Monday, May 29, 2006

AMERICAblog: Ridiculous AP story on Harry Reid exposed

AMERICAblog: John rants on the AP's attempt to try to get some dirt on a Democratic lawmaker, for a change--and it's just silly and wrong, as John points out: "What kind of world do we live in when the Senator from Nevada is the guest of the state of Nevada at a Nevada event with his Nevada constituents.

I mean, really now - what does ANY of that have to do with Nevada?

Yes, this is the big scoop of a story just breaking from the Associated Press. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) attended three boxing matches in Nevada as the guest of the Nevada Athletic Commission, the state agency that regulates boxing. Even though this appears on its face to be permitted under Senate ethics rules (it's okay to accept gifts from the federal, state, or local governments), the AP apparently thinks they pulled a 'gotcha' on Harry Reid.

Perhaps my favorite part of the article:

Reid, D-Nev., 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.

Wow, so you mean Harry Reid accepted tickets from a state agency that he had no intent on helping - an agency, in fact, that Reid was actually working to undercut (in the agency's view). Wow, hell of a conflict of, uh, conflict of, uh, well, it's not really a conflict of anything when you accept tickets from somebody for which you're doing the exact opposite of what they want. That's like 'unbribery' - give me the money and I'll screw you over. If anything, this proves Reid's independence - it ain't a bribe when you take the tickets with no intent whatosever to help.

Now, one could argue, as AP does, that this case is different - you see, the state had an interest in legislation Reid was working on. Well newsflash, the state has an interest in EVERY piece of legislation a Senator works on. If that's the criteria for a Senator never being the guest of the state government, then he could accept NO gifts from the state government ever - and under the Senate ethics rules, Senators are specifically permitted to take gifts from state and local governments. So AP's argument just doesn't hold water.

And in any case, Reid went to a boxing match. He didn't accept a Caribbean vacation or gold ingots or millions in retirement benefits or direct millions to his buddies' businesses, he went to a bloody boxing match in his own state when boxing is one of the major industries of that state - hello, Vegas anybody?


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