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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. Jeb Bush wasn't popular at his last CPAC, but was he right about the GOP?

    Blog

    Two years ago, Jeb Bush took the stage at CPAC, where he’ll return this afternoon, and outlined an inclusive vision for the GOP, one that stood for something, not just against everything President Obama does.

    "I'm here to tell you there is no 'us' or 'them,' " Bush said. "The face of the Republican Party needs to be the face of every American, and we need to be the party of inclusion and acceptance. It's our heritage and our future and we need to couch our efforts in those terms."...

  2. Chris Christie takes CPAC shots at Jeb Bush

    Blog

    Chris Christie appeared at CPAC today outside Washington and took several shots at Jeb Bush, who is working to stifle Christie's support among center-right Republicans.

    “If the elites in Washington make backroom deals to decide who he next president is going to be, (Bush) is definitely the front-runner,” the New Jersey governor  said. If voters choose “somebody who looks them in the eye, I’ll do OK.”...

  3. Jeb Bush on a 'third Bush war'

    Blog

    From the Hugh Hewitt show yesteray:

    Hewitt: "Now Governor Bush, what interests me about that is when you look forward into a possible third Bush presidency, not how the Iraq wars went or your opinion of your father’s order to invade Iraq, or your brother’s order to invade Iraq, but whether or not you’d be overly cautious about using force for fear of having a 'third Bush war' occur?"...

  4. In Miami, Obama vows to veto any bill blocking his executive immigration action

    Blog

    By Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald

    Likening immigration reform to the great civil-rights movements in U.S. history, President Barack Obama vowed during a brief visit to Miami on Wednesday to veto any legislation undoing his executive order protecting from deportation up to 5 million people who are in the country illegally.

    “In the short term, if Mr. [Mitch] McConnell, the leader of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, want to have a vote on whether what I’m doing is legal or not, they can have that vote,” Obama said, almost daring congressional leaders to challenge him. “I will veto that vote because I’m absolutely confident that what we’re doing is the right thing to do.”...

  5. Obama arrives in Miami for immigration town hall

    Blog

    President Obama landed about an hour ago in Miami for his town hall on immigration. Flying with him on Air Force One was Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson, decked out, as usual, in every inch of flair she's known for. Also flying with Obama was California Rep. Linda Sanchez.

    Denied a seat: Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami. Reporters asked WH spokesman Josh Earnest about the snub but he "offered no explanation," according to a press pool report....

    President Obama lands in Miami
  6. Florida reporters shut out of Club for Growth gathering featuring Bush, Rubio and other presidential hopefuls

    Blog

    Some of the top Republican presidential hopefuls, including Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, will speak at Club for Growth gathering in Palm Beach starting tomorrow, but you won't read about it on a Florida news site.

    Florida reporters aren't invited.

    The Club can hold a private event, of course, but it chose to invite some news outlets.

    "The decision was made to limit access to a few outlets not only for space and privacy concerns, but also to outlets with readership interested in the Club for Growth specifically, not just the Floridians speaking at its conference," spokesman Barney Keller tells the Tampa Bay Times....

  7. Jeb Bush staying out of fight over Homeland Security funding

    Blog

    Jeb Bush was quick to weigh in on President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, but has remained silent about the fight over Department of Homeland Security funding.

    In recent days we’ve heard from Democrats and equally eager Republicans wondering where the highly visible presidential contender stood on the issue dominating Capitol Hill. The Tampa Bay Times has sought comment several times....

  8. Dept of misinformation: GOP attacks Patrick Murphy, Gwen Graham on Keystone, which they voted for

    Blog

    In an sign of the endless campaign, the NRCC today announced it is unleashing robo calls in the districts of Florida Reps. Patrick Murphy and Gwen Graham. The reason: President Obama's veto of the Keystone pipeline.

    “Patrick Murphy has failed Florida families by standing idle as President Obama vetoed the Keystone Pipeline,” NRCC Communications Director Katie Martin said in a news release. “If Murphy really cared about what is best for America, he would have seriously demanded the President sign the Keystone XL Pipeline legislation. It is very clear that Patrick Murphy is more concerned with pleasing his liberal backers than helping middle class families.”...

  9. Iowa poll shows Scott Walker outpacing Jeb Bush, others

    Blog

    Q poll news release:

    An early look at likely Iowa Republican Caucus participants shows a strong conservative tilt as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker leads the pack with 25 percent, twice as high as his nearest rival, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

    Voters who identify as "very conservative" make up 45 percent of the caucus participants surveyed by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. Tea Party supporters make up 32 percent of likely caucus-goers and Walker gets 33 percent of that Tea Party vote....

  10. Rep. David Jolly calls on House leader McCarthy to compromise on Homeland Security impasse

    Blog

    Rep. David Jolly weeks ago joined most fellow Republicans in voting for a Department of Homeland Security funding bill that attempted to block President Obama's executive action on immigration. But with days before the department shuts down amid a stalemate on Capitol Hill, Jolly is urging a top House leader to compromise to keep the agency open....

    Letter from Rep. David Jolly to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy
  11. John McCain on Jeb: 'I know he's his own man'

    Blog

    The Buzz caught up with Sen. John McCain at the Capitol today and asked about Jeb Bush surrounding himself with former advisers to his brother and his father, the former presidents.

    "People are making a big deal out of that," McCain said. "These are the most knowledgeable and respected people, the overwhelming majority of them, on national security. They have been from administration to administration, some of them go all the way back to his father. There is a certain cadre of people who are well respected on national security and it’s not surprising many of them have attached themselves to Bush.”...

  12. Florida immigrants to participate in town hall tomorrow with President Obama

    Blog

    A group of immigrants from Florida will participate in President Obama's town hall tomorrow at Florida International University.

    Here are their profiles, as provided by the Florida Immigrant Coalition.

    Viviana Beatriz Ivalo (Miami), 47, came to the US with her husband and four children 15 years ago in the midst of Argentina's economic crisis. Her husband died 3 years ago from cancer. The jobs he had to do and not being able to get proper medical attention due to being undocumented made it impossible for him to get treatment and recover. Viviana is now head of the family and looks after her 4 sons. She is likely eligible for the new DAPA program because some of her sons are now US citizens or legal permanent residents....

  13. 'Bush-hood' video traces Jeb Bush through the years

    Blog

    "Viral video" producer Hugh Atkin put this montage together showing Jeb Bush through the years. Is that a cig?!

    It's a play off the movie Boyhood.

  14. Rubio contends with immigration in New Hampshire

    Blog

    VIDEO here.

    HOLLIS, N.H. (AP) — Back in New Hampshire for the first time since the midterm elections, it didn't take long for Sen. Marco Rubio to get a question about immigration.

    Speaking to a group of people in a wooden barn in the southern part of the state, the Florida Republican — still debating whether to run for president or seek re-election to the Senate in 2016 — was asked about his past support for immigration legislation that includes a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants living in the country illegally. Rubio's aides said the crowd was "more than 100."...

    Sen. Marco Rubio at a town hall in Hollis, N.H., on Feb. 23, 2015
  15. How Frank Zappa nearly wiped out Jeb Bush's big wedding day

    Blog

    Jeb Bush posted this photo and fascinating back story on Facebook today, the 41st anniversary of his marriage.

    "Happy anniversary to my beautiful wife of 41 years, Columba. True story: This is the only picture from our wedding. The photographer, my brother Marvin, accidentally rerolled from a Frank Zappa concert. Thankfully, my mom took one photo with a Kodak."...

    Jeb and Columba Bush on their wedding day