LAS VEGAS (AP) - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said it's his official duty to attend boxing matches in Nevada and that he did nothing wrong when he accepted complimentary ringside seats from a state agency that was lobbying him.
"I would be criticized if I didn't go," Reid told reporters Tuesday after addressing a veterans group in Las Vegas. "It's just like going to an Ohio State football game, an Arizona State football game - in Nevada, boxing is it. I have an obligation to make sure boxing is conducted properly not only in Nevada but around the country."
The Nevada Democrat was responding to an Associated Press story that
detailed how the senator had accepted free tickets possibly valued at several thousand dollars from the Nevada Athletic Commission, the agency that regulates boxing in the state.
Look, if he accepted some free tickets and there's nothing wrong with it, then don't make up this b.s. story. If there is something wrong with it, cop to it, apologize, and don't do it again--it's not like it's a major deal, even if the tickets were worth a couple thousand dollars. I mean, going to a sporting event isn't like accepting cash; people can forgive some boxing matches.
But they won't forgive you if you try to come up with some weasel excuse for why it's ok.
The recent stupidity and arrogance of those in Congress is definitely bipartisan. Is that a good thing???
Update, 9:29 pm:
"In light of questions that have been raised about the practice, Senator Reid will not accept these kinds of credentials in the future in order to avoid even the faintest appearance of impropriety," spokesman Jim Manley said.
I thought he had an obligation to go.