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. Judge rules Florida's gay marriage ban unconstitutional

    Blog

    MIAMI (AP) -- A federal judge on Thursday declared Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, joining state judges in four counties who have sided with gay couples wishing to tie the knot.

    U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle in Tallahassee ruled that the ban added to Florida's constitution by voters in 2008 violates the 14th Amendment's guarantees of equal protection and due process. Hinkle issued a stay delaying the effect of his order, meaning no marriage licenses will be immediately issued for gay couples....

  2. New survey shows Common Core support declining

    State Roundup

    Public support for Common Core, the education standards heavily supported by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has suffered as more people learn about it, according to a new survey.

    While 80 percent of Americans have heard about Common Core, 60 percent oppose requiring teachers to use the standards to guide instruction, the survey by PDK/Gallup finds.

    Opposition among Republicans was at 76 percent. Among Democrats, it was 38 percent, and independents 60 percent....

    Jeb Bush has been a vocal supporter of Common Core, but Republicans oppose the standards and have attacked Bush’s stance on them.
  3. Common Core support declining

    Blog

    Public support for Common Core, the education standards supported heavily by Jeb Bush, has suffered as more people learn about it, according to a new poll.

    While 80 percent of Americans have heard about Common Core, 60 percent oppose requiring teachers to use the standards to guide instruction, states the survey by PDK/Gallup. Opposition among Republicans was at 76 percent. Among Democrats, it was 38 percent, and independents 60 percent....

  4. Rubio to raise money in Buffalo

    Blog

    The Buffalo News reports that Sen. Marco Rubio will appear at a Sept. 14 fundraiser at the East Aurora home of businessman Jeremy Jacobs Jr.

    "That date also happens to coincide with the appearance of the visiting Miami Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium against the Buffalo Bills, with several sources indicating they expect the Floridian to attend the home opener at Ralph Wilson Stadium before his evening event in East Aurora....

  5. New panel targets human trafficking

    State Roundup

    Human trafficking is a crime that reaches a broad spectrum of victims — teenage runaways, the homeless, undocumented workers and even "kids who hang out at the mall every day," Mike Carroll, interim secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, said Monday at the first meeting of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking.

    Many victims are also foster care kids who are under state care or have aged out of the state system and have nowhere to go, Carroll, the council's vice chair, said....

  6. David Rivera named co-conspirator in campaign finance case

    Blog

    The following is from the Miami Herald:

    Miami congressional candidate and ex-U.S. Rep. David Rivera was officially named as a co-conspirator Tuesday in federal court when his friend and confederate pleaded guilty to criminal campaign-finance violations

    That defendant, Ana Alliegro, didn’t name Rivera — that was done by a federal prosecutor at the urging of a judge who wanted to know the identity of a man previously identified only as a “co-conspirator....

  7. Patrick Murphy seeks to run back to Washington

    Blog

    Here's a catchy ad from Rep. Patrick Murphy. The Democrat runs along a path as he talks about rejecting congressional perks, like use of a gym. We'll soon know which Republican will face him in the general election but in general, Murphy looks a lot stronger than he did only months ago.

  8. Dreamers protest Rubio's call to end deferred action

    Blog

    Dreamers showed up to Sen. Marco Rubio’s office in Doral this morning to protest his calls to end deferred action, the Obama program that has given legal status to hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth.

    “Deport me, no way,” they chanted. “Undocumented and here to stay.”

    The group carried signs, including a huge cutout of a flipflop. Another depicted Rubio as a border patrol agent. And another accused him of breaking up families....

    Demonstrators at Sen. Marco Rubio's office this morning
  9. Gwen Graham up with new ad

    Blog

    Gwen Graham has another TV ad in her campaign against Rep. Steve Southerland. It will run Aug. 18-24 in Tallahassee and Panama City markets at a cost of more than $90,000, according to the campaign.

    "I know neither Republicans nor Democrats are right 99 percent of the time," she says. "We need to be working together and developing the right policies – policies that allow everybody to succeed."...

  10. Mitt Romney in Miami today to campaign for Carlos Curbelo

    Blog

    Mitt Romney is scheduled to be in Miami on Monday afternoon to campaign for Carlos Curbelo, who is vying in the GOP primary to face off with Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia.

    Romney and Curbelo will highlight small business issues with a visit to Vicky's Bakery, according to a campaign notice. It's a big get for Curbelo, who has already locked down the favorite status and has the backing of Jeb Bush, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart....

  11. Jeb Bush calls indictment against Rick Perry 'ridiculous'

    Blog

    Jeb Bush says the indictment against Gov. Rick Perry of Texas seems "politically motivated and ridiculous."

    Bush wrote that in a tweet on Saturday afternoon as Perry was dealing with the allegations he used his power to pressure a district attorney to resign....

    Jeb Bush tweet
  12. DCCC jumps into CD2 race with ad against Southerland

    Blog

    It's Florida's premier congressional race, and one of the most watched in the country. And the next turn comes today with this TV ad from the DCCC, which attacks Rep. Steve Southerland, keeping up a line that the Panama City Republican, first elected in 2010, has lost touch with his North Florida roots.

    "It only takes two hours to fly from Bay County to Washington," a narrator says, "but it’s plenty of time for Congressman Steve Southerland to forget who he works for."...

  13. Jeb Bush: 'I strongly urge' Floridians to vote against medical marijuana

    State Roundup

    Jeb Bush is adding his influential voice to the medical marijuana debate in Florida, saying the ballot initiative could harm Florida's reputation.

    "Florida leaders and citizens have worked for years to make the Sunshine State a world-class location to start or run a business, a family-friendly destination for tourism, and a desirable place to raise a family or retire," Bush said in a statement. "Allowing large-scale marijuana operations to take root across Florida, under the guise of using it for medicinal purposes, runs counter to all of these efforts. I believe it is the right of states to decide this issue, and I strongly urge Floridians to vote against Amendment 2 this November."...

    Former Gov. Jeb Bush is one of few Republicans to voice opposition to medical pot in the state.
  14. Southerland releases first TV ad

    Blog

    Rep. Steve Southerland has released his first TV ad in his widely-watched race against Democrat Gwen Graham. In the ad Southerland says that he "voted to cut trillions in Washington spending and to repeal Obamacare."

    The buy is about $58,000 and will cover Panama City and Tallahassee markets.

    ...

  15. Jeb Bush: 'I strongly urge' Floridians to vote against medical marijuana

    Blog

    Jeb Bush is adding his influential voice to the medical marijuana debate in Florida, saying the ballot initiative could harm Florida's reputation.

    “Florida leaders and citizens have worked for years to make the Sunshine State a world-class location to start or run a business, a family-friendly destination for tourism and a desirable place to raise a family or retire,” Bush said in a statement. “Allowing large-scale, marijuana operations to take root across Florida, under the guise of using it for medicinal purposes, runs counter to all of these efforts. I believe it is the right of states to decide this issue, and I strongly urge Floridians to vote against Amendment 2 this November.”...