Democrat culture of free boxing tickets
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid 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.He is at least guilty of being a inconsistent on acceptance of things of value, such as golf trips.
Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, took the free seats for Las Vegas fights from 2003 to 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.
Mr. Reid, who has accused the Republicans of fostering a culture of corruption, defended the gifts, saying they would never influence his position on the bill and 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 No. 1 businesses,' " he told the Associated Press.
"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.