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Democratic Senator from Nevada attended Nevada event as guest of the state of Nevada along with Nevada constituents. Oh the humanity!

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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?

Now, let's compare this story to the tale of Republican Randy "Duke" Cunningham - since the AP is in the market to paint Reid as just as corrupt as all the Republicans.
Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.) resigned from Congress... after tearfully confessing to evading taxes and conspiring to pocket $2.4 million in bribes, including a Rolls-Royce, a yacht and a 19th-century Louis-Philippe commode....

Prosecutors said Cunningham, an eight-term House member, "demanded, sought and received" illicit payments in the form of cash, home payments, furnishings, cars and vacations from four co-conspirators, including two defense contractors, over the past five years.
Yes, one man accepted tickets to a boxing match from his own state government when boxing is one of the top state industries. The other man "demanded" $2.4 million in bribes. Oh yeah, awfully similar stories.

And finally, there's this little fact that I didn't even realize until someone pointed it out in the comments:
Take Harry Reid, for example. The leader of the Senate Democrats is so tough he took on the Mob -- drove the Mafia out of the Las Vegas casinos. They planted a bomb in his car, and he never flinched, never backed down.
Oh yeah, definitely sounds like the kind of guy you buy with a couple of boxing tickets.

Sounds to me like the Associated Press is trying to protect the Republicans by "proving" that the cultural of corruption in Washington isn't predominantly a Republican problem - even though it is.

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