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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. Rand Paul headed to Sarasota

    Blog

    Sen. Rand Paul is headed to Sarasota, marking his return to Floridaa as he moves toward a run for president.

    Paul will hold a free rally Feb. 14 at Dolphin Aviation, 8191 North Tamiami Trail. It begins at 5:15 p.m.

    He'll then attend a dinner at Bobby Jones Golf & Country Club. A VIP reception is $250 and a private dinner with the senator is $5,000, with proceeds going to the Republican Party of Sarasota....

  2. What No Child Left Behind really means for the Bush family

    Blog

    "Now we know what the Bush family means by ‘no child left behind.' "

    -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, as quoted by Politico's Mike Allen, at the exclusive Alfalfa Club dinner held last night in Washington. (The Washington Post attributed the line to Robert Gates.)...

  3. Marco Rubio is Iowa bound for book signing

    Blog

    Marco Rubio will kick off his book signing tour in Iowa on Feb. 13.

    The full tour is being finalized -- and will include stops in early primary states -- but the appearance at a Barnes & Noble in West Des Moines is confirmed.

    Rubio's book, American Dreams, outlines a series of policy proposals. Read our review here....

    Sen. Marco Rubio in Iowa last August with Senate candidate Joni Ernst
  4. Jeb Bush's bond with Barack Obama on education poses 2016 challenge for him

    Blog

    Standing before a massive American flag, Jeb Bush began a withering attack on President Barack Obama.

    "On energy, he waffles. On immigration, he hasn't led. On foreign policy, he doesn't lead, even from behind. On the family, he is captive to the special interest of the left."

    On the economy, "he is an utter and complete failure."

    The speech came at a June 2013 dinner for the Conservative Party of New York State, foreshadowing Bush's entry in the 2016 presidential race. But the indictment conspicuously avoided the subject the former Florida governor knows best: education....

    President Barack Obama greets former Gov. Jeb Bush before speaking at Miami Central Senior High School on March 4, 2011. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is at center.
  5. Rand Paul says Bush is a hypocrite over marijuana use

    Blog

    Sen. Rand Paul says it's hypocritical for Jeb Bush to oppose legalizing marijuana given that Bush smoked a fair amount at prep school.

    “You would think he’d have a little more understanding then,” Paul told The Hill while en route to a political event in Texas....

  6. Jeb Bush's troubled days at Andover

    Blog

    The Boston Globe explores Jeb Bush's days at Andover.

    In the fall of 1967, when a 14-year-old Texan named John Ellis Bush arrived on the bucolic campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, great expectations preceded him.

    Jeb, as he was known, should have been an easy fit in that elite and ivied world. His much-accomplished father and his older brother had both gone to Andover; no one was surprised that Jeb had followed suit....

  7. Jeb Bush's bond with Barack Obama on education poses 2016 challenge for him

    State Roundup

    Standing before a massive American flag, Jeb Bush began a withering attack on President Barack Obama.

    "On energy, he waffles. On immigration, he hasn't led. On foreign policy, he doesn't lead, even from behind. On the family, he is captive to the special interest of the left."

    On the economy, "he is an utter and complete failure."

    The speech came at a June 2013 dinner for the Conservative Party of New York State, foreshadowing Bush's entry in the 2016 presidential race. But the indictment conspicuously avoided the subject the former Florida governor knows best: education....

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, right, praised U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan before President Barack Obama spoke at Miami Central Senior High School on March. 4, 2011.
  8. Squeezed by Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney won't run in 2016

    Blog

    Mitt Romney just announced that he will not run for president a third time, just weeks after he said he was willing to try again. Call it the Jeb Bush factor.

    The move came as Bush was scooping up Romney's donors and campaign talent, including Iowa's David Kochel. Romney made it clear he thinks someone else is a better candidate than Bush.

    "I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders - one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started -- may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee."...

  9. Rubio wants permanent extension of 'counterterrorism tools'

    Politics

    Sen. Marco Rubio wants Congress to permanently extend "counterterrorism tools" that have sparked a national debate and divided the GOP.

    "We also cannot afford to ignore another lesson of 9/11 and curtail intelligence gathering capabilities that have been legally and painstakingly established following those horrific attacks," Rubio wrote in a piece for Fox News.

    "The U.S. government should implore American technology companies to cooperate with authorities so that we can better track terrorist activity and monitor terrorist communications as we face the increasing challenge of homegrown terrorists radicalized by little more than what they see on the Internet."...

  10. Rubio takes subcommittee chair, lines up hearing on Cuba

    Blog

    Sen. Marco Rubio is fundraising in California for a potential presidential run but he landed an important post back in Washington: Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere.

    The appointment was expected and puts Rubio in a position to help fight back against President Obama's Cuba moves. He's scheduled a hearing on Tuesday to "examine President Obama’s changes to Cuba policy, and its implications for human rights in the island."...

  11. Jeb Bush has a fan in Rupert Murdoch

    Blog

    Kicker on a NYT story on Rupert Murdoch's apparent dislike of Mitt Romney.

    “I like Jeb Bush very much,” Mr. Murdoch said in New York recently. “He’s moving very cleverly, very well,” he added.

  12. Rubio's fundraising keeping him away from Senate votes

    State Roundup

    It's cold and nasty in Washington.

    Fortunately for Sen. Marco Rubio he's in California for the week, attending a series of fundraisers. Yet as he pursues his national ambitions, Rubio is neglecting Senate votes, a job Floridians elected him to do.

    That says something about how serious he is about a run for president in 2016 but it also invites criticism — which other presidential hopefuls have had to face....

    U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is in California for the week, attending a series of fundraisers.  
  13. Jeb Bush's immigration plan: 'Find where they are and politely ask them to leave'

    Blog

    It happened Friday but in a sign of the modern opposition research machine, Jeb Bush's comments on immigration became a thing this afternoon.

    During his speech before the National Automobile Dealers Association, Bush seemed to be trying to find the sweet spot on immigration. Noting how many people come to the U.S. with valid visas but never go home, Bush had this response: "We ought to be able to find where they are and politely ask them to leave."...

  14. Rubio wants permanent extension of 'counterterrorism tools'

    Blog

    Sen. Marco Rubio wants Congress to permanently extend "counterterrorism tools" that have sparked a national debate and divided the GOP.

    "We also cannot afford to ignore another lesson of 9/11 and curtail intelligence gathering capabilities that have been legally and painstakingly established following those horrific attacks," Rubio wrote in an online piece for Fox News....

  15. Welcome -- or not -- to Iowa, Jeb Bush

    Blog

    Jeb Bush skipped Steve King's Iowa gathering over the weekend and for good reason. The forum was hostile to anyone who supports Common Core and immigration reform.

    American Bridge put together this video that illustrates Bush's problems with the most conservative reaches of his GOP.

    ...