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Alex Leary, Times Washington Bureau Chief

Alex Leary

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.

Phone: (202) 306-4807


Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

  1. President Barack Obama plans fundraiser in Miami next week


    President Obama will fundraiser next Friday in Miami, the White House said.

    From an official: "On Friday, June 3rd, the President will travel to Miami, Florida, where he will attend DSCC and DNC events. In the evening, the President will travel to Palm City, Florida, where he will remain through Sunday. On Sunday, the President will return to Washington, D.C. Further details regarding the President's travel to Florida will be available in the coming days."...

  2. Influential GOP super PAC says it would back Marco Rubio for re-election


    Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC tied to Mitch McConnell, says it would back Marco Rubio if he decided to run for re-election — the latest sign in a coordinated effort to woo the Florida Republican.

    “Florida is a huge financial commitment. We felt confident about betting on Rubio back in 2010 and would do it again in a heartbeat, but right now it's hard to imagine making that same investment without him as our candidate,”  Steven Law of SLF said in a statement Friday....

  3. Rubio taking heat for getting behind Donald Trump


    Marco Rubio’s backing of Donald Trump, even if not 100 percent, has upset some of his supporters. Twitter has lit up with messages like this:

  4. Rep. Tom Rooney tapped for Zika committee


    Rep. Tom Rooney will serve as one of eight Republican conference members as the House tries to work out differences with the Senate over Zika funding.

    Rooney was named by House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday.

    "Our goal is to direct resources to where they are most needed and can do the most good," Ryan said. "That is why we pushed the administration to release $589 million that was already in the pipeline out the door as fast as possible. Now we will work with the Senate to make sure we get this right so we can protect the public from the spread of Zika."...

  5. As Marco Rubio rehabs his career, a vocal, visible senator emerges

    State Roundup

    WASHINGTON — Two months after a brutal home-state loss that ended his presidential campaign, Sen. Marco Rubio is in a one-man race against time and perception.

    He rails on the Senate floor against Zika, visits a Jacksonville slum, discusses Orlando's heroin scourge and pops up on local TV and radio shows across Florida — all of it to prove the job isn't as awful as he may have made it seem....

    Sen. Marco Rubio, center, talks about conditions at Eureka Garden apartments with Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, left, and city council member Garrett Dennis as they tour the facility Friday, May 13, 2016, in Jacksonville. (Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP)
  6. Marco Rubio addresses efforts to get him to run for re-election


    Sen. Marco Rubio on May 26, 2016, speaking with Florida reporters in his Washington office, addressed efforts by other Republicans to get him to run for re-election this year.

    Rubio: “Look, I’m honored. I’ve always enjoyed serving in the Senate. This notion that I didn’t like being here was false. I was frustrated by the Senate under Harry Reid’s four years. Not much happened. It’s a different Senate, so that’s just not true. I didn’t run for president because I hated being senator. I ran because I thought it could make an even bigger difference running for president. I didn’t run for re-election at the same time because I didn’t think it was fair for me to be a candidate for president and freeze the Senate field in a competitive state like Florida. If Florida was a reliably Republican state, the dynamic might have been different. But it wasn’t and we deserve to have good people out there running. One of those people running is my very close friend, Carlos Lopez-Cantera. It’s not a political friendship. It’s not a political alliance. It is someone I’ve known personally for almost a quarter-century. I think he’s a great candidate. I think he’ll make a great senator. At some point here soon I’ll have something more to say about his candidacy. So that’s kind of where I am today and it’s where I was a week ago before all these stories came up.”...

    Sen. Marco Rubio sits down with Florida reporters on Thursday.
  7. RPOF congratulates Donald Trump for formally securing nomination


    "The Republican Party of Florida would like to congratulate Donald Trump on surpassing the required number of delegates to clinch the Republican nomination for president. Throughout this primary Mr. Trump has generated a historic voter turnout and built an unstoppable momentum that dwarfs the efforts of the Democrats – a testament to voters’ eagerness for a new leader that will not promote the same failed policies of the last eight years.”...

  8. House moves to work out Zika funding differences with Senate


    WASHINGTON - Republican House leaders are ready to work out differences with the Senate over funding to fight the Zika virus.

