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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. His career in journalism began at the Valley News in New Hampshire.

Phone: (202) 306-4807

Email: leary@tampabay.com

Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

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  1. Lack of enthusiasm for Jeb Bush prompted John Kasich to run, according to new book

    Blog

    John Kasich's new book contains "little digs" toward Jeb Bush, per the Cincinnati Enquirer:

    They respected his money, all right, and the fact that he was theoretically competing with Kasich for people who were drawn to an establishment governor. But the book has little digs toward Bush.

    On Kasich's first trip to New Hampshire, early in 2015, former New Hampshire Sen. John Sununu told him: "Bush can't win here in New Hampshire."...

  2. Trump's oil drilling talk concerns Florida politicians

    Blog

    As President Trump moves on an executive order reviewing oil regulations, bipartisan concern is flowing from Florida.

    "For years, politicians in Washington have tried to force drilling off Florida's beaches — and now President Trump is joining their club. I wonder how he'd like an oil rig off the coast of Mar-a-Lago?" Democrat Gwen Graham said in a Facebook post Monday, touting her role as a U.S. representative on legislation to ban drilling. "Democrats must stand up to Trump and fight to permanently ban drilling off our beaches."...

  3. Jeff Miller joins lobbying shop in Washington

    Blog

    WASHINGTON - Former Rep. Jeff Miller has joined the Washington lobbying firm McDermott Will & Emery.

    A news release noted he was "an early supporter of President Trump" and has gotten to know Washington well over eight House terms.

    “Jeff’s knowledge of the Administration will be of great value to clients,” said Steve Ryan, partner and head of McDermott’s Government Strategies practice. “His congressional experience will enhance our ability to serve clients in the health care, defense and intelligence industries, and he will provide our government contracting clients with valuable insights and comprehensive solutions to a wide range of complex issues.”...

  4. SBA leader Linda McMahon to travel to Orlando for Hispanic business event

    Blog

    WASHINGTON - Small Business Administration head Linda McMahon will travel to Orlando on Tuesday for a roundtable with Hispanic business owners.

    McMahon, of WWE fame, was confirmed by the Senate in February.

    From a news release:

    "The day will start with a tour of the National Entrepreneur Center (NEC) at the Orlando Fashion Square Mall and she will host a round table with Hispanic small business owners from across Central Florida. The round table is co-hosted by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando and Prospera (both entities lease space at the NEC). Adm. McMahon will dine at Cork and Fork, a local Orlando restaurant after the round table."...

  5. Rubio says government shutdown would be 'catastrophic'

    Blog

    Sen. Marco Rubio on Face the Nation said a government shutdown would have a “catastrophic impact” across the globe.

    “The fight from the White House perspective is over funding for the border wall,” host John Dickerson said. “Is that an issue worth fighting over right now, if a government shutdown is a possible -- is a possibility?”...

    Sen. Marco Rubio on Face the Nation said a government shutdown would have a "catastrophic impact" across the globe.
  6. Rubio denies involvement in Colombian meeting at Mar-a-Lago

    Blog

    Sen. Marco Rubio on Sunday denied a role in setting up a meeting at Mar-a-Lago between former Colombian presidents opposed to a peace deal.

    Appearing on Meet The Press, Rubio also expressed understanding for President Trump's shifting positions.

    "I think when you're running for president, especially someone that's never held elected office, there's one set of things that you may view the world through-- a lens that you may view the world through. Then, you get elected and you get good people. And those good people bring you the facts. And they bring you, "Here's what's going on. Here are our options. Here's what happens if you do this. Here's what happens when you do that." And that reality begins to assert itself. And you have to react to that. You're now the president. You're no longer a candidate. You're not a pundit. You have to actually make decisions that have real impact and consequence. And I think that's what you're seeing here. I think you're seeing a president--

    CHUCK TODD:...

  7. Trump adds another Floridian to his administration

    Blog

    President Donald Trump announced new nominations, including:

    Heather L. MacDougall of Florida to be a Member of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

    "Ms. MacDougall was designated acting Chair of the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission in January 2017.  In 2014, she was nominated to the Commission by then-President Obama and confirmed unanimously by the Senate.  Before this, Ms. MacDougall had 20 years of experience representing employers throughout the United States in matters involving labor, employment, and occupational safety and health law, most recently with Akerman LLP in West Palm Beach, Florida.  In addition, she served as Chief Counsel to OSHRC Chairman W. Scott Railton.  Earlier in her career, she was Associate General Counsel to the HR Policy Association, a public policy organization that advocates for the human resource officers of major employers, where she represented the association as amicus curiae in U.S. Courts of Appeals and Supreme Court cases. Chairman MacDougall received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and a J.D. from Marquette University Law School."...

