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

  1. Video: Clawson's victory speech

    Blog

    Video as distributed by Curt Clawson's campaign (notice Connie Mack behind him):

  2. Clawson wins Congressional primary, likely trip to Washington

    Blog

    WASHINGTON — Curt Clawson, a businessman who was little known months ago in Southwest Florida, won a contentious GOP primary Tuesday to fill the U.S. House seat left open by the scandalous downfall of Trey Radel.

    Clawson pitched himself as an outsider against more established candidates and was embraced by the tea party. He poured more than $2 million into television ads. In one, the former Purdue basketball player challenged President Barack Obama to a three-point contest....

  3. Tea party candidate Curt Clawson wins Republican primary to replace former Rep. Trey Radel

    National

    WASHINGTON — Curt Clawson, a businessman who was little known months ago in Southwest Florida, won a contentious GOP primary Tuesday to fill the U.S. House seat left open by the scandalous downfall of Trey Radel.

    Clawson, 54, pitched himself as an outsider against more established candidates and was embraced by the tea party. He poured more than $2 million into television ads. In one, the former Purdue basketball player challenged President Barack Obama to a three-point contest....

  4. Miami, Orlando among possible 2016 Democratic National Convention sites

    Blog

    Miami and Orlando are among 15 cities that the Democratic National Committee has asked to submit proposals to host the 2016 national convention.

    DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz sent a letter to the cities on Tuesday. Others include Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City.

    "While many of the requirements are specific to the various logistical and administrative goals of putting on the Democratic National Convention, we do seek a city that shares our values of equality, inclusion, diversity, respect and dignity," Wasserman Schultz wrote in a letter, first obtained by CNN. (The Buzz got a copy, posted in full in jump) "And because of the significant security and construction related issues that we will face, we also look for a city with strong relationships with organized labor and those they represent. Our priority is to work with a community that will partner with us as we plan this historic event."...

  5. Florida's Twitter profile in D.C.: Rubio very popular, Mica nonexistent

    Blog

    The Washington Post has a story on how Repubicans are better at using Twitter than Democrats. A few Florida nuggets:

    Only eight members of the U.S. House do not have active Twitter accounts, among them Reps. Alcee Hastings (D-Miramar) and John Mica (R-Winter Park)....

  6. Bob Dole says Rubio not yet experienced enough for president

    Blog

    Ninety-year-old Bob Dole isn't sold on some of young Republicans angling for president.

     "A number of the younger members, first-termers like Rand Paul, (Marco) Rubio and that extreme-right-wing guy - Ted Cruz? All running for president now. I don't think they've got enough experience yet," Dole told the Wichita Eagle....

    Marco Rubio working on Dole campaign in 1996
  7. Southwest Florida voters to close the book on Trey Radel today with GOP primary

    Blog

    Voters in Southwest Florida today will effectively select a new representative in Congress, with the GOP primary in a seat left open amid the spectacular fall of Trey Radel.

    Curt Clawson was not well known at the outset but today stands atop the field. He self-funded his campaign, blanketing the airwaves with ads casting himself as an outsider. He also seems to have outlasted scrutiny of his record as an automotive industry executive and a TV report about a sex offender that lived in one of Clawson's home, sold just before he entered the race....

  8. U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs Florida Gov. Rick Scott on drug testing

    National

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected Florida Gov. Rick Scott's petition to review a ruling that his random drug testing policy for state employees is unconstitutional, the latest in a series of legal battles facing the governor.

    The decision leaves in place a May 2013 appeals court ruling against Scott's 2011 executive order making consent to suspicionless drug testing a condition of employment. A judge had previously concluded that the program, covering up to 85,000 state workers, violated Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches....

  9. U.S. Supreme Court rejects Rick Scott's request to review drug testing decision

    Blog

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected Florida Gov. Rick Scott's request that it review a lower court ruling that his drug testing policy for state employees was unconstitutional.

    The decision was a victory for labor unions and their legal advocates.

    The court's action leaves in place an 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that Scott's executive order making consent to suspicionless drug testing a condition of employment was unconstitutional. A judge said it violated workers' Fourth Amendment rights, though allowed for exceptions in “certain safety-sensitive categories of employees — for instance, employees who operate or pilot large vehicles, or law enforcement officers who carry firearms in the course of duty.”...

  10. Poll shows Curt Clawson with big lead

    Blog

    Curt Clawson has a big lead in the Congressional District 19 GOP primary, a new poll shows.

    Clawson got 38% support with Lizbeth Benacquisto drawing 19%, Michael Dreikorn, 18%,  and Paige Kreegel, 17%.

    The poll was conducted for WINK News and the News-Press. More here....

    News-Press
  11. Florida man caps journey to urge Obama to stop deportations

    Blog

    Francisco Diaz was never going to accomplish his goal Friday, but he pedaled up to the gate of the White House anyway, pressed the call button and told a guard he wanted to speak with President Obama. A guard told him he'd have to make an appointment.

    But for the 41-year-old Diaz, an undocumented immigrant who lives in Homestead, it capped a personal journey to bring attention to deportations. He had a translucent blue pen he wanted to give to Obama to sign an executive order stopping deportations....

    Francisco Diaz, who rode his bike to Washington from Florida, outside the White House on Friday
  12. Kendrick Meek among candidates who got illegal donations from Clinton backer

    Blog

    A hotel magnate with ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton pleaded guilty Thursday to funneling illegal donations to three candidates, including Kendrick Meek, the former Florida congresssman who ran for Senate in 2010.

    Sant Singh Chatwal admitted using straw donors to move $180,000 to the candidates (the others have been identified as Hillary Clinton and former Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecitcut). Chatwal then reimbursed the donors....

  13. Rubio headed west for fundraising

    Blog

    Sen. Marco Rubio is going west - for campaign money.

    He's scheduled to begin a three-day fundraising swing in Seattle on Monday, with two events. The Florida Republican then heads to California for events in Sonoma, San Diego, Los Angeles and Tarzana.

    Rubio's fundraising committees pulled in about $1 million in the last quarter, pushing his overall total to about $9 million. He has $3 million in the bank. Where'd all that money go?...

  14. Gay Florida couple and son invited to White House Easter Egg Roll

    Blog

    A gay couple from South Florida has been invited to attend the White House Easter Egg Roll with their son, an advocacy group said today.

    Melanie and Vanessa Alenier are among the plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to overturn Florida's ban on gay marriage....

    From left to right, Vanessa and Melanie Alenier during a January news conference
  15. In Miami, Rubio and Nelson renew call for sanctions against Venezuela

    Blog

    By Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald

    Florida’s two senators, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio, joined forces Thursday in Miami to call for stepped up attention and potential sanctions from the U.S. against Venezuela for repressing political protests.

    To try to persuade their colleagues, Rubio said the Senate Foreign Relations committee on which he sits plans to hold a hearing soon on the ongoing unrest, with as-yet unnamed leaders of the Venezuelan opposition invited to testify....