    “The House has acted to provide the funding we need this year to combat the Zika virus and kill mosquitos," Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement. "Now, we need to go to conference to negotiate a solution with the Senate that is responsible and effective. I look forward to putting final legislation on the President’s desk as soon as possible.”...

  9. Congressional candidate Ken Sukhia's first TV ad highlights prosecution of Danny Rolling


    North Florida Congressional candiate Ken Sukhia's first TV ad touches on a dark time in Florida history: The serial killings of Danny Rolling.

    The ad glosses over an important distinction, however. Sukhia prosecuted Rolling for charges other than the murders, which happened in Gainesville....

  10. Trump fires an operative over apparent Florida squabble


    Donald Trump's campaign on Wednesday fired operative Rick Wiley amid interal turmoil that leads to Florida.

    "Rick Wiley was hired on a short-term basis as a consultant until the campaign was running full steam," the campaign said in a statement. "It is now doing better than ever, we are leading in the polls, and we have many exciting events ready to go, far ahead of schedule, while Hillary continues her long, boring quest against Bernie. We would like to thank Rick for helping us during this transition period."...

  11. Rubio rakes in more money from book sales


    Marco Rubio earned an additional $102,500 in 2015 from book royalties, his financial disclosure form shows. That adds to the $1 million or more he'd already earned from two books, chiefly An American Son published in 2012.

    He also earned $9,016 for teaching at Florida International University. His wife shows "partnership distributions" for JDR Events but Rubio is only required to say it was more than $1,000....

  12. Florida lawmakers frustrated over Zika funding inaction


    With Congress set to go on -- another -- vacation, Florida lawmakers are worried about Zika funding. 

    Sen. Bill Nelson today sent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a letter urging him to keep the chamber in session.

    "Though the House passed a stand-alone bill to provide a mere $622 million and the Senate attached $1.1 billion in Zika funding as an amendment to a larger appropriations package, we are still weeks away, at best, from passing a final bill out of Congress," Nelson wrote. "Without the passage of a stand-alone Zika funding bill by the Senate, there is no clear path forward. I have tried repeatedly to pass a bill to fund the Administration’s request and send it to the House. Unfortunately, each attempt was blocked. For these reasons, I ask you to exercise your power as the Senate majority leader to take up consideration of a stand-alone funding bill (S. 2843) to address Zika, and to even delay the Memorial Day recess if Congress needs more time to pass the bill."...

  13. Mystery donor gave $13.5 million to 'dark money' group supporting Marco Rubio


    A single, unnamed donor gave $13.5 million to a "dark money" nonprofit supporting Marco Rubio's presidential campaign -- and his or her identify may forever be a secret.

    The donation was revealed in a tax document obtained by the Center for Responsive Politics, which unpacked how the money went to consultants with close ties to the Florida Republican, despite the Conservative Solution Project's supposed independence....

    A web of connections
  14. Sanders' campaign keeps up attacks on Debbie Wasserman Schultz


    Bernie Sanders' campaign is not relenting on criticism of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, accusing her of showing favortism to Hillary Clinton.

    "Well, I do feel certainly that the process has not been fair as administered by Debbie Wasserman Schultz," campaign manager Jeff Weaver said on Fox & Friends. "I have to say that is not everybody at the DNC, we have very good relationships with many people at the DNC. I have conversations with high level DNC people on a regular basis and you know I think there are a lot of people in the DNC who have been very put off by the way in which Debbie Wasserman Schultz has run this whole thing.”...

  15. Trump responds to Clilnton attack on housing crash: 'I’m a businessman, that's what I'm supposed to do'


    “This low-life, she puts on an ad: 'Did you know that Donald Trump was rooting against housing because he wanted housing to go down because he wanted to buy.’

    “I’m a businessman, that's what I'm supposed to do. That's what I'm supposed to do. I mean, I'm a businessman.”

    Donald Trump on Tuesday evening in Albuquerque, N.M., reacting to Hillary Clinton attack over his comments about capitalizing on a housing market collapse.

    The Clinton campaign enlisted Democrats across the country on Tuesday — including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn — to highlight the issue....