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

Articles by Dylan

After news outlets reported that a Republican campaign group had set up fake websites for Democratic congressional candidates, the group has fixed the sites to clarify that money donated through them will go to the GOP.

As TPM and other outlets reported, some donors said that they had been duped by the websites, believing they were giving money to the Democratic candidates instead of the National Republican Congressional Campaign, which is working to defeat them.

The sites have innocuous URL's --, for example -- and only a close read of the content would reveal that they are critical, not supportive, of the candidate.

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Republicans have believed for some time that Obamacare would be a golden ticket to congressional majorities, especially since the disastrous launch of in October. Conservative groups have started airings ads against vulnerable Democrats, blasting them for their allegiance to the law. With the law -- and its eponymous president -- underwater in the polls, what could go wrong?

Well, an intra-party civil war in which moderate positions are heresy could eliminate that apparent advantage -- a conflict readily on display since House conservatives forced Speaker John Boehner into a government shutdown over the law while Sen. Ted Cruz undermined Senate GOP leadership in the other chamber. Polls have routinely shown that Americans don't support Obamacare repeal, the only acceptable conservative position for now, and would rather see Congress work together to improve the law.

Democrats hope to seize on that discord -- the GOP's devotion to incorruptible Obamacare opposition, which runs counter to what the public says it wants -- to turn the Republicans' main weapon against them.

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Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said Sunday that the changes the Obama administration has administratively made to Obamacare amount to a "shameless power grab."

“This is a shameless act, a shameless power grab that is designed to help the president and his political party achieve a particular outcome in a partisan election,” he said on "Fox News Sunday." “The solution is for the president to come to Congress and make the case to Congress on the policy merits of this question that Congress needs to act. It is not the president’s prerogative to simply make this the law by the stroke of the executive pen.”

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Of the millions of Americans who have signed up for health coverage under Obamacare, about 20 percent haven't paid their premiums -- and therefore their insurance might not be effective, the New York Times reported.

Reporters have been looking for a solid number on premium payments, which Obama administration officials have thus far been unable to provide. The Times surveyed an extensive list of insurance companies to come to its estimate.

Responses from individual carriers ranged from 70 percent to 95 percent of those enrolling also making their first premium payments.

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For the fourth time in three months, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia helped forward marriage equality in a state that had banned it, with his work cited by the federal judge invalidating Virginia's ban on same-sex nuptials.

Following her predecessors in Utah, Ohio and Kentucky, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen name-checked Scalia and his dissent from last year's Supreme Court decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act in her decision Thursday to overturn Virginia's ban on gay marriage.

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A Missouri lawmaker has proposed what ranks among the most anti-evolution legislation in recent years, which would require schools to notify parents if "the theory of evolution by natural selection" was being taught at their child's school and give them the opportunity to opt out of the class.

The bill had its first public hearing Thursday after being introduced in late January.

State Rep. Rick Brattin (R), who sponsored the bill, told a local TV station last week that teaching only evolution in school was "indoctrination."

"Our schools basically mandate that we teach one side," he told KCTV. "It is an indoctrination because it is not objective approach."

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A bill passed Wednesday by the Kansas House would allow businesses and government employees to deny services to same-sex couples on the basis of their religious beliefs, the Kansas City Star reported.

It now heads to the state Senate; it has already earned the tacit endorsement of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

“Religious liberty issues are ones that I’ve been around for a long time. I’ve fought for religious liberty in many countries and with many different faiths,” Brownback told the Wichita Eagle last week, adding that he had not reviewed the bill's specific language yet. “It’s basic in the Bill of Rights.”

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In what could be a political first, a gay Republican congressional candidate released a campaign ad featuring shots with his partner.

Carl DeMaio, who is running for the GOP nomination in California's 52nd Congressional District to challenge Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, included shots of he and his partner Johnathan Hale at a gay pride parade. GOP consultants and independent media analysts told the Wall Street Journal that they believed it was that first time that a candidate from either party had released an ad with a same-sex partner.

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