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. The Buzz for July 23: Rubio suggests Clinton too old

    State Roundup

    Marco Rubio, 43, found a way to call Hillary Rodham Clinton, 66, old without calling her old.

    "I just think she's a 20th century candidate," Rubio said in an NPR interview that aired Tuesday morning. "I think she does not offer an agenda for moving America forward in the 21st century, at least not up till now."

    Rubio has talked a lot about a 21st century agenda, so the anti-Clinton line isn't a direct knock at her age — rather, that she's from another era. ...

    Associated Press
  2. Bobby Jindal to headline Florida GOP 'victory' dinner

    Blog

    Gov. Bobby Jindal, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, will headline the Republican Party of Florida's "victory" dinner in September, according to an invite that went out today.

    The event will feature a VIP photo op with Jindal and Gov. Rick Scott.

    Fundraiser invite
  3. Court ruling on Obamacare could lead to higher premiums for Floridians

    Blog

    By Times Staff Writer Jodie Tillman

    An estimated 931,000 Floridians could lose $4.8 billion in subsidies to buy health insurance after a federal appeals court Tuesday struck down a major part of the 2010 health care law.The ruling is not final and could end up at the U.S. Supreme Court. But if upheld, the decision could mean premium increases for more than half of the 8 million Americans who purchased taxpayer-subsidized insurance under the law....

  4. Marco Rubio calls Hillary Clinton 'a 20th century candidate'

    Blog

    UPDATE: Clinton responded to Rubio during a radio interview in California. See below for her reaction.

    Marco Rubio, 43, found a way to call Hillary Clinton, 66, old without calling her old.

    "I just think she's a 20th century candidate," Rubio said in an NPR interview that aired this morning. "I think she does not offer an agenda for moving America forward in the 21st century, at least not up till now."...

  5. Americans for Prosperity a growing force in Florida

    Blog

    As part of a look at the $200 million in outside money that has flooded Florida elections since 2010, we caught up with Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-backed group that has emerged as one of the biggest players.

    Americans for Prosperity stands apart from many outside spending groups that simply unleash TV, radio and online ads....

  6. More than $200 million in outside money floods Florida elections since 'Citizens United'

    Blog

    More than $200 million in outside money has poured into Florida elections since a landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision, bombarding voters with ads, weakening control candidates have over their own messages and pitting free speech rights against increasing secrecy.

    Florida is one of the biggest and most expensive laboratories in this new era of loosely regulated money raised and spent beyond candidate campaigns, and the Tampa Bay Times' review is the first attempt to grasp the sheer volume and reach in federal elections....

  7. Meet three outside money groups at work in Florida

    State Roundup

    American Sunrise

    One of the most talked about and controversial ads in Florida in recent years came from a little-known super PAC innocuously named American Sunrise.

    The cartoon-style 2012 ad depicted U.S. Rep. Allen West, a Republican from South Florida, in a boxing ring punching women. The point was about health care cuts. But West, who is black, was hitting white women and West decried it as racist. The ad generated loads of TV news coverage, from CNN to Fox and local stations....

    Bill Phillips’ American Sunrise took on Florida’s Allen West and won.
  8. More than $200 million in outside money floods Florida elections since 'Citizens United'

    State Roundup

    More than $200 million in outside money has poured into Florida elections since a landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision, bombarding voters with ads, weakening control candidates have over their own messages and pitting free speech rights against increasing secrecy.

    Florida is one of the biggest and most expensive laboratories in this new era of loosely regulated money raised and spent beyond candidate campaigns, and the Tampa Bay Times' review is the first attempt to grasp the sheer volume and reach in federal elections....

    An Americans For Prosperity ad from this year that attacked Joe Garcia. It was part of a $400,000 ad campaign that also targeted Rep. Alan Grayson
  9. Florida reaction to gay marriage ruling

    Blog

    UPDATE 6:30 p.m. As of this time we have not gotten any reaction from Florida Republicans (aside from Bondi), including Gov. Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio.

    UPDATE: 7:55 p.m. Gov. Scott spokesman John Tupps: "Governor Scott supports traditional marriage, consistent with the amendment approved by Florida voters in 2008, but does not believe that anyone should be discriminated against for any reason."...

  10. Jeb Bush started private-equity firm, raising questions about '16 intentions

    Blog

    The following story is from Bloomberg News:

    As other Republicans travel the country laying the groundwork for 2016 presidential campaigns, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is raising private-equity funds for oil and gas ventures.

    Bush, 61, whose family made much of its fortune in Texas oil, has teamed with former Credit Suisse Group AG and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. bankers to create an investment firm based in Coral Gables, Florida, according to regulatory filings disclosed last month....

  11. Connie Mack lobbying for Sheldon Adelson

    Blog

    Sheldon Adelson has a new partner in his fight to outlaw online gambling: Former U.S. Rep. Connie Mack.

    Mack is now a lobbyist and records show he's been hired by Adelson to work his cause. The Hill recently reported that seven lobbying firms have worked for Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corp. this year to battle legalized Internet casinos. A bill to ban that form of gambling is sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C....

    Connie Mack lobbying for Sheldon Adelson
  12. Rubio headed to South Carolina

    Blog

    Sen. Marco Rubio is headed to South Carolina in late August to headline a conservative Republican's annual "Faith and Freedom Barbecue."

    CNN's Peter Hamby, who first reported the news, writes: "It’s Rubio’s first trip to South Carolina, which holds a pivotal presidential primary every four years, since he addressed a South Carolina GOP banquet in 2012. Much of Rubio’s political activity this year has been geared toward helping Republicans take back the Senate in 2014. But this trip appears more directly aimed at shoring up support on his right flank ahead of a possible presidential bid next year."...

  13. Democratic voter expansion project moves to Florida

    State Roundup

    The Democratic National Committee's nationwide voter expansion project is headed to Florida.

    The DNC says it plans to build a "new permanent infrastructure for the Democratic Party and its candidates" in key states, and hired Zach Learner, a Broward lawyer.

    Learner, 33, is a 2008 University of Miami law school graduate who until last month was chief of staff for Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, a candidate for a Florida House seat. He worked on voter protection efforts in both of President Barack Obama's campaigns in Florida and for three years (2009-12) was a legislative aide to Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood....

    The website iwillvote.com includes Florida guidelines and information for the Nov. 4 election, but not the Aug. 26 primary.
  14. Jeb Bush campaigns for Scott Brown

    Blog

    Jeb Bush raised money today for Scott Brown, who is challenging Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Bush tweeted:

    "Great to be with @SenScottBrown and his family today. Proud to support his campaign for U.S. Senate! #nhpolitics."

    UPDATE: Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell clarifies that Bush was actually in Boston. Sen. Marco Rubio in May held a Boston fundraiser for Sen. Kelly Ayotte but then did go into New Hampshire for fundraising and a speech....

    Jeb Bush with Scott Brown
  15. Winner and losers of the week in Florida politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    League of Women Voters. The League led a challenge to Florida's new congressional maps, resulting in a trial that exposed shady dealings surrounding the redistricting process. On Thursday, a judge tossed the maps, siding with the league and other advocates who back the voter-approved Fair Districts process to prevent gerrymandering.

    Losers of the week

    Don Gaetz and Will Weatherford. The redistricting decision is a blow to the Republican legislative leaders who oversaw the process and defended it as fair and transparent. Now they have to bank on an appeal. Other losers: U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden, whose districts were declared invalid and may have to be redrawn, making them more competitive....