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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

If not for this India-born Democratic district attorney, working for the largely Republican and Mormon Salt Lake County, the case that local press are calling Utah's "biggest-ever political-corruption scandal" might never have fully come to light.

Sim Gill, the county's DA, was the force behind the investigation that led to two former Utah attorneys general, Mark Shurtleff (R) and John Swallow (R), being arrested Tuesday and charged with two dozen felony counts, including bribery and obstruction of justice. He pressed on with the probe after federal prosecutors dropped it last year.

"We have filed what we think are appropriate and minimal charges," Gill said while announcing the charges, per the Salt Like Tribune. "We could have filed more, but we chose at this time to just file what we did."

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In public statements following their Tuesday arrests, former Utah attorneys general John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff's lawyer remained confident that they would be found innocent on the various bribery and obstruction of justice charges they were hit with.

The Salt Lake Tribune described it as "the most sweeping political scandal in Utah history." Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) called it "a black eye for our state." But though they now face a litany of allegations of criminal activity, including the acceptance of gifts and wielding the power of their office to aid associates, the two men asserted their innocence.

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Former Utah attorneys general Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow were accused Tuesday of numerous bribery and obstruction of justice charges, most of them felonies. The charging documents from the Salt Lake City district attorney allege a decadent lifestyle of private jets, all-expense-paid vacations and veiled threats of violence for those who caused trouble.

Shurtleff, a Republican, served as the state's top legal official from 2001 to 2013. He was succeeded by Swallow, also a Republican, who had been one of his top deputies. Swallow resigned less than a year after taking office, as federal and state investigations into his and Shurtleff's alleged improprieties intensified. Both men had also pursued failed bids for Congress (Shurtleff for a U.S. Senate seat in 2009; Swallow for a House seat in 2002 and 2004.)

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Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) reportedly used an aerial drone to capture images from his wedding to his long-time same-sex partner last month -- and the GOP is not at all happy about it.

The New York Daily News reported on Monday that Maloney had used a small drone to shoot video at his wedding in Cold Spring, N.Y. But the News also said that federal regulations prohibit the commercial use of drones like the one that he and partner Randy Florke used.

The National Republican Congressional Committee labeled Maloney's actions as a "stunning disregard for FAA rules regarding drone use." Maloney's seat is rated as "Lean Democratic" by the Cook Political Report.

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An Arizona charter high school allegedly required its students to read a conservative author beloved by pundit Glenn Beck and considered one of the philosophical forebears of the tea party, according to a complaint filed last month by a national watchdog group.

The complaint against Heritage Academy, following up on a December letter, was filed by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Heritage Academy is located in Mesa, Ariz., and expects to enroll 650 student next year, according to the Arizona Republic.

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Former congressman and failed Senate candidate Todd Akin (R-MO) believes President Bill Clinton is a "credibly accused rapist" and he wants you to know it. But, he alleged in an op-ed published Sunday for the conspiracy-laden website WND, Politico has refused to run his accusations.

Akin's forthcoming book was covered last week by Politico, which got an advanced copy. But, Akin wrote in the op-ed, the news outlet censored its story to remove the book's reference to Clinton as "a credibly accused rapist."

In one paragraph of its story, Politico described how Akin says he wishes Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had addressed the controversy surrounding Akin's "legitimate rape" comments at the 2012 GOP convention. It reads in the Politico piece: "[Bill Clinton] is giving the keynote speech at the Democratic convention in two weeks, and you want me to denounce a decent, God-fearing man for his inelegant comments about rape? No, not happening, and if the truth hurts, put some ice on it.”

Those brackets apparently eliminated Akin's description of Clinton as "a credibly accused rapist," according to his WND op-ed. Akin went on to recount previously reported sexual assault allegations against the former president.

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House Republicans are suing President Barack Obama for unilaterally delaying Obamacare's employer mandate. At the same time, the GOP has identified repealing the mandate as one of their potential moves if they take control of the Senate next year.

Can those two objectives really co-exist?

The GOP and its supporters believe they can simultaneously move ahead with the lawsuit and repeal. But some outside experts who are supportive of Obamacare said that if Republicans were to repeal the mandate, it could be problematic for their legal action.

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The White House still supports the Senate-passed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday, even though several LGBT rights groups have recently withdrawn their support for the bill.

Earnest told reporters at the daily press briefing that the White House was "aware" of the groups disavowing the legislation, which aims to stop employers from discriminating against workers based on sexual orientation.

But when pressed on whether that had changed the Obama administration's position on the bill, Earnest said: "This administration has not changed ours."

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