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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. Q poll: If not Romney then Bush

    Blog

    Q poll news release:

    Republican voters nationwide want 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney back in the game, giving him the top position at 19 percent in an early look at the 2016 presidential race in a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.  Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is next with 11 percent, followed by New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie and Dr. Ben Carson at 8 percent each.  No other Republican tops 6 percent, with 16 percent undecided....

  2. Rep.-elect Carlos Curbelo faces FEC questions

    Blog

    By Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald

    Carlos Curbelo was elected to U.S. Congress earlier this month, but his campaign work is not over.

    The Federal Election Commission has asked the Miami Republican to respond to a series of questions for omitting or mislabeling more than $93,000 in campaign contributions, which Curbelo has blamed on a computer software problem.

    The federal agency issued Curbelo’s campaign two notices last week — one of them 11 pages long — that, if not answered adequately, could result in audits or fines....

  3. Paul, Christie, Bush top New Hampshire poll

    Blog

    Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm New Hampshire Poll:

    Rand Paul and Chris Christie both at 16 percent, Jeb Bush at 14 percent.

    Ben Carson 9 percent; Mike Huckabee 8 percent; Paul Ryan 7 percent; Ted Cruz  Sen. Ted Cruz 5 percent; Bobby Jindal 4 percent.

    More here....

  4. Jeb Bush to give graduation speech at University of South Carolina

    Blog

    Jeb Bush will deliver a winter commencement address at the University of South Carolina, the school said this morning.

    During the Dec. 15 event, Bush will receive an honorary degree of doctor of public service at the commencement ceremony.

    A news release noted: "Bush will be the fourth member of his family to be honored at a Carolina commencement ceremony. His father, President George H.W. Bush, addressed graduates and received an honorary degree of doctor of laws in May 1990. At that same ceremony, Jeb Bush’s mother, Barbara Bush, received an honorary doctor of education degree. President George W. Bush, Jeb Bush’s older brother, spoke and received an honorary degree of doctor of laws at the May 2003 commencement."...

  5. Bush-Portman ticket would be hard to beat, Clinton friend says

    Blog

    A top ally of Hillary Clinton thinks a GOP presidential ticket of Jeb Bush and Sen. Rob Portman would be tough to beat.

    “Can a Democrat win the White House without both of Ohio and Florida? The answer is yes, but it then has to be a perfect storm,” Harold Ickes told reporters Friday after a Ready for Hillary event....

  6. Rubio campaigns for Cassidy in Louisiana

    Blog

    Sen. Marco Rubio is in Louisiana today to campaign for Bill Cassidy, who is in a runoff with Sen. Mary Landrieu.

    The flier put out by Cassidy suggests Rubio is a bigger draw than fellow Sen. David Vitter and Gov. Bobby Jindal.

    Rubio campaigns in Louisiana
  7. Obama executive order protects 5M undocumented immigrants

    State Roundup

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday announced the most dramatic changes to immigration policy in decades, protecting 5 million people — roughly 40 percent of the undocumented population in the United States — from deportation, arguing his actions were legal and not amnesty.

    Hundreds of miles away in Lakeland, a 29-year-old mother of three watched on television, joyful and relieved. "It makes me very happy," said Amalia Tamariz, who arrived in the country 14 years ago from Nicaragua and would qualify under Obama's executive order because her children are U.S. citizens....

    From left, Emiliana Ortiz, Benito Ortiz and their daughter Rosalba Ortiz, 19, react to President Obama’s announcement at the Mi Familia Vota Education Fund office in Tampa.
  8. Florida reaction to President Obama's immigration action

    Blog

    Florida reaction to President Obama's immigration action:

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R: “We need immigration reform. But the right way to do it is to first bring illegal immigration under control by securing the borders and enforcing the laws, then modernizing our legal immigration system. After we do these things, we will eventually have to deal with those here illegally in a reasonable but responsible way. The President’s actions now make all of this harder and are unfair to people in our immigration system who are doing things the right way.”...

  9. At education summit, Jeb Bush seeks balance on Common Core under 2016 glare

    Blog

    WASHINGTON — This town is lush with speculation about who will run for president so when Jeb Bush took the stage Thursday morning at his Foundation for Excellence in Education summit, there was great interest in what he had to say.

    The former Florida governor stuck to the wonky contours of education policy — it is why he is here, after all — but in doing so Bush also tried to finesse a major issue that would confront him if he decides to enter the hunt for the 2016 Republican nomination: Common Core....

  10. At education summit, Jeb Bush seeks balance on Common Core under 2016 glare

    National

    WASHINGTON — This town is rife with speculation about who will run for president, so when Jeb Bush took the stage Thursday morning at his Foundation for Excellence in Education summit, there was great interest in what he had to say.

    The former Florida governor stuck to the wonky contours of education policy — it is why he is here, after all — but in doing so Bush also tried to finesse a major issue that would confront him if he decides to enter the hunt for the 2016 Republican nomination: Common Core....

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush listens to a speaker before giving his keynote address at his Foundation for Excellence in Education summit in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
  11. Jeb Bush's opening address to National Summit on Education Reform

    Blog

    Governor Jeb Bush: 2014 Summit Keynote Address / Foundation for Excellence in Education’s National Summit on Education Reform / November 20, 2014

    Remarks Prepared for Delivery

    Thank you, Denisha, for that very kind introduction. You are the reason we are here. It’s a struggle to reform our schools. The unions fight us. The administrators often fight us. Sometimes we reformers fight amongst ourselves. But when I hear Denisha’s story... I know the struggle is worth it....

  12. Gwen Graham jumps for joy over new office

    Blog

    Rookie members of Congress today participated in a lottery for their offices and Florida Democrat Gwen Graham scored.

    Big.

    NPR, which covered the ritual, noted that new members tried "lucky dances, blowing on their hands. One member even had an aide's wife do the honors.But Graham had a secret weapon.Paul Woodward, the husband of Graham's campaign manager, did a backflip straight down the center of the aisle."...

    As newly elected House lawmakers take their chances at a lottery to determine who gets to go first in choosing their new office assignments, Rep-elect Gwen Graham, D-Fla., raises her arms in jubilation after picking a favorable number
  13. Obama to announce immigration action in national address Thursday night

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will announce steps tonight to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, delivering on a long-anticipated promise while setting up a contentious fight with Republicans who question his authority.

    "Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken," Obama said in a Facebook video Wednesday previewing the 8 p.m. speech from the White House. "Unfortunately Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long."...

    An image taken from a video posted Wednesday to the White House's Facebook account. [Facebook.com]
  14. Obama to announce immigration action tomorrow

    Blog

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will announce steps Thursday night to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, delivering on a long-anticipated promise while setting up a contentious fight with Republicans who question his authority.
    Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken," Obama said in a Facebook video Wednesday previewing the 8 p.m. speech from the White House. "Unfortunately Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long."...

  15. Ron Paul on Bush, Rubio: 'status quo, middle-of-the-roaders'

    Blog

    Ron Paul is Tampa tonight for a speech at USF. Reporter Rich Shopes caught up with him in advance and asked about the two Floridians considering running for president. Mind you that Paul's son, Rand, is an almost certain candidate.

    On Jeb Bush and Florida's U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. "I'd say they were pretty average, status quo, middle-of-the-roaders," Ron Paul said....