Reid gets a pass
Senator Harry Reid, who will be the majority leader in the next Congress, did not break Senate rules in accepting free ringside seats at boxing matches from the Nevada Athletic Commission, the Ethics Committee has concluded.
The Associated Press reported this year that Mr. Reid, Democrat of Nevada, had attended three Las Vegas fights from 2003 to 2005 without paying, using credentials provided by the Nevada Athletic Commission, a state agency. At the time, Mr. Reid was supporting legislation to create a federal agency to oversee boxing, a move that the commission opposed.
First he gets a pass from the boxing commission, then he gets a pass from the ethics panel. Although it's hard to see what else the panel could have done, because gifts from government agencies are explicitly allowed under Senate rules.
Reid defended attending the matches, although he admitted it looked bad and said he wouldn't do it again.
The good news? Reid continued supporting the commission, legislation for which passed in the Senate (though it failed in the House). So it's hard to argue that there was any bribery or other corruption going on.
Most importantly, though, the ethics legislation envisioned by Democrats would explicitly ban such gifts. So this question need never come up again. Assuming Democrats walk the walk in January.
Unless they want to keep enduring mini-embarassments like this, they had better.
Harry Reid, ethics, politics, midtopia