Saturday, July 21, 2018


Alex Leary, Times Washington bureau chief

Alex Leary, Times Washington bureau chief

Alex Leary is the Washington bureau chief for the Tampa Bay Times. He previously worked in the Times' state capital bureau, and before that covered local politics, environmental issues and law enforcement. His career in journalism began at the Valley News in New Hampshire.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced his run for U.S. Senate on Monday April 9, 2018, in Orlando. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]

Rick Scott’s political spending began months before he was an official candidate

WASHINGTON – Rick Scott announced he was running for Senate on April 9 but had already spent $166,000 on political activity, including polling and video production, and had begun soliciting donations, records show.On Jan. 1, 2018,...
Published: 07/20/18
Florida Gov. Rick Scott addresses supporters as he holds a Senate campaign rally at the Interstate Beverage Corp. on April 10 in Hialeah.   (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Rick Scott pours $14 million of personal fortune into Senate campaign

WASHINGTON – Gov. Rick Scott has already put $14 million of his own money into his U.S. Senate campaign, his first FEC report revealed on Thursday.Scott's ability to self-fund was crucial to his two successful gubernatorial...
Published: 07/19/18
A screenshot from a digital ad from Susan B. Anthony List calling on Sen. Bill Nelson to support Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court. [YouTube]

Bill Nelson gets it from both sides on Trump’s SCOTUS pick

WASHINGTON — It's a safe bet that Sen. Bill Nelson will vote against President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee. Or is it?Earlier this month, the Florida Democrat made an uncharacteristically strong declaration about opposing...
Published: 07/19/18
Sen. Bill Nelson does a live interview with CNN on July 17, 2018. (Alex Leary | Tampa Bay Times)

Rubio’s glad Trump ‘clarified’ Russia meddling remarks; Nelson asks, What’s Putin got on Trump?

WASHINGTON – Did President Trump clean up his remarks about Russian meddling or was he simply trying tamp down the latest crisis? In Washington, like most things, the answer is a matter of political party."I'm just glad he clarified it. I...
Published: 07/18/18
(Getty Images)

Lawmakers, news executives: Tariffs hurting local journalism, communities

WASHINGTON – Nearly 20 lawmakers as well as newspaper executives, including Chairman and CEO Paul Tash of the Tampa Bay Times, testified Tuesday against newsprint tariffs that have already had severe effects on a...
Published: 07/17/18
A screenshot from an Americans for Prosperity ad calling on Sen. Bill Nelson to support President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Bill Nelson feeling it from both sides on Brett Kavanaugh

WASHINGTON – Sen. Bill Nelson continues to face pressure from both sides on the Supreme Court vacancy as he appears to have
Published: 07/17/18
A video simulation from the Russian government shows missiles striking Florida. (YouTube)

Putin must think people in Florida are dumb

WASHINGTON – Remember that Russian simulation showing missiles raining down on Florida?Despite a very clear view of Florida, where President Donald Trump spends a good deal of time, Russian President Vladimir Putin today denied it...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/17/18
Gov. Rick Scott campaigned in St. Petersburg Monday [Scott Keeler - Times]

Scott calls Nelson a ‘hypocrite’ over staff pay

Rick Scott seized on a report that Bill Nelson has been paying campaign staffers on a contract basis, avoiding payroll and other taxes."On top of that, he's all for these government mandates for health care, but he's not even providing...
Published: 07/16/18
President Trump and President Putin in Helsinki on July 16, 2018. (screen shot)

Florida lawmakers blast Trump for not calling out Putin

WASHINGTON – Florida lawmakers on Monday blasted President Trump over taking Vladimir Putin's word that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election, a conclusion that stands in dramatic contrast to widely held views among the...
Published: 07/16/18
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida (Associated Press)

Bill Nelson’s second quarter haul: $4.4 million

Sen. Bill Nelson raised nearly $4.4 million in the second quarter, his campaign said Friday, a big sum for the Democrat but it's dwarfed by Rick Scott's
Published: 07/13/18