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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. Why the 'Pawn Stars' host is backing Marco Rubio

    Blog

    Marco Rubio celebrates his 44th birthday in Las Vegas on Thursday and what better way than a fundraiser? Rubio is getting a hand from Rick Harrison of “Pawn Stars.”

    The two bonded over lunch in Los Angeles recently. “The entire time I talked to him, all he wanted to talk about was people and he never mentioned the party once. Which was a really big deal to me," Harrison told Fox and Friends....

  2. What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of May 25

    Blog

    What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of May 25.

    Rubio is attending fundraisers in Chicago and Texas on Tuesday and Wednesday then heads to Nevada on Thursday and Friday. Rubio turns 44 on Thursday and he’ll celebrate with a Las Vegas fundraiser hosted by Rick Harrison of “Pawn Stars” and Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, who his chairing Rubio’s effort in the state....

  3. Jeb Bush getting a vacation home in Maine

    Blog

    The following is from the Boston Globe:

    KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — Jeb Bush, who has a longtime relationship with this seaside town where generations of Bushes have vacationed, is having a house built for him at the family compound on Walker’s Point, with a wraparound porch and expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean.

    The home, on a 1.3-acre site assessed by the town at $1.4 million, was initiated for him by his mother and father, who have tried to preserve the family ties to the picturesque property....

    A rendering of the home being built for Jeb Bush.
  4. Florida GOP's plan to win 2016

    Blog

    Blaise Ingoglia, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, writes about "Project 29" in the Tampa Tribune:

    At our recent spring quarterly meeting, I introduced our plan for 2016: Project 29. Our first goal of Project 29 will be to fully engage with all communities, Hispanics and African-Americans, seniors and millennials, students and taxpayers, to talk about the issues facing our nation....

  5. NSA data collection divides Republican presidential hopefuls

    State Roundup

    WASHINGTON — The last time Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky staged a marathon protest on the Senate floor, over the government drone policy, fellow Republican Sen. Marco Rubio rushed to stand by his side.

    This week, Paul tried to recapture that spirit, inveighing for 10.5 hours against the National Security Agency's data collection program — an effort that also attempted to boost his presidential campaign....

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky spent hours on the Senate floor Wednesday speaking against the NSA’s data collection program.
  6. Jeb Bush: Republicans need to 'get outside of our comfort zone'

    Blog

    Jeb Bush played up his reputation as “Veto Corleone” in a speech today and said Republicans need to “get outside of our comfort zone” and reach Hispanics, African-Americans and college students.

    “I think we need to get beyond preaching to the choir,” the former Florida governor said at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma. “Get outside of our comfort zone,” and into the Latino barrios, black churches and college campuses....

  7. Fox News host says of Rubio's finances: 'Who cares?'

    Blog

    Fox News host Neil Cavuto accused the news media of beating up on Marco Rubio for writing about his personal finances, and revelation Rubio cashed in a retirement account to pay for a refrigerator and other things.

    “Who cares?” the host asked during a segment Thursday. (Apparently another Fox News host, among others.)

    Cavuto and a guest said reporters were essentially doing an inverse version of the scrutiny paid to Mitt Romney’s wealth....

  8. Florida unemployment rate falls to 5.6 percent

    Blog

    A Times staff report:

    Florida's unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent in April as the state added 25,800 private sector jobs.

    The jobless rate was at 5.7 percent in March and stood at 6.4 percent in April 2014.

    The state's unemployment rate still lags behind the nation's, which is 5.4 percent.

    Hillsborough and Pinellas counties reported a jobless rate of 4.8 percent, down from 5.1 percent the previous month. Pasco reported a 5.6 percent jobless rate, down from 6 percent the previous month, while Hernando had a 6.6 percent unemployment rate, a drop from 7 percent in March....

  9. Jeb Bush finds a way to distance himself from W

    Blog

    On Wednesday in New Hampshire Jeb Bush embraced his family. On Thursday he gently put some distance between him and brother George, saying the former president spent too much money.

    Spending did accelerate under Bush, helping lay the foundation for the tea party (which really took off after Barack Obama was elected)...

  10. Obama to visit National Hurricane Center in Miami

    Blog

    President Obama will visit the National Hurricane Center next Thursday, the White House said, to receive the annual hurricane season outlook and preparedness briefing.

    The stop follows fundraisers he'll do in Coconut Grove on Wednesday....

  11. This time, Rubio doesn't stand with Rand

    Blog

    WASHINGTON — The last time Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky staged a marathon protest on the Senate floor, over the government drone policy, fellow Republican Sen. Marco Rubio rushed to stand by his sid.

    This week, Paul tried to recapture that spirit, inveighing for 10.5 hours against the National Security Agency's data collection program — an effort that also attempted to boost his presidential campaign....

    Sens. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio
  12. Jeb the quote

    Blog

    Jeb Bush, who continues a two-day swing through New Hampshire today, was a quote machine on Wednesday.

    On his family: "I love my mom and dad. I love my brother, and people are just going to have to get over that. That's just the way it is. ... I have a life journey, my own — one that sets me apart in some ways."

    On climate change: "For the people to say the science is decided on this is really arrogant, to be honest with you. It's this intellectual arrogance that now you can't have a conversation about it, even. The climate is changing. We need to adapt to that reality."...

  13. Liberal group files third FEC complaint against Jeb Bush

    Blog

    Jeb Bush’s retracted flub about running for president has earned him another complaint before the Federal Election Commission.

    The liberal American Democracy Legal Fund, which has already filed two complaints against Bush for his coordination with a Super PAC, says, “it was clear before, but it is now crystal clear that Mr. Bush and Right to Rise Super PAC, Inc. have violated the Act in the following ways:...

  14. Florida Republicans urge Obama to reconsider LIP

    Blog

    WASHINGTON - A group of Florida Republicans wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to reverse a decision to end the Low Income Pool program in Florida, arguing it "has been working to help low-income families in our state."

    The request won't go anywhere, but represents the call to arms that Gov. Rick Scott sent up during a trip to Washington last week.

    The letter was signed by Marco Rubio; Vern Buchanan; Jeff Miller; John Mica; Dennis Ross; Gus Bilirakis; Ron DeSantis; Ted S. Yoho; Rich Nugent; Mario Diaz-Balart; Carlos Curbelo; and Tom Rooney....

    Letter to President Obama
  15. Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush defend NSA data collection

    Blog

    The Senate is taking up the NSA’s controversial data collection and the debate has spilled to the presidential race, with a clear division among Republicans.

    Florida’s Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush both oppose changes to the program, tucked inside the Patriot Act, while Rand Paul is leading the charge against the collection. Others candidates are being careful about the issue.

    Rubio in an USA Today op/ed on May 10: “There is not a single documented case of abuse of this program. Internet search providers, Internet-based email accounts, credit card companies and membership discount cards used at the grocery store all collect far more personal information on Americans than the bulk metadata program.”

    Bush on the Michael Medved show in April: “I would say the best part of the Obama administration would be his continuance of the protections of the homeland using, you know, the big metadata programs, the NSA being enhanced. Even though he never defends it, even though he never openly admits it, there has been a continuation of a very important service, which is the first obligation I think of our national government is to keep us safe."...