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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

  1. Rubio raised about $6 million for Q3


    Marco Rubio raised roughly $6 million for the quarter, an aide said.

    Rubio is in Las Vegas today for a gathering with donors. Here is what was said at a gathering:

    "October will be our best month so far. Campaign officials said that July was a very tough month as Walker & others got into race, and August was always expected to be slow as many donors were on vacation. But we budgeted accordingly and finished the quarter strong. The campaign raised over $1m online alone in September....

  2. Dan Webster: 'I have a problem with the way the House is run'


    Rep. Dan Webster’s interview today on FOX News Channel’s Shepard Smith Reporting.

    On the possibility that there aren’t enough votes to get him elected:

    “Well, you never know. I think with Kevin out we could branch out and I think there might be an opportunity. I’m going to work as hard as I can to see as many members as I can given the new dynamic, a new group of candidates and we’ll see what happens.  I believe I can win some people over, I do.”...

  3. Kevin McCarthy withdraws from U.S. House speaker race, lifting chances for Florida's Dan Webster


    Can you say chaos?

    In a dramatic move Thursday, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California dropped out of the race for House speaker and the election has been postponed, throwing the chamber into disarray.

    The majority leader leveled the news as the GOP conference went into a noon meeting. Conservative opposition was rising against him, illustrating once again the power of a group that has made life exceedingly difficult for soon-to-be former Speaker John Boehner....

    House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California leaves a meeting Thursday on Capitol Hill ahead of a nomination vote to replace House Speaker John Boehner, who is stepping down and retiring from Congress.
  4. Poll: Overwhelming support for medical marijuana; Democrats lead in U.S. Senate race


    Florida voters support legalizing medical marijuana by an overwhelming 87 percent, according to a new Qunnipiac University poll.

    But support for legalizing pot for personal use drops to 51 percent with 45 percent opposed.

    The poll also looked at the U.S. Senate race and found Democrats leading Republicans:

    Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy leads Republican Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera 37 – 29 percent and tops U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis 37 – 30 percent. Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson gets 35 percent to Lopez-Cantera’s 32 percent and leads DeSantis 37 – 31 percent....

  5. Bush and Rubio — not Clinton — back Obama on trade


    Hillary Clinton’s rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership makes for an interesting situation.

    Once an advocate, Clinton now stands against President Obama while Florida Republicans Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush line up with Obama.

    Rubio and Bush have expressed support for the trade deal at a time when other Republicans have attacked it as Obamatrade.

    “It will create the opportunity for emerging economies to become the next ‘tigers’ of Asia and enhance linkages between nations in the Western Hemisphere and East Asia,” Rubio wrote in the Wall Street Journal in April....

  6. David Jolly only Republican to vote against new committee to investigate Planned Parenthood


    U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, was the only Republican to vote against the creation of a new committee to investigate Planned Parenthood.

    Jolly, who is running for Senate, explained his vote on Facebook. "I strongly support investigating these allegations but voted against today's measure for one very important reason - we simply don't need a new special committee to do the job Congress is already sworn to do," he wrote....

  7. Dan Webster gets a boost in bid for House speaker


    Rep. Dan Webster got a boost Wednesday in his bid to replace House Speaker John Boehner when the House Freedom Caucus endorsed him.

    The group of hard-line Republicans helped push Boehner out and was not inclined to support Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Boehner's No. 2.

    "Last night we had productive exchanges with all of the Speaker candidates," the group said in a statement. "We appreciated the opportunity to hear our colleagues' visions for how they would lead our Conference and the House. It is clear that our constituents will simply not accept a continuation of the status quo, and that the viability of the Republican Party depends on whether we start listening to our voters and fighting to keep our promises. We accordingly believe that, under the present circumstances and without significant changes to Conference leadership and process, Rep. Daniel Webster would be best equipped to earn back the trust of the American people as Speaker of the House. We will therefore vote for Rep. Webster in the Republican Conference election tomorrow.”...

  8. Dennis Ross presses case for majority whip


    Rep. Dennis Ross of Lakeland is running for majority whip, and appeared on C-SPAN this morning. He said he's fed up with inaction on Capitol Hill, which he blamed on the lack of regular order.

    In many ways, Ross sounds like Rep. Dan Webster, who's mounted a long-shot campaign for speaker.


  9. Cream and sugar? How Jeb and Marco take their coffee


    Jeb Bush takes his coffee with "fake sugar and fake milk." Marco Rubio goes black, because "it makes life easier."

    So we learn from Skimm, which has been interviewing presidential candidates and throwing in some lighter questions.


    Jeb: I’m paleo but I’d have a cheat meal the first day: tacos al carbon....

  10. Alan Grayson files ethics complaint over GOP Benghazi committee


    Rep. Alan Grayson filed an ethics complaint today against two top House Republicans over the creation of the Benghazi committee that has dogged Hillary Clinton.

    “Representative Kevin McCarthy and Trey Gowdy have violated federal law and House rules by using funds appropriated to the Select Committee on Benghazi to oppose the Presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” reads Grayson’s complaint....

  11. Jeb Bush has more than $7 million in TV ads already


    Jeb Bush remains the top spender on TV ads. This week alone his team has dropped nearly $2 million in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

    The latest numbers from NBC’s First Read:

    Team Bush: $7.3 million ($6.9 million from Right to Rise, $440,000 from campaign)
    Team Kasich: $5.4 million (all in New Hampshire)
    Team Rubio: $4.7 million (all from the Conservative Solutions Project 501c4)
    Team Clinton: $4.6 million (all from campaign)
    Team Christie: $3.3 million (all in NH -- $2.9 million from Super PAC, $400,000 from campaign)
    Team Jindal: $2.3 million (all in Iowa)...

  12. Hillary Clinton sends copy of her book to Bush, Rubio


    Donald Trump isn't the only candidate who can send a gift to a rival.

    This evening we learn Hillary Clinton sent a copy of her book, Hard Choices, to Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and the other major GOP presidential candidates. It follows the last debate in which Carly Fiorina got mileage out of this line: "If you want to stump a Democrat, ask them to name an accomplishment of Hillary Clinton."...

    Hillary Clinton meets with people during a signing for her book, "Hard Choices" at a Barnes & Noble in 2014 in New York City.
  13. Rubio criticizes government regulation of Uber, Airbnb


    NEW YORK (Associated Press) -- Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio is warning of too much government meddling with Internet-based "on-demand companies."

    Speaking Tuesday in New York, the Florida senator praised Uber and Airbnb. He says such "disruptive" companies and the people who work for them are unfairly burdened by government regulation.

    He decried the federal government as "out of touch" with Americans who want a high-tech, service economy....

  14. Rubio: 'My ambitions are not for me'


    Marco Rubio continued to grab the spotlight with an appearance on NBC's Today and one of the first questions he faced was his absence in Washington. The presidential contender is on track to miss two consecutive weeks of votes in Washington and has the worst attendance record of any current senator.

    While Rubio not long ago railed on the Senate floor, "If you don't want to vote on things, don't run for the Senate," he has been telling reporters lately that voting is not the most important part of the job....

  15. Dan Webster makes his case for House speaker


    When Rep. Dan Webster attempted to overthrow House Speaker John Boehner in January, Boehner got revenge by removing the Orlando-area Republican from the Rules Committee. Now Webster is trying to turn that into an advantage as he runs for speaker.

    “I have repeatedly stood up against the current system, even while enduring punishment for sticking to my principles,” Webster says in a video message in which he lays out his reason for running....