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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.

Alex is a graduate of Ithaca College (journalism/anthropology) and began his career at the Valley News in New Hampshire. Alex was born in La Crosse, Wis., and raised in upstate New York along with six brothers and sisters. He lives in Washington.

Phone: (202) 306-4807

Email: leary@tampabay.com

Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

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  1. Almost all Florida Democrats plan to attend Netanyahu speech

    Blog

    Only one Florida Democrat, Rep. Corrine Brown of Jacksonville, is confirmed to boycott a speech Tuesday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, according to a survey by the Tampa Bay Times.

    The speech has created a firestorm of criticism because it was arranged without the White House, a breach of diplomatic decorum that underscores icy relations between Netanyahu and President Obama. Critics also say it could undermine talks with Iran.

    But while some Democrats are protesting, they won’t get much backup from Florida. Of the state's 27 House members, 10 are Democrats.

    Confirmed attendace: Reps. Kathy Castor, Ted Deutch, Gwen Graham, Lois Frankel, Alan Grayson, Alcee Hastings, Patrick Murphy, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Sen. Bill Nelson....

  2. Rubio's team wants to raise $50 million by next year's Iowa caucuses

    Blog

    Sen.  Marco Rubio talks with The Associated Press and says he's close to annoucing his decision on a 2016 presidential run. It's been increasingly clear which direction he's going, but details make it even more certain. April could be a big month for him.

    From the story:...

  3. What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to this week

    Blog

    Sen. Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush will spend another week on the unofficial presidential primary campaign trail. Here's a rundown for the week of March 2.

    Bush will be in Las Vegas today and visit the Mountain Shadows Community Center to “meet with local residents and discuss the need to restore the promise of America by expanding opportunity for families across the nation.” He’ll likely raise money in the state....

  4. Rand Paul wins CPAC straw poll; Jeb Bush takes fifth

    Blog

    Sen. Rand Paul, as expected won the CPAC straw poll, but Gov. Scott Walker showed his ascendancy and took second place. Jeb Bush didn't do great, coming in fifth, but he surpassed Marco Rubio. (In 2013, Rubio came in second.)

    Could that have anything to do with Bush busing in supporters? Does the poll even matter? In any event ......

  5. The email that rallied Jeb Bush's troops at CPAC

    Blog

    Setting aside Jeb Bush's solid performance on the CPAC stage yesterday, the headlines would have been quite different today had he been repeatedly booed or faced a mass walk out.

    People booed and heckled, and some walked out. But hundreds of Bush supporters filled the spacious room and sent up waves of cheers and applause. The strategy began with a Feb. 19 email:...

    Jeb Bush met with supporters after his CPAC appearance on Feb. 27, 2015.
  6. Jeb Bush faces the heat at CPAC and stands ground

    Blog

    OXON Hill, Md. — Jeb Bush walked into a hostile swarm of conservative activists here Friday but, backed by scores of supporters who often drowned out boos with cheers, stood his ground on immigration and Common Core while touting his time as governor."It's a record of accomplishment, of getting things done," Bush said, standing on stage with moderator Sean Hannity at the Conservative Political Action Conference....

  7. Jeb Bush exploits non-candidate status to rewrite campaign finance playbook

    State Roundup

    WASHINGTON — As Jeb Bush continues a torrid fundraising schedule across the country, he is pushing new boundaries of campaign finance law, exploiting his status as a noncandidate to avoid contribution limits and amass a cash pile already in the tens of millions.

    The effort, which supporters call "shock and awe," is designed to assert Bush's dominance in the 2016 Republican presidential field, but it also represents a new chapter in the era of unlimited money in politics and raises numerous questions, beginning with the most basic:...

    Former Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the free market Club for Growth conference Thursday at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach.
  8. Jeb brings reinforcements to CPAC

    Blog

    Jeb Bush is about to take the stage at CPAC, a venue where his name has already been booed, his wife's spending mocked and his alignment with immigration reform and Common Core is ripe for attack from the conservative wing of his party.

