strong showing has made the race a little unpredictable. But now some of his former aides from his time in Washington are coming to his defense with a new PAC to boost his candidacy.

The Argus Leader reported Wednesday that the group, "Former Staffers of Larry Pressler," would spend $200,000 or more to support Pressler. The effort is being spearheaded by a former Pressler chief of staff Kevin Schieffer, who went on to become a millionaire.

"I was living in my car when I met Larry Pressler," Schieffer told the newspaper, "and he gave me my first professional start in life."

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According to some reports Thursday morning, the Oregon's governor race was suddenly up for grabs. A new poll, as it was reported anyway, showed voters making a huge swing from the incumbent Democrat to his Republican opponent as scandals engulfed the governor's fiancee. But there was a big problem: The poll didn't ask a straight-up head-to-head question. But it was treated as such, anyway, sparking a momentary freakout among political watchers.

"A dramatic shift in poll numbers has taken place since Governor John Kitzhaber’s campaign became riddled with scandal," declared Portland radio station KXL. "A poll commissioned by KATU has Dennis Richardson with a surprising double-digit lead,"

The radio station's report was tweeted out by Political Wire:

But this wasn't a straight-up horse race poll. It was delving into a subset of the respondents to find out how much of an impact the recent scandal was having.
Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber's fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, has been the center of controversy in recent weeks, with revelations that she had married an Ethiopian migrant in the 1990s for money and worked at a pot farm around the same time.

So the new Survey USA poll asked about it and the results didn't look good for Kitzhaber, who has held a consistent and sizable lead over GOP challenger Dennis Richardson. But the pollster had not asked a traditional "Would you vote for..." question.

But that didn't stop some of the coverage from comparing this poll to other recent horse race polls.

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Even the Democratic candidate's pollster calls it a "long shot," but progressive groups are pouring money into the Michigan 6th District in the final weeks of the campaign, hoping to score an unexpected -- and still very unlikely -- upset of House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).

They have quite a climb to push Democratic candidate Paul Clements past Upton, who heads one of the more powerful committees in the House and has represented the district since 1987. Earlier this month, Clements pollster David Beattie found Upton leading, 50 percent to 35 percent. The race had narrowed ever so slightly since August, when Upton was up 57 percent to 37 percent, but it is still a huge gap to close in the last month of a campaign.

"Yeah, it's a long shot, but it's not a long shot about changing the electorate. It is about picking up voters already supporting a Democrat in the Senate race," Beattie told TPM. The district voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 and he lost by only one point in 2012. It also supports Democratic Senate candidate Gary Peters in his race, 50 percent to 38 percent, earlier this month, according to Beattie's polling.

So there are voters who will back Democrats to be won, and Upton does have some liabilities: 67 percent of voters say that he is a "typical politician" and 51 percent say that he "has become more partisan and political." Those would be the people that Clements, who is still working on his name recognition, needs to pick up.

There is just a touch of smoke -- Upton's people have reportedly been calling and berating donors to a big-money group that is pouring money into the race in a last-ditch effort to boost Clements, a Western Michigan University professor, to a shocking win over one of the longest-tenured House Republicans.

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Though he has trailed in most recent polling, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) is within striking distance of Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday evening.

Gardner held a 2-point lead, the new poll found, 47 percent to Udall's 45 percent. It is the pollster's first survey in the race, but some recent polling has shown Gardner with a more sizable lead, including another Wednesday poll from Suffolk University that put Gardner up seven points. Others, though, like a Tuesday Monmouth University poll, found a one-point race.

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