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

Articles by Dylan

Conservatives aren't sure what to make of a single case of Ebola appearing on American shores last week. But they are quite certain that they can't trust what President Barack Obama or any other liberal elites tell them or do about it.

The lines of thought range widely. Is the scientifically verified claim that Eloba cannot be transmitted through the air a "canard"? Is the government so inept that it can't contain Ebola now that it's here? Is Obama's refusal to issue some kind of comprehensive travel ban for the African countries where the current Ebola epidemic started an indictment of liberal dreams of diversity and political correctness? These and more have made appearances on the right in recent days and weeks.

But the one common thread is that -- one way or another -- Obama and company have clearly done something wrong. Or they will.

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UPDATE: 5:34 p.m. ET: The AFP tweet using the post-Aurora image has been deleted, and Freedom Partners Action Fund told BuzzFeed that the image would be removed from its ad.

The Koch brothers behemoth Americans for Prosperity got in some trouble earlier this year when it used a photo of Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) and President Barack Obama standing side by side after the Aurora shooting in an attack ad against Udall. But BuzzFeed reported Tuesday that another Koch-backed group is up on the air with another attack ad that uses part of the same image.

Freedom Action Partners Fund, another entity in the Koch empire, is using Obama's likeness in the post-Aurora photo in a new TV ad against Udall, according to BuzzFeed.

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This post has been updated.

Last week, numerous news outlets, national and local, reported on a huge increase in registered voters in Ferguson, Mo., following the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown. But it apparently didn't actually happen.

The St. Louis County elections board reported that 3,287 Ferguson residents had registered to vote. That is a huge surge for a city of 21,000, particularly as controversy swelled about the racial make-up of the city government after the shooting. Ferguson is two-thirds African-American, but its mayor and all but one member of the six-person city council are white.

But apparently that first report was in error. There was no voter registration spike. The county elections board reversed course on Tuesday and said that, actually, only 128 people had registered to vote since the shooting.

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Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) has been attacked by Republicans for saying that the Islamic State is not an "imminent threat" to the United States, and he is now punching back with his own campaign ad talking a tough game against the militant group that has beheaded American journalists while terrorizing parts of Iraq and Syria.

Udall started to take heat last month when he said in a debate that ISIL, also known as ISIS, was not an immediate threat and invoked the names of the two U.S. journalists killed the group to explain his position (for which he apologized).

Gardner was soon criticizing him -- "I believe that it’s time for Senator Udall to stop hiding behind this President’s lack of strategy and actually step forward and acknowledge that this is a terrorist organization that poses a threat that we must address and deal with" -- the National Republican Senatorial Committee went up with an ad last week ripping Udall for the statement.

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No Senate race has been more interesting in the last month than Kansas. A major-party nominee dropped out, apparently at the behest of the national party, opening the door for an unknown but well-funded independent to challenge the stumbling incumbent. Polling has showed independent Greg Orman with as much as a 10-point lead over Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS).

But you wouldn't know that the fate of the Senate might be at stake with so little money coming in from outside groups.

The committees that must report their spending have expended less than $1 million combined in Kansas since Sept. 3, the day Taylor dropped out, according to a TPM review of Federal Election Committee data. By comparison, in another crucial Senate race in nearby Iowa, outside groups have spent $8.9 million, at a minimum, on television ads over the same period.

The inaction has left some operatives, particularly Republicans, stunned. Some GOP operatives see it as an indictment of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, whose job is to elect Republicans to the Senate. But even beyond the NRSC, the other big name outside groups on the right largely haven't come to Roberts's rescue. Whether that's because he's seen as a lost cause, or merely a lower priority than other races, it's left Roberts particularly vulnerable to the current challenge from Orman.

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On Sept. 29, more than two weeks after Eric Frein allegedly opened fire on a Pennsylvania state police barracks, killing one trooper and injuring another, law enforcement had him in their sights. He was 75 to 100 yards away from their agents. The noose seemed to be tightening.

It wasn't the first time: 10 days earlier, police believed that they had Frein cornered in a house not far from Canadensis, Pa., where his parents live. They exchanged gunfire, but weren't able to nab him in what has turned into a cat-and-mouse game in the wilds of Pennsylvania.

Shortly after allegedly ambushing the troopers, Frein ditched his SUV in a swamp. Evidence recovered during the manhunt suggests he has lived off canned tuna, worn adult diapers so he could keep an ever-watchful eye on those hunting him, and planted pipe bombs in his bid to ward off authorities.

But even when Frein was within sight of his pursuers for a second time, he somehow, some way, slipped back into the Poconos Mountain wilderness and eluded capture.

Now, nearly a month after the shooting, he's still out there.

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The No. 2 official at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., is scheduled to speak Sunday at an event co-hosted by Concerned Women for America -- a group with a long history of fermenting the "creeping Sharia" conspiracy theory.

Reuven Azar, the deputy head of mission at the Israeli embassy, is listed as a confirmed speaker, along with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and CWA CEO and president Penny Nance, for Sunday's Rally for Israel at Upper Senate Park near the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

One of CWA's core issues is support for Israel -- but another pet project for the group has been fighting the alleged specter of Sharia law that is threatening to undermine American values and, ultimately, the existence of the United States.

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Confronted with an unexpectedly robust challenge from independent candidate Greg Orman, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) seems to be playing to the hard right. He has tapped Sarah Palin as a stump surrogate and invoked "national socialism" as recent campaign event.

But is going uber-conservative is the right move for Roberts to save his seat? A new analysis from Gallup suggests it might not be.

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Nate Silver wrote on Thursday that he doesn't see his ongoing dispute with Princeton University's Sam Wang as a mano-a-mano showdown. Rather, it is the entire world that is at odds with Wang's election forecast, he argued.

Silver gave an extended critique of Wang's forecasting model to Taegan Goddard's Political Wire. He started by noting that almost every other predictor, from Five Thirty Eight to Daily Kos to the betting markets, gives Republicans the edge in taking the Senate in November.

Except Wang.

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