    But Bush is bringing in reinforcements.

    Shortly before his 1:30 p.m. apparance, supporters entered the room wearing red Jeb! '16 stickers, and later they will meet privately with him....

    A Jeb Bush supporter hands out stickers
  9. Florida, say farewell to Allen West

    Blog

    Ran into Allen West, the bombastic former Florida congressman, at CPAC and asked him if he's still looking to run for Senate if Marco Rubio runs for president.

    "I'm no longer a Florida resident," he said, ribbing a reporter for "not keeping up."

    West said he left the Sunshine state on Christmas Eve and he now lives in Dallas, where he's president of the National Center for Policy Analysis....

    Former Florida Congressman Allen West at CPAC on Feb. 27, 2015.
  10. Jeb Bush faces the heat at CPAC and stands ground

    State Roundup

    OXON Hill, Md. — Jeb Bush walked into a hostile swarm of conservative activists here Friday but, backed by scores of supporters who often drowned out boos with cheers, stood his ground on immigration and Common Core while touting his time as governor.

    "It's a record of accomplishment, of getting things done," Bush said, standing on stage with moderator Sean Hannity at the Conservative Political Action Conference....

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush shakes hands with people in the audience after speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., on Friday. (Associated Press)
  11. Rubio gets warm CPAC reception and plays up border-first approach to immigration

    Blog

    OXON Hill, Md. -- Sen. Marco Rubio took another step in erasing the damage of his role in immigration reform, receiving a warm reception at the annual CPAC gathering here while effectively saying the comprehensive approach he once championed was a mistake.

    Rubio, who has been walking back his role in helping write the comprehensive 2013 Senate bill, was aided by criticism of President Obama’s executive action to protect millions of undocumented residents from deportation, getting applause for blasting it as an abuse of constitutional authority....

  12. Jeb Bush wasn't popular at his last CPAC, but was he right about the GOP?

    Blog

    Two years ago, Jeb Bush took the stage at CPAC, where he’ll return this afternoon, and outlined an inclusive vision for the GOP, one that stood for something, not just against everything President Obama does.

    "I'm here to tell you there is no 'us' or 'them,' " Bush said. "The face of the Republican Party needs to be the face of every American, and we need to be the party of inclusion and acceptance. It's our heritage and our future and we need to couch our efforts in those terms."...

    Jeb Bush's lecture at CPAC two years ago didn’t wow grass-roots conservatives at the Gaylord National hotel outside Washington, but his message seems especially relevant today with the 2016 presidential race looming.
  13. Chris Christie takes CPAC shots at Jeb Bush

    Blog

    Chris Christie appeared at CPAC today outside Washington and took several shots at Jeb Bush, who is working to stifle Christie's support among center-right Republicans.

    “If the elites in Washington make backroom deals to decide who he next president is going to be, (Bush) is definitely the front-runner,” the New Jersey governor  said. If voters choose “somebody who looks them in the eye, I’ll do OK.”...

  14. Jeb Bush on a 'third Bush war'

    Blog

    From the Hugh Hewitt show yesteray:

    Hewitt: "Now Governor Bush, what interests me about that is when you look forward into a possible third Bush presidency, not how the Iraq wars went or your opinion of your father’s order to invade Iraq, or your brother’s order to invade Iraq, but whether or not you’d be overly cautious about using force for fear of having a 'third Bush war' occur?"...

  15. In Miami, Obama vows to veto any bill blocking his executive immigration action

    Blog

    By Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald

    Likening immigration reform to the great civil-rights movements in U.S. history, President Barack Obama vowed during a brief visit to Miami on Wednesday to veto any legislation undoing his executive order protecting from deportation up to 5 million people who are in the country illegally.

    “In the short term, if Mr. [Mitch] McConnell, the leader of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, want to have a vote on whether what I’m doing is legal or not, they can have that vote,” Obama said, almost daring congressional leaders to challenge him. “I will veto that vote because I’m absolutely confident that what we’re doing is the right thing to do.”...