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. Sen. Marco Rubio wants to 'wind down' program for immigrant youth

    National

    WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on Thursday called for an end to President Barack Obama's program that grants legal status to immigrant youth brought to the United States by their parents.

    "The U.S. must also make clear that the Deferred Action program, or any law or policy for that matter, does not and will not apply to any recent arrivals," read a statement Rubio issued after a meeting with Central American presidents. "Furthermore, because the recent wave from Central America spiked after (Deferred Action) was announced, it is in our interest to wind down this program. If you are not currently in it, you should not be eligible for it. For President Obama to raise hopes it may actually be unilaterally expanded is irresponsible and threatens to make this problem even worse."...

    Sen. Marco Rubio is eyeing a run for president in 2016.
  2. Rubio wants to 'wind down' deferred action program for immigrant youth

    Blog


    WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio called Thursday for an end to President Barack Obama's deferred action program granting legal status to immigrant youth brought to the United States by their parents.

    "The U.S. must also make clear that the Deferred Action program, or any law or policy for that matter, does not and will not apply to any recent arrivals," read a statement Rubio issued after a meeting with Central American presidents. "Furthermore, because the recent wave from Central America spiked after (Deferred Action) was announced, it is in our interest to wind down this program. If you are not currently in it, you should not be eligible for it. For President Obama to raise hopes it may actually be unilaterally expanded is irresponsible and threatens to make this problem even worse."...

  3. New poll: Jeb Bush leads GOP presidential field in Florida; Hillary Clinton beats them all

    State Roundup

    Jeb Bush leads a field of prospective GOP presidential candidates in Florida, topping Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz and others. But Hillary Rodham Clinton beats them all in head-to-head matchups, according to a poll released Thursday.

    "Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may be taking some criticism recently in the news media and among some liberal Democratic precincts, but nothing has changed among average voters in Florida where she remains queen of the political prom," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll....

  4. Jeb Bush's new 'act of love' - Send the border kids home

    Blog

    Jeb Bush, who had declined to a weigh in on the border situation, breaks his silence in an op/ed in the Wall Street Journal. Bush is still enduring heat for saying that many people who come to the U.S. illegally do so as "an act of love."

    His new remarks sound a lot tougher, emphasizing security, and he joins in Republican calls to change a 2008 law, signed by his brother, that has allowed children to remain longer and seek asylum. Yet Bush still urges Congress to act on broader reform before President Obama does alone....

  5. Q poll: Bush leads GOP field in Florida; Hillary beats them all

    Blog

    Jeb Bush leads a field of prospective GOP presidential candidates in Florida, topping Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz and others. But Hillary Clinton beats them all in head-to-head matchups, according to a poll released Thursday

    "Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may be taking some criticism recently in the news media and among some liberal Democratic precincts, but nothing has changed among average voters in Florida where she remains queen of the political prom," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll....

  6. Jolly explains his position on gay marriage

    Blog

    Ripped by some for supporting same-sex marriage, Rep. David Jolly of Pinellas County has issued this letter to constituents:

    Dear Friend:

    Thank you for sharing with me your concerns regarding a recent statement I issued on marriage and the state’s recognition of marriage....

  7. Politics of gay marriage snare Marco Rubio, David Jolly

    State Roundup

    WASHINGTON — The increasingly delicate politics of gay marriage emerged Wednesday as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio defended "traditional" marriage while accommodating other views during a speech and U.S. Rep. David Jolly came under withering attack in Pinellas County for speaking out in support of same-sex couples' right to wed.

    Jolly, a Republican like Rubio, said this week that while he personally believes marriage should be between a man and woman, he thinks Florida should allow same-sex marriage....

    “Americans like myself who support keeping the traditional definition of marriage … have a right to work to keep the traditional definition of marriage in our laws,” Sen. Marco Rubio said in a speech Wednesday.
  8. Rubio remains opposed to gay marriage but seeks balance in his words

    Blog

    WASHINGTON - Sen. Marco Rubio, who has not commented since a judge overturned Florida’s gay marriage ban, will address the issue during a speech at Catholic University today.

    “He will defend states’ right to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman,” according to an aide.

    That’s not new, but it does reflect the kind of nuance Rubio, sounding more like a presidential candidate, has sought on delicate issues. He’s not for gay marriage but he’s also not laying down a hard line. Rubio has previously said he does not support a federal constitutional ban....

  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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....

  12. 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."...

  13. 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....

  14. 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....

  15. 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....

    American Sunrise ad