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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


Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

  1. Scott Walker dominates in Iowa but Rubio bounce evident


    The following is a PPP news release:

    PPP's newest Iowa poll finds Scott Walker well ahead of the rest of the Republican field in Iowa, getting 23% to 13% for Marco Rubio, 12% for Jeb Bush, 10% each for Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul, 8%

    for Ted Cruz, 7% for Ben Carson, 5% for Chris Christie, and 4% for Rick Perry....

  2. Jeb Bush given warm reception in Puerto Rico


    UPDATE: The report below does not include some questions Bush fielded from reporters, including whether he would attend a gay wedding.

    "If the people that I care for were going to be married, of course I would go, if they asked me to go," Bush said. But he added, "I believe in traditional marriage ...that's worked pretty well for our country and western civilization."

    SAN JUAN (ASSOCIATED PRESS) — Jeb Bush's fluency in Spanish is going over well in Puerto Rico....

  3. Florida lawmakers line up on opposite sides of 'friend-of-the-court' briefings on gay marriage


    Members of Florida’s delegation in Washington lined up on opposite sides of gay marriage as the Supreme Court begins oral arguments today.

    Most Democrats signed a friend-of-the-court petition: Bill Nelson; Kathy Castor; Ted Deutch; Lois Frankel; Alan Grayson; Alcee Hastings; Patrick Murphy; Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Frederica Wilson....

  4. Rubio cites Florida fisherman's case as reason for criminal justice reform


    Joining other leading political figures in calls for criminal justice reforms, Sen. Marco Rubio cites the case of a Florida fisherman who saw his case reach the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year.

    “John Yates going to jail for red grouper highlights a fundamental problem in American criminal law today. Lawmakers have increasingly turned to criminal law as a form of regulation. Recklessly passed, duplicative, conflicting, and vague laws have turned criminal law into a trap for the unwary,” Rubio wrote in an essay published by the Brennan Center for Justice....

  5. In Puerto Rico, Jeb Bush returns to formative political experience


    Jeb Bush didn’t sound like he cared much about politics.

    “It’s not something that I would like to do the rest of my life, no. I get nervous at first. It’s just, I’m not a politician,” he told NBC News in February 1980.

    He was in Puerto Rico to help his father run for president. Today, the two-term former Florida governor is back in Puerto Rico for his presidential campaign in waiting....

    Columba Bush speaks as Jeb Bush and George H.W Bush look on during an event in Puerto Rico in 1980.
  6. Rubio signs the tax 'Pledge' again; Bush never will


    He signed it as a Florida House speaker. He signed it as a U.S. Senate candidate.

    Now Marco Rubio, presidential candidate, has signed Grover Norquist's "Pledge" again.

    "By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people, Senator Rubio continues to protect American taxpayers against higher taxes," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "Senator Rubio understands that government should be reformed so that it takes and spends less of the taxpayers' money, and will oppose tax increases that paper over and continue the failures of the past."...

  7. Jeb Bush's Super PAC draws another FEC complaint


    The liberal group American Democracy Legal Fund has filed another FEC complaint against Jeb Bush, arguing he is violating election law by coordinating directly with his Right to Rise Super PAC.

    "Mr. Bush's motivation for failing to declare his candidacy is to skirt the prohibition on federal candidates raising soft money. By failing to declare himself a "candidate," he takes the position that he can fundraise for Right to Rise Super PAC, Inc. without violating the law," the complaint states. "But as discussed in detail in the February Complaint, Mr. Bush triggered candidate status several months ago when he began traveling the country  Mr. Bush is no longer in the exploratory phase of his campaign and thus, he has violated the law by (1) failing to declare himself a candidate and register and report with the Commission, and (2) raising money for Right to Rise Super PAC, Inc., a soft money entity."...

  8. In California for fundraising, Rubio gets offer to learn about climate change


    With Marco Rubio in California for fundraising Monday and Tuesday, an environmental group is seeking to call attention to his doubts about man's contribution to climate change.

    "Rubio and his fellow Republican science-deniers are wrong. We know that we don’t have to choose between a healthy environment and a strong economy—and California serves as a model for the nation of how we can address climate change and prosper while doing it," NextGen Climate said in a release, offering to "meet" with Rubio and educate him....

  9. What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of April 27


    What Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are up to the week of April 27:

    Rubio will be in California on Monday and Tuesday for fundraising. On Tuesday he does a town-hall style event in Los Angeles. Then he's back to DC for his Senate duty, with a Thursday fundraiser at the home of Wayne Berman featuring top lobbyists....

  10. Obama: 'Jeb Bush, do you really want to do this?'


    Jeb Bush was a popular topic at the White House Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday in Washington. President Obama joked about Bush marking himself as Hispanic on a voter registration form and then, mocking the whole celebrity-laden dinner, had his alter ego ask, "Jeb Bush do you really want to do this?"

    In 2013, Obama poked fun at Marco Rubio's age....

  11. GOP columnist: Rubio can't be trusted on Senate plans


    Republican commentator Chris Ingram continues his longtime argument against Marco Rubio in a Tampa Tribune column today. Ingram suggests Rubio will run for his Senate seat if his presidential bid falters, something Rubio says he will not do....

  12. Rubio touts his experience before Des Moines Register edit board


    Marco Rubio is in Iowa Saturday and made the required stop to the Des Moines Register editorial board, and made the case why he is ready to be president. In a new variation on his answer, Rubio called himself the "chief administrative officer" of the Florida House. ...

  13. 'Get a life,' Mitt Romney tells graduates in Jacksonville


    Mitt Romney had advice Saturday for graduates at Jacksonville University: Get a life.

    "That phrase is actually pretty good advice for all of us,” Romney said. “Get a life, have a life, live your life in full. Embrace every fruitful dimension of life that you possibly can.”

    “The country needs all of you to serve. America faces daunting challenges: generational poverty, looming debt, a warming climate and a world that is increasingly dangerous and tumultuous. Washington appears inept, powerless and without an effective strategy to overcome any of these. America needs your passion, your impatience, your participation.”...

  14. Bush retreat to draw 350 to Miami


    More than 350 Jeb Bush donors and supporters will gather at a high-end South Beach hotel on Sunday and Monday, according to his Right to Rise PAC.

    "This is a great opportunity for supporters of the Right to Rise PAC to get to know one another and the team, to receive updates on the PAC's activities, and to provide ideas and feedback," reads a background sheet....

  15. Marco Rubio's finances have presented an opportunity — and a curse

    State Roundup

    WASHINGTON — Marco Rubio nearly quit politics.

    He was so broke in 2001 that just as he began his ascent in the Florida House, he and his wife had to move in with her mother. Rubio decided to leave Tallahassee and practice law full time.

    He got in his car to think and wound up at Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables, where he had gotten married three years earlier. He knelt to pray. "Why had God allowed me to come so far only to let me fail?" he recounted in a 2012 memoir....

    Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami. speaks in Washington earlier this month. [Associated Press]