Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Representative Nancy Pelosi must be very confused. While she continues to harp about the few Republicans caught in scandals, those of her own party keep getting caught. First it was William Jefferson, now it’s the most powerful Democrat in the Senate, Minority Leader Harry Reid. CNN.com has the story, claiming that Harry Reid accepted ring-side tickets to three Boxing matches in Nevada, provided by officials from the Nevada Athletic Commission. These gifts were provided while Sen. Reid was pushing legislation to increase boxing oversight, something that would undoubtedly hurt the Nevada Athletic Commission.

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

Nonetheless, Sen. Reid defended the gifts, claiming that it was “research”. Research led him to accept the gift, and research required him to go on multiple occassions.

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

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, insisted on paying $1,400 for his ticket when he joined Reid for a 2004 championship fight. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, accepted free tickets to another fight with Reid but had abstained from taking any votes or actions on the boxing bill because his father was an executive for a Las Vegas hotel that hosts fights.

It seems while Sen. Reid abused the ethics rules, two Republican Senators went out of their way to maintain professionalism, shelling out their own money for their ticket, or abstaining from voting due to a conflict of interest.

This is not the first accusation of scandal made against a DC Democrat, nor is it the first for Sen. Reid. Reid has been involved in the Abramoff investigation, though he has maintained his innocence and refused to return contributions made by Abramoff and his clients. It appears as though Reid had close connections to Abramoff, though the investigation is still underway and no formal charges have been made.

With the recent scandal involving William Jefferson accepting bribes, and all of Sen. Reid’s troubles, perhaps Pelosi and the Democrats better think think twice before throwing stones.

Cross-posted by The Gentle Cricket

UPDATE: On a satirical note…
Scott Ott: “Reid Enters 30-Day Clinic for Corruption Culture”

Assorted Babble by Suzie linked with Ring Side for Reid

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