Make us your home page

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


Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

  1. 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....

  2. 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....

  3. 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....

  4. Jeb Bush's message for Iowa: 'It's not all about yapping'


    Jeb Bush begins a three-day tour of Iowa with a speech this evening at the Scott County GOP Ronald Reagan dinner in Bettendorf. His campaign said this video will play before he talks. In it Bush takes an aggressive stance toward President Obama and Washington before turning to his time as governor. 

    "What we have to do is stop saying how angry we are about it and win the election so we can fix it," Bush says. "The point is, that leadership means you gotta be all in. It's not about yapping, it's not about talking. It's about doing, it's about creating strategies. It's about rolling your sleeves up and working with people to improve the chance for people to rise up."...

  5. Ann Romney: Jeb Bush didn't push Mitt out of race


    Ann Romney speaking with Politico:

    "People say, ‘well the Bush people pushed you out,’ and all that. It’s just not true. I mean, if anything, that would’ve made us fight harder. That’s just not true. We together just came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t — the timing wasn’t right."...

  6. Donald Trump's trying to get under Rubio's skin — with water


    UPDATE: Rubio responded Tuesday on Fox News. "I heard it’s very high-quality water. Apparently Evian are a bunch of losers, this is really good water. ... It is what it is. About the water? Yeah, I drink water. So what? And I only sweat when it’s hot. Luckily it’s fall.”

    Donald Trump on Monday sent Marco Rubio a case of water and towels (for sweating), a Trump aide told CNN....

     Donald Trump sent Marco Rubio 24 bottles of "Trump Ice Natural Spring Water," with Trump's face on it, two "Make America Great Again" towels and bumper stickers and a note reading, "Since you're always sweating, we thought you could use some water. Enjoy!"
  7. Carlos Lopez-Cantera has heavy hitters introducing him to Washington


    Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Lopez-Cantera has some influential Washington backers hosting a meet-and-greet for him later this month.

    The Oct. 21 lunch will be held at the Capitol Hill Club and is hosted by Cesar Conda, former chief of staff to Marco Rubio, and Scott Weaver, a top bundler for Rubio’s presidential campaign...

    Meet and greet for Carlos Lopez-Cantera
  8. The Twitter interests of Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush


    Brendan Farrington of the AP looked at the Twitter accounts of presidential candidates:

    Marco Rubio (@marcorubio)

    Followers: 886,000

    Following: 2,554

    Last account followed: Ethan Demme (@EthanDemme), CEO of a company that provides material for homeschool parents.

    Whom he follows: Just about anybody and anything. Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, tea partyers, business leaders, Florida capital insiders, and a how-to-quit-smoking account....

  9. Grayson blasts Pacific trade deal


    U.S. Senate candidate Alan Grayson came out against a major trade deal minted today, saying it was “crafted by Wall Street to benefit corporate America.”

    “This deal was crafted by Wall Street to benefit corporate America,” the Democratic congressman said in a statement of one of President Obama's top priorities. “It will not only harm jobs and wages, but it threatens food safety, affordable medicine, and other issues working Americans care about. We should be negotiating agreements that protect our workers instead of hurting them. Adding insult to this injury, Congress will not be able to amend this deal when it comes to us next year – we will only be allowed to vote ‘yea’ or ‘nay.’ I will pore over this agreement and work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to promote trade agreements that put American workers first....

  10. Gwen Graham has another strong fundraising quarter


    U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham's campaign said Monday it raised more than $500,000 for the quarter, the third consecutive time she has raised that much.

    Facing a redrawn district, the Tallahassee Democrat has $1.2 million in the bank. 

    "Our continued fundraising success is evidence of more than just a strong campaign  — it shows people really believe The North Florida Way is working," Graham said in a release....

  11. What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of Oct. 5


    What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of Oct. 5.

    Rubio today visits the New York Stock Exchange. On Tuesday he gives a speech about the "sharing economy" in New York, the travels to New Hampshire for evening events. Wednesday he's in NH all day. Thursday Rubio travels to Nevada and has an evening rally. Friday & Saturday he's in Nevada for political and fundraising events. He returns to Miami late Saturday....

  12. Marco Rubio: More gun restrictions will not prevent shootings


    Marco Rubio says more gun laws won't stop mass shooting such as the one in Oregon.

    "These gun laws just aren't effective at preventing this," he told radio host Mike Gallagher. "Gun crime is committed by criminals, criminals ignore the law. That's why they're criminals. If you pass a law that makes it harder for people to have weapons for defense, the only people that are not going to have them are the people that follow the law. Law-abiding people are going to follow the law. Criminals, by definition, ignore the law. They will still have their weapons."...

  13. Bush's 'stuff happens' comment causes latest headache


    Jeb Bush is under siege for saying “stuff happens” in the aftermath of yesterday's mass shooting in Oregon.

    Democrats pounced. But others said the comment — which spread across Twitter and made its way to a news conference with President Obama — was ripped out of context.

    A review of the video (transcript below) shows that Bush was not directly asked about the tragedy. "Liberal Dems & some in media distorted my words to advance their agenda in wake of tragedy," Bush wrote on Twitter. "It's wrong. Thx to those who set record straight."...

    Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, left, speaks at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson moderated the event.
  14. Winner-take-all Florida primary slows parade of presidential candidates

    State Roundup

    It was supposed to assert Florida's dominance in picking the Republican presidential nominee, but a move to push back the primary and award all delegates to the winner has rankled party activists who say it has made candidates wary of the state and could disenfranchise voters.

    "It was a mistake. It's almost taken Florida out of play," said Randy Osborne, chairman of the Marion County Republican Executive Committee, who has been trading messages with other local leaders....

    Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson meets supporters at the University of New Hampshire on Wednesday. Carson is one of several candidates not spending much time campaigning in Florida.
  15. Team Bush makes oppo moves against Rubio, Kasich and other rivals


    Team Bush is on the offensive, dispatching trackers to rivals’ events, including Marco Rubio yesterday in Iowa, and opposition researchers to John Kasich’s congressional library in Ohio.

    “I would think they’re in there because they’re nervous,” Kasich said today, urging the Bush researchers to spend money in the town....