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

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's refusal to remove Democratic Senate nominee Chad Taylor from the ballot came under harsh scrutiny Tuesday from the Kansas Supreme Court, with some of the justices openly wondering whether the Republican official was arbitrarily applying the law.

At stake is whether Taylor, who attempted to withdraw earlier this month, will have his name appear on the ballot in November. That decision could swing the race between independent candidate Greg Orman and Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts -- which could in turn decide which party controls the Senate next year.

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One of the officials at the center of the Bush administration's U.S. attorneys scandal is helping to author briefs for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the lawsuit that could help determine one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country.

Bradley Schlozman, who stepped down from the Justice Department in 2007 amid controversy and is now an attorney practicing in Wichita, Kansas, is one of the signatories of a new brief from Kobach's office. Kobach is fighting this week in the Kansas Supreme Court to keep Democratic Senate nominee Chad Taylor on the November ballot.

Taylor attempted to withdraw from the race earlier this month, which cleared the field for independent candidate Greg Orman, who is running strong against incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). Roberts' seat is now unexpectedly in play and could decide whether Republicans regain control of the Senate in November.

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Independent candidate Greg Orman has jumped out to a sizable lead over incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts in the Kansas Senate race following the withdrawal of the Democratic nominee from the campaign, according to a new poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.

The poll, first reported by the Huffington Post, found Orman leading 41 percent to 34 percent. Democratic nominee Chad Taylor, who announced he would withdraw from the race but whom Secretary of State Kris Kobach has ruled must remain on the ballot, attracted 6 percent of the vote.

The PPP poll did not remind respondents that Taylor had stop campaigning.

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Superstar NFL running back Adrian Peterson emphatically denied being a child abuser in a statement Monday after he was charged last week with reckless or negligent injury to a child.

"I am not a perfect son, I am not a perfect husband, I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser," Peterson said.

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The National Football League might not have any better friend than ESPN, the sports broadcasting colossus with which the league has a $15.2 billion Monday Night Football contract (for starters). But even in the friendly confines of Bristol, Conn., the league hasn't been able to escape criticism after a week that saw one star player belatedly suspended indefinitely for hitting his wife and another indicted for injuring his child.

ESPN anchor Hannah Storm anchored a special edition of SportsCenter on Sunday morning that focused on the league and particularly its handling of domestic violence cases involving its players. Storm concluded the hourlong program -- which led into the channel's NFL pregame show -- with an impassioned monologue on the league's approach to domestic violence.

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More than 20 school districts in the United States have been equipped with military-grade equipment through the federal program that provides such gear to local and state authorities free of charge, according to civil rights groups.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Texas Appleseed, a legal advocacy group, sent a letter on behalf of a coalition of civil rights groups to the federal agency that administers the program on Monday. The letter requested reforms be made to the 1033 program, which has come under significant scrutiny after the heavily armed police response to protests in Ferguson, Mo., last month.

The letter cited "published reports" that have showed military equipment being transferred from the Pentagon to the school districts. It said the total number of transfers from the Defense Department to U.S. schools "is difficult to determine."

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At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Census Bureau will release new data on health insurance in America. But as a measure of the new reality established by the Affordable Care Act, which remade the health insurance system in the United States, the numbers will be essentially meaningless.

But they will come in handy later.

The problem with the new numbers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt, is that they cut off at March 31. That means 3 million people-plus who signed up in the law's final weeks of enrollment will still count as uninsured, even though they have since been covered.

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The Minnesota Vikings announced Monday that All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson, who was indicted on child injury charges last week, would be allowed to practice with the team and is expected to play in its next game on Sunday.

"This is a difficult path to navigate, and our focus is on doing the right thing," the team's owners said in a statement. "Currently we believe we are at a juncture where the most appropriate next step is to allow the judicial process to move forward."

The Vikings deactivated Peterson for last Sunday's game after he was indicted in Montgomery County, Texas, for reckless or negligent injury to a child. He allegedly hit his 4-year-old son with a switch over the summer, according to reports. A doctor who later examined the boy "told investigators that the boy had a number of lacerations on his thighs, along with bruise-like marks on his lower back and buttocks and cuts on his hand," according to the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis.

"Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son. He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in East Texas," Peterson's Texas attorney Rusty Hardin said Friday.

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It is one of a handful of races that could determine which party controls the Senate next year, but analysts -- including the veritable Nate Silver of Five Thirty Eight -- agree that the polling in the Alaska Senate race is an absolute mess.

It's nobody's fault. Just a historical fact. But it complicates the process of capturing the dynamics of the battle between Republican Dan Sullivan and incumbent Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK).

"Alaska is a hard state to poll accurately," Silver wrote in his Sunday review of the polling there. He also concluded that in seven statewide races since 2000, Alaska polling has overestimated the Democratic candidate by 7.2 points compared to election day returns.

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Within political circles, the big question for the 2014 midterm election is: Who's going to control the Senate for the rest of Obama's presidency? Will Republicans get to be a fully formed thorn in the president's side? Or will the deadlocked status quo that's been so maligned over the last four years simply continue?

But are the people who will actually decide the outcome -- voters -- seeing the same storyline?

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent took a enlightening look at this question last week. In particular, he examined with the help of a Democratic pollster one of the key constituencies for the November elections: Democratic voters who don't usually turn out in midterm elections. It is widely believed that those voters need to show up for Democrats to give their party its best chance of keeping the upper chamber.

But, according to Sargent and some focus grouping and polling by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, at least some of those voters don't see the election in those terms.

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