  8. Nelson says United Airlines evasive in probe of passenger removal

    Blog

    United Airlines has snubbed Sen. Bill Nelson.

    The Florida Democrat, who joined a letter demanding answers to the worldwide controversy of violently removing a passenger from a flight, says United did not sufficiently respond.

    “We’re disappointed that neither United Airlines nor the Chicago Department of Aviation has yet provided substantive answers to the straightforward questions we asked about the forcible removal of a passenger on April 9, 2017," reads a letter from Nelson and other senators. "Getting answers for the public about what happened and what can be done to prevent such an incident from happening again is a priority for the members of our committee. We find any further delay in getting necessary answers unacceptable.”...

  9. Inside Bill Nelson's first fundraising report: Al Gore, Elizabeth Warren but mostly Florida cash

    Blog

    There are donations from Elizabeth Warren, Al Gore and Steven Spielberg, but Floridians powered Sen. Bill Nelson’s first fundraising quarter. Nearly 80 percent of his individual contributions came from within the state, a review shows.

    Nelson raised more than $2 million for the first three months of the year, a showing that dispels any talk he would not seek a fourth term in 2018. Nelson, 74, has $3.6 million in the bank....

  10. Rubio focuses on opioids, takes pass on whether Florida should declare emergency

    Blog

    Sen. Marco Rubio has spent the Congressional recess traveling Florida to talk with officials about a grim subject: opioids.

    “In just the last week I’ve met and talked with local officials and members of law enforcement in West Palm Beach, Pensacola, and Jacksonville about how the opioid epidemic is ravaging Florida’s communities. It’s clear that we must do more to make sure people seeking help are able to get the treatment they need,” Rubio said in a news release Wednesday praising $27 million in federal funds to combat the problem in Florida....

  11. Poll: Trump spends too much time at Mar-a-Lago

    Blog

    President Donald Trump spends too much time at properties owned by his company, including Mar-a-Lago, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

    Fifty-five percent of voters in the national survey had that opinion vs. 34 percent who did not. Half of voters say Trump does not spend enough time at the White House, while 2 percent say he spends too much time and 38 percent feel he’s hit the right amount....

    President Donald Trump spends too much time at properties owned by his company, including Mar-a-Lago, according to a new Qunnipiac poll.
  12. Rick Scott latches himself to Donald Trump

    Blog

    WASHINGTON - As the group walked out of the Roosevelt Room, President Donald Trump pulled Gov. Rick Scott close and said something into his ear. Whatever it was, the scene punctuated how chummy the two have become — and how Scott is placing 2018 Senate hopes on a relationship with the White House.

    The Veterans health bill signing Scott attended served that purpose. It’s an important issue, though the bill was merely an extension of an existing program. Politically Scott’s attendance served as a vehicle for him to yet again transmit signals back home that he’s a player....

    President Trump introdues Gov. Rick Scott at a White House event Wednesday
  13. Gov. Rick Scott calls Artiles' comments 'disgusting' but declines to weigh in whether he should resign

    Blog

    WASHINGTON -- Gov. Rick Scott said on Wednesday afternoon that Sen. Frank Artiles' comments were “disgusting,” but he declined to say whether the Miami Republican should resign.

    “He’ll have to make a decision on what he does,” Scott told reporters after spending the day in Washington.

    “It’s disgusting,” Scott said when asked to react to the racist, sexist rant....

    Florida Governor Rick Scott, center, delivers brief remarks after President Donald Trump signed the Veterans Choice Program And Improvement Act with representatives of veterans' organizations, politicians and members of his administration, including Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on Wednesday.
  14. Rubio's top spokesman leaving for tech-related position

    Blog

    Alex Burgos, a key member of Marco Rubio’s core team, is leaving for a position with TechNet, a bipartisan network of “innovation economy” CEOs and senior executives.

    Burgos will be vice president of federal policy, government relations and communications and begins next Tuesday, according to a release. His departure follows that of Alberto Martinez....

  15. Gov. Scott at White House this morning for bill signing

    Blog

    WASHINGTON - Gov. Rick Scott will be at the White House this morning as President Trump signs a veterans bill.

    Florida Department of Veterans Affairs Executive Director, Retired Army Lt. Col. Glenn Sutphin, will also join, according to Scott's office. Trump is to sign the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act.

    “My father served in WWII and I proudly served in the United States Navy and I appreciate President Trump’s commitment to our military and our veterans."...

    Rick Scott visits Trump in the White House again