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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 Mississippi tea party official with close ties to U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel apparently ended up inside a locked and empty county courthouse late Tuesday night after primary election results had come in.

Hinds County Republican executive chairman Pete Perry told TPM that he received a phone call around 2:00 a.m. CT on Wednesday from Janis Lane, president of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, who said she was locked inside the Hinds County courthouse. That would be where the circuit clerk and election commission offices, and the primary election ballots, are located.

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Evidence is emerging that the electoral landscape surrounding Obamacare is a little more complex than previously thought. While Republican politicians have struggled to match their rhetoric to Obamacare's new reality, the law seems to be more of a wash between the parties than previously thought when it comes to motivating voters.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday found that Republicans and Democrats are almost evenly split on the importance of Obamacare to their vote: 73 percent of Republicans said the law would be important, and 67 percent of Democrats said the same.

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Much like Republicans, Democrats too are still figuring out what balance they should strike when discussing Obamacare. It doesn't excite their base in nearly the same way it does for Republicans, yet they can't avoid that it's a central piece of their legislative record during the Obama administration.

And while the law's 8 million sign-ups have squashed any serious talk that it could be an abject disaster, almost everyone -- up to and including the White House -- seems to agree that the law could stand to be improved. Democrats, perhaps in a candidate debate, should be asked what they would do about the law, now and in the future.

Here's what TPM would ask, given the chance. Tough questions for Republicans were published earlier this week.

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How frequently Republicans talk about Obamacare in the run-up to the 2014 midterms remains an unanswered question. Most agree the politics of Obamacare seem to be shifting, but Republicans still might bet that riling up their base with anti-Obamacare rhetoric is enough to catapult them into control of the Senate.

But at some point, perhaps during a candidate debate in the coming months, they should be obligated to answer serious questions about their opposition to the law.

Here's what TPM would ask, given the chance. Tough questions for Democrats will follow later this week.

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A favorite and particularly trolling question that conservatives love to pose to Hillary Clinton supporters is: Name one of her accomplishments as Secretary of State.

But while that question is knowingly baiting, it touches on a very real issue as Hillary 2016 discussions intensify. The 1990's might be old news, but Clinton's tenure at the State Department is in the very recent past. Republicans believe it can be a powerful tool in their mounting campaign to undercut a Hillary 2016 bid before it actually starts. That could be a tall order: It was her time at State that sent Clinton's approval ratings soaring. But the other side sees an opening.

"Clearly, the State Department record is both more timely and has not been scrutinized as closely," Tim Miller, executive director of America Rising PAC, which is dedicated to combatting Hillary 2016, told TPM, "So in that sense, I think that gives us more opportunities to highlight her failures and it will drive more of the discussion."

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The Clarion-Ledger is reporting that State Sen. Chris McDaniel's campaign knew details about the break-in at the nursing home where Sen. Thad Cochran's wife lives before they were public.

Clayton Thomas Kelly, the political blogger supportive of McDaniel who is accused of sneaking into the nursing home and photographing Cochran's wife, had "no relationship" with the campaign, according to McDaniel's campaign staff.

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A political blogger allegedly sneaking into the nursing home where the wife of Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) lives to take her photograph is one of the more repulsive political stories in some time. And once the accused was linked to the tea party insurgent challenging Cochran in the GOP primary, establishment types leapt.

The blogger, Clayton Thomas Kelly, 28, has been an outspoken supporter of challenger State Sen. Chris McDaniel -- going so far as to wonder if he could be the next Rand Paul -- while consistently criticizing Cochran. That meant that his alleged transgressions immediately took center stage in what might be the most bitter Republican primary this cycle.

Explicitly and implicitly, establishment Republican operatives tied Kelly to McDaniel.

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A Mississippi political blogger has been arrested for allegedly sneaking into the nursing home where Sen. Thad Cochran's wife resides and taking her picture for an online video, the Clarion-Ledger reported Saturday.

The blogger, Clayton Thomas Kelly, 28, was charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult. The video, described as a "hit piece" to the newspaper by its sources, was allegedly critical of Cochran (R-MS) and supportive of his GOP primary challenger, State Sen. Chris McDaniel.

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