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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

Google plans to officially cut ties with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, the company's chairman announced Monday, declaring that the group is "literally lying about climate change" and so Google can no longer be associated with it.

The Internet giant would be the second major technology to part ways with ALEC in the last two months. Microsoft announced in August that it would end its relationship with ALEC, and that decision was linked to Microsoft's support for renewable energy projects.

"The facts of climate change are not in question anymore. Everyone understands climate change is occurring, and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place," Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told NPR's Diane Rehm in explaining the decision. "And so we should not be aligned with such people -- they're just, they're just literally lying."

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who has a robust stumping schedule for Republican Senate candidates through the November midterms, told the Arizona Republic over the weekend that one incumbent Democratic senator he won't be campaigning against is Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO).

"Between now and the election, I've hardly got a day off," McCain told the newspaper. "I'll be campaigning all over Arizona and then all over the country as well. ... I'm not going to go to Colorado."

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When Hillary Clinton spoke about women's economic issues last week at the Center for American Progress in Washington, the attuned listener might have caught a few phrases that sounded familiar. Laments about the fiscal plight of waitresses, bartenders, and hair stylists. The need for Americans to not only be able to get to the middle class, but stay there.

That's because they had appeared during another Washington speech that Clinton gave, to the New America Foundation in May, a speech filled with new rhetoric that might not have been fully appreciated then for what it was: a first look at what her economic message in 2016 might be. People close to Clinton refuse to connect the themes of those two speeches to her nascent (and not yet official) 2016 presidential campaign. The official line is she remains undecided on whether to run at all. But those close to her told TPM these are issues she's worked on for a long time and would likely continue to focus on in the future.

In these two speeches are echoes of her failed run in 2008 and more distant echoes from her husband's campaigns in the '90s. But in the context of a 2016 bid, if you want a first peek at what her prospective presidential message would look like, then that is where you should start. They aren't fully formed policy prescriptions just yet. They are closer to rationales for her running again this time. But she is honing her rhetoric and a few themes are starting to crystallize that could become the basis for cohesive message that pulls together her personal biography, her political priorities, and specific policy proposals.

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NBC acknowledged Friday that NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was wrong when he said during Thursday's broadcast that charges for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had been "ruled out" by federal investigators looking into the BridgeGate scandal.

β€œAn unscripted line of our Nightly News report was imprecise and implied that a final decision had been reached,’’ NBC spokeswoman Erika Masonhall told the Asbury Park Press in a statement.

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In an apparent reversal, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office is instructing election officials in the state to send out overseas military ballots without Democratic Senate nominee Chad Taylor or any other Democratic Senate candidate listed.

Kobach spokeswoman Samantha Poetter confirmed to TPM that the ballots would be sent out by Saturday, the deadline under state and federal law.

"Our ballots are going out without Chad Taylor (or any Democratic candidate) for U.S. Senate," Poetter said. "They've been ordered to send them out as soon as possible."

TPM obtained a copy of the official order sent to local election officials.

"The list does NOT contain the name of a Democratic nominee for United States Senate," the order said. "There are three candidates, Randall Batson, Libertarian, Greg Orman, independent, Pat Roberts, Republican."

"All (overseas military) ballots MUST go out by tomorrow to comply with the 45 day requirement under state and federal law," it said.

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UPDATE: 4:05 p.m. In an unexpected twist, Kobach's office is ordering election officials to send out overseas military ballots without a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate. His office would not say, however, what would happen next if the state Democratic Party eventually nominated a new candidate, as Kobach has said they should.

More here.

After his Thursday defeat at the Kansas Supreme Court, Secretary of State Kris Kobach unveiled a new plan to make sure a Democratic candidate is on the ballot in the state's Senate race. He would push back the mailing date for ballots sent to overseas military members and argue under state law that Democrats must name somebody to replace withdrawn nominee Chad Taylor.

