Friday, May 25, 2018


Alex Leary, Times Washington bureau chief

Alex Leary, Times Washington bureau chief

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.

People watch a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, left, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 9, 2018 (Associated Press)

Trump backs out of Kim Jong Un summit. Florida reacts.

WASHINGTON – President Trump said this morning he won't be meeting with Kim Jong Un, issuing a letter that mixed diplomacy with bravado."You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to...
Published: 05/24/18
Donald Trump Jr. with his father (Getty)

Donald Trump Jr. to campaign in Florida for Gaetz, DeSantis

Donald Trump Jr. will campaign in August for Reps. Matt Gaetz and Ron DeSantis, two of the president's most vocal supporters in Washington.In late June, possibly the 27th, the president's son will rally for DeSantis in The Villages, with...
Published: 05/24/18
2007 file photo: In honor of Florida Cracker heritage, Rep. Baxter Troutman, (R), Winter Haven, cracks a cattle whip on the House floor Tuesday. According to Troutman, Florida Crackers used long whips to drive their cattle through the State. SCOTT KEELER  | Times

Baxter Troutman drops big ad buy in Florida AG race

Ag Commissioner candidate Baxter Troutman is going on TV through the August primary, using personal wealth to challenge Republican primary rivals."This ad buy has been part of our strategy since day one — and will be the first of...
Published: 05/24/18
Mailers across Florida push Rubio, Nelson on ‘Dreamers’

Mailers across Florida push Rubio, Nelson on ‘Dreamers’

WASHINGTON – A Koch brother group is sending mailers across Florida asking Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson to support a permanent solution for Dreamers along with improvements to border security.The bumblebee yellow mail pieces...
Published: 05/24/18
Bill Nelson, pictured with his mother, Nannie Merle, shows off his heifer Gussy in the late 1950s at a cattle show in Kissimmee, where Gussy won first place, Nelson says. (Courtesy of Sen. Bill Nelson, 2012)

Bill Nelson’s cash cows make another campaign appearance

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has been many things over the years. State legislator. Congressman. Astronaut.* Insurance commissioner.In Brevard County, he is a gentleman farmer.Thanks to a half-dozen cows that graze...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Fire crews battle a blaze on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig owned by the British oil company BP on April 21, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

Oil drilling ban in eastern gulf is shot down

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan Florida effort to permanently ban oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico has been blocked from consideration."House Republicans blocked my bipartisan amendment to ban oil drilling off the coast of...
Published: 05/23/18
Sen. Bill Nelson on the Senate floor on May 23, 2018, criticizing the state of Florida's response to election security concerns.

In Senate floor, Bill Nelson sees prime opportunity to hammer Rick Scott

WASHINGTON – Sen. Bill Nelson is using the Senate floor to fight political battles with his rival Gov. Rick Scott, and for the second day criticized inaction on part of the state.Yesterday, it was Scott's decision not to expand...
Published: 05/23/18

Vern Buchanan continues steady TV ad campaign

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, is out with another TV ad, continuing a fairly aggressive schedule amid one of his toughest challenges in years.The ad focuses on Buchanan's work on the opioid crisis, and follows a spot in April that...
Published: 05/23/18
Marine One approaches the White House carrying President Donald Trump after a weekend in Florida on March 25, 2018. [Zach Gibson | Getty Images]

Gaetz, DeSantis join call for 2nd special counsel

WASHINGTON – Florida Reps. Matt Gaetz and Ron DeSantis today joined a group of Republicans in demanding a second special counsel to investigate what they say are widespread abuses of power at the Justice Department and FBI in probing the...
Published: 05/22/18
President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping pause for photographs at Mar-a-Lago, Friday, April 7, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla. Trump was meeting again with his Chinese counterpart Friday, with U.S. missile strikes on Syria adding weight to his threat to act unilaterally against the nuclear weapons program of China's ally, North Korea. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Rubio on Trump’s China approach: ‘Not Winning’

WASHINGTON – It's almost become routine: Sen. Marco Rubio begins his day with a series of tweets criticizing the Trump administration's handling of China and Tuesday was no different."This is #NotWinning," Rubio...
Published: 05/22/18