Harry Reid Shows America What A “Culture Of Corruption” Really Looks Like

For a guy who loves to claim that there is a Republican, “culture of corruption,” Harry Reid sure does seem to get caught with his hand in the cookie jar a lot. First of all, he loaded up on money from clients of Jack Abramoff and unlike a lot of other politicians in the same position, he didn’t give any of the dough back.

That was bad enough, but his latest boxing escapade, looks to be more serious:

“Senate Democratic Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) accepted free ringside tickets from the Nevada Athletic Commission to three professional boxing matches while that state agency was trying to influence him on federal regulation of boxing.

Reid took the free seats for Las Vegas fights between 2003 and 2005 as he was pressing legislation to increase government oversight of the sport, including the creation of a federal boxing commission that Nevada’s agency feared might usurp its authority.

He defended the gifts, saying that they would never influence his position on the bill and he was simply trying to learn how his legislation might affect an important home state industry. “Anyone from Nevada would say I’m glad he is there taking care of the state’s number one businesses,” he said. “I love the fights anyways, so it wasn’t like being punished,” added the senator, a former boxer and boxing judge.

Senate ethics rules generally allow lawmakers to accept gifts from federal, state or local governments, but specifically warn against taking such gifts — particularly on multiple occasions — when they might be connected to efforts to influence official actions.

…Several ethics experts said Reid should have paid for the tickets, which were close to the ring and worth between several hundred and several thousand dollars each, to avoid the appearance he was being influenced by gifts.

Two senators who joined Reid for fights with the complimentary tickets took markedly differently steps.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) insisted on paying $1,400 for the tickets he shared with Reid for a 2004 championship fight. Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) accepted free tickets to another fight with Reid but already had recused himself from Reid’s federal boxing legislation because his father was an executive for a Las Vegas hotel that hosts fights.”

You’ve got to love that, “I love the fights anyways, so it wasn’t like being punished,” line. Of course he wasn’t being punished by being given thousands of dollars worth of free tickets from a company that was hoping to influence his judgement in the Senate. If that isn’t illegal it ought to be, because it makes Reid look crooked.

Here’s another great line from the article:

“I’m not Goodie Two Shoes. I just feel these events are nothing I did wrong,” Reid said.

He’s “not Goodie Two Shoes?” How is he coming up with this material? Was he drunk when he was interviewed for this article? He’s being accused of taking free fight tickets, possibly in return for favors in Congress, and his response is, “I love the fights anyways,” and “I’m not Goodie Two Shoes?” There are only two remaining questions at this point:

Will there be an ethics investigation (Let’s hope so) and will Dennis Hastert proclaim that the Constitution says that it’s illegal for newspapers to investigate what kind of free tickets members of Congress are getting?

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