But to move the mailing date for overseas military ballots from Sept. 20 to Sept. 27, as Kobach said Thursday that he would, he would need federal approval. And as of Friday afternoon, federal officials told TPM, he hasn't sought it.

The federal MOVE Act requires state election officials to send ballots to overseas military voters 45 days before the election. That would be Sept. 20 this year. States are, however, allowed to request a waiver if an "undue hardship" resulting from a legal contest arises -- and election law experts say that this circumstance would likely qualify.

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The day after the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the Democratic Senate nominee should be removed from the November ballot, Rasmussen is out with a new poll showing independent candidate Greg Orman ahead of incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) by five points in a head-to-head race.

Orman leads Roberts among likely voters 45 percent to 40 percent without Democratic nominee Chad Taylor on the ballot, according to Rasmussen. The question of whether another Democrat will be on the ballot is still to be resolved, but the poll is further evidence that Orman fares much better if he doesn't have to contend with a Democratic candidate.

When Rasmussen gave respondents a choice among all three candidates, Taylor received 9 percent of the vote and Roberts held a slight edge over Orman, 39 percent to 38 percent.

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Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) isn't backing down after the state Supreme Court blocked him from keeping Democratic Senate nominee Chad Taylor on the November ballot. He is now demanding that the Democratic Party select a new candidate, arguing that state law requires it.

What Kansas Democrats are actually going to do, though, remains unclear. If, as is widely believed, Taylor's withdrawal was a ploy by the party to funnel Democratic voters to independent candidate Greg Orman and unseat long-time incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, naming a new nominee doesn't make much sense. But Kobach seems intent on forcing the issue.

A spokesperson for Kobach confirmed to TPM that he believed state law required the party to fill the vacancy. He said he would consider suing the Democratic Party to compel them to name a replacement if they didn't do it on their own.

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The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Democratic Senate nominee Chad Taylor's name should be removed from the ballot in November, overruling Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R).

The much-anticipated ruling in one of the most-watched Senate races of 2014 means national Democrats are closer to their perceived goal of clearing the field for independent candidate Greg Orman. Polling suggests that Orman, who had briefly run as a Democrat in 2008 and is open to caucusing with either party, is better positioned to knock off the vulnerable Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts.

But the matter might not be fully resolved.

After the ruling, Kobach quickly moved to put another obstacle in the way of Democrats' plan. Kobach reiterated his position that the Democratic Party is required under state law to replace Taylor on the ballot. He said he had notified the party chair that Taylor should be replaced and moved the mailing date for ballots from Sept. 20 to Sept. 27 to give Democrats time to pick a new nominee.

Election law expert Rick Hasen said on his blog that Kobach would likely have to sue the Democratic Party to force it to replace Taylor. A Democratic Party spokesperson did not immediately respond to TPM's request for comment.

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Almost simultaneously, BuzzFeed and Politico published extensive stories Wednesday on what they described as the troubled leadership of Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The Politico story in particular was full of anecdotes from Democratic insiders wielding shivs: She's tone deaf and tried to use party money to pay for her own clothes. She's grasping and more concerned with her own personal ambitions than the fate of the party. She's so relentlessly self-promotional that even President Barack Obama has grown tired of her -- and he lets it show.

Some folks within the Democratic Party are clearly dissatisfied with her leadership. But who exactly has their knives out for Wasserman Schultz? And what's their angle? That's a little more opaque.

What we do know, though, is that some kind of change could be coming to the DNC very soon. The party is expected to have a presidential frontrunner after the new year -- when presumed nominee Hillary Clinton has said she'll make her decision about whether to run -- and presidential candidates tend to want their own people at the top of the party. It might not be normal for a not-yet-nominated candidate to get their pick of party chair (and publicly, she surely won't), but nothing is normal about the potential Clinton 2016 bid. And combined with the attacks on Wasserman Schultz, it certainly seems that a new chair is not to be ruled out.

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