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

Whether they'll admit it or not, Democrats have put all their eggs in Greg Orman's basket. The Kansas independent was polling so well against incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts that the Democratic nominee, Chad Taylor, was pressured to drop out of the race, and the state Democratic party has expressed no interest in filling his slot unless forced to do so by a court.

Democrats are making a bet. Orman has been publicly insistent that he hasn't decided which party to caucus with yet, though Republicans have repeatedly pointed out that he toyed with a 2008 Senate run as a Democrat. "Both Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have been too partisan for far too long to earn my vote for Majority Leader," he says on his website. If no party holds a clear majority and he and the other independents (currently Sens. Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont) dictate control of the Senate, Orman says that he will "caucus with the party that is most willing to face our country’s difficult problems head on and advance our problem-solving, non-partisan agenda."

And what exactly are Democrats getting in Orman? A review of his policy statements and known history reveals an interesting mix. His background -- an investor with up to $86 million in private wealth and links to a jailed Wall Street figure -- seems superficially at odds with the message Democrats have been delivering since the economic collapse. But on policy, while Orman is always careful to straddle partisan lines, he seems to come down closer to the Democratic side than the Republican on high-profile issues like health care, guns and immigration.

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Updated: Sept. 26, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT

Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza's ex-wife alleged in a letter sent this week to the federal court that heard his criminal case that D'Souza was abusive, that he lied in his defense against the criminal charges, and implied D'Souza had manipulated the couple's daughter into making positive public statements about him.

D'Souza pleaded guilty in May to violating federal campaign finance law, admitting that he used straw donors to funnel money to New York Republican Senate candidate Wendy Long. He had also been accused of making campaign contributions in the name of other people -- namely, his ex-wife Dixie.

On Tuesday, he was sentenced to five years probation starting with eight months in a community confinement center. But he faced no prison time, despite prosecutors reportedly seeking at least a 10-month prison sentence.

On the day before D'Souza was sentenced, Dixie sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Richard Berman and, after outlining allegations of lies and abuse, urged him to "impose a just sentence." The letter was published by the Smoking Gun.

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A bench warrant has been issued for Cliven 'Lance' Bundy Jr., the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, the second time in the last few months that a warrant has been put out for him.

KTNV reported Thursday that the warrant resulted from Bundy's failure to appear in Clark County drug court on Tuesday.

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Earlier this month, a white South Carolina Highway Patrol officer shot an unarmed black man during a traffic stop at a gas station in the city of Columbia. While the incident at the time was enough to catch the attention of local investigators, it exploded into the wider consciousness on Wednesday when dash cam video of the shooting became public and the officer was charged with aggravated assault.

The case against officer Sean Groubert, 31, highlights how rare it is for a law enforcement officer to be charged in a shooting and also shows the vital role that video cameras can play in these types of altercations.

If convicted, Groubert could face up to 20 years in prison, according to The State newspaper in Columbia. He had already been fired from the highway patrol last week, the newspaper reported, after the Department of Public Safety reviewed the evidence.

The incident began on Sept. 4 when Groubert pulled over a sport utility vehicle being driven by 35-year-old Levar Jones. A camera mounted on the officer's vehicle captured the shocking and frantic moments that followed. The video was posted online by The State on Wednesday.

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These people recycle. They have tattoos. They read the New York Times in public.

Your typical coastal liberal elite? No, these people are Republicans, as a video from a veteran of Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign seeks to remind viewers. They drive hybrid cars. They use Apple products. They have feelings.

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Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) is taking great offense to a new ad from his GOP challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner. The ad leads off with Gardner calling Udall "a real nice guy" before, all smiles, pointing to the Udall family's history of political service as a reason to oust him.

While the spot sounds as superficially congenial as any political attack ad that you're ever likely to see, Democrats are lambasting it as "disgusting" and "just low."

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Could peer pressure from other Republicans be the secret ingredient in the Obama administration's push to get the 20-plus states that have not expanded Medicaid under Obamacare to change their minds?

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell suggested to TPM on Wednesday that it might be. Some staunch conservatives like Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (above right) have entered into negotiations with HHS to craft their own Medicaid expansion plan; but others like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (above left) have steadfastly refused to even consider it.

Perhaps more than any argument from the Obama White House, the former group could help convince the latter that Medicaid expansion makes sense, Burwell told reporters at a Wednesday briefing in response to a question from TPM.

"People are influenced by people who are like them," Burwell said. "I think the more that we are able to attract conservative Republican governors, the more that those who have very strong feelings will perhaps listen. They all talk to each other."

The Obama administration is also putting out new estimates to make the case for Medicaid expansion. HHS is projecting that in 2014, hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid will save up to $4.2 billion on uncompensated care as more people are covered through Obamacare. Hospitals in non-expanding states, by comparison, are saving $1.5 billion.

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A representative for social media giant Facebook said Wednesday that the company would likely end its relationship with the American Legislative Exchange Council next year.

The expected move follows Google and Microsoft, two other name-brand technology companies that have dropped their ALEC ties in the last month. The conservative advocacy group's position on climate change led to those departures, with Google chairman Eric Schmidt saying that ALEC was "literally lying" about the issue.

A Facebook representative didn't specify an issue in its message to the San Francisco Chronicle, but said they would likely end their membership in 2015.

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