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Harry Reid Reverses Course on Free Tickets

Harry Reid has changed his mind. He won't accept free boxing tickets in the future.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Reversing course, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid's office acknowledged Wednesday night he misstated the ethics rules governing his acceptance of free boxing tickets and has decided to avoid taking such gifts in the future.


The Nevada senator still believes it was "entirely permissible" for him to accept ringside seats for three professional boxing matches in 2004 and 2005 from the Nevada Athletic Commission but has nonetheless decided to avoid doing so in the future, his office said.

"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.

The announcement came after The Associated Press confronted Reid's office early Wednesday with conclusions from several ethics experts that the Senate leader misstated congressional ethics rules in trying to defend his actions.

It looks like Senator Reid was wrapped up in an unethical double whammy. First, he accepted gifts from a group that was involved in pending legislation. The fact that Senator Reid voted in opposition to the group he accepted the tickets from is irrelevant. The legislation was still pending and he had sway. Second, the tickets were from a group in his own state. According to ethics rules, Senators are allowed to accept gifts from any state except their own.

He made a wise decision to back down on this one.


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Comments (19)

What a masive tool!<p... (Below threshold)
Rick13:

What a masive tool!

If it was reversed, he'd be calling for a resignation!

Well gee, don't make this s... (Below threshold)

Well gee, don't make this sound like some sort of profile in courage -- he's probably been hammered by his colleagues for risking the "culture of corruption" strategy they've so mendaciously employed

~FLIP FLOP~ Did He not alre... (Below threshold)
virgo:

~FLIP FLOP~ Did He not already attend the matches?

He got caught THEN he made ... (Below threshold)
moseby:

He got caught THEN he made good. Hey...what a brave and decent man!!

Okay, hold on. I have no l... (Below threshold)
trb:

Okay, hold on. I have no love for Reid, but this sounds like it's truly not a big deal. From the LVRJ (http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2006/May-31-Wed-2006/news/7696406.html):

---
Boxing promoter Bob Arum said Reid and McCain also sat in ticketed seating at about three matches each but paid for their tickets "invariably." Arum said McCain and Reid's seats at the Hopkins-de la Hoya fight, on the other hand, were credentials from the commission, not tickets from Arum. But McCain, who brought his wife to the fight, sent Arum a check for the price of two ringside seats.

Arum said he didn't know what to do with the money.

"Those credentials cannot be sold," he said. "There's no price on them. (They are given to) governors, attorney generals, boxing commissioners of other states. ... It's illegal to accept money for a credential."

Arum said he couldn't accept McCain's money but McCain wouldn't take it back, so Arum donated it to Catholic Charities.
---

People shouldn't sound like the looney left in condemning something like this...just because it might have looked improper doesn't mean it necessarily was. Jumping on the "OMFG corruption!" bandwagon is something that ticks me off about the left these days; don't be like that.

--trb

Well just because Bob Arum ... (Below threshold)

Well just because Bob Arum says it doesn't mean it's true, heh.

"Reversing course, Senate D... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

"Reversing course, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid's office acknowledged Wednesday night he misstated the ethics rules governing his acceptance of free boxing tickets and has decided to avoid taking such gifts in the future. "

Shouldn't we put this in context and say that Reid lied to the American public. I mean if Bush 'lied' about WMD, then shouldn't Reid be credited with telling a lie, not 'misstated'.

Yes.... (Below threshold)
virgo:

Yes.

Shouldn't we put this in... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Shouldn't we put this in context and say that Reid lied to the American public. I mean if Bush 'lied' about WMD, then shouldn't Reid be credited with telling a lie, not 'misstated'.

Yes, you mark that down on your little 'lies of politicians' tally sheet. Have fun.

That quote is from a very m... (Below threshold)
Oh Dear:

That quote is from a very misleading AP article. What Reid "admitted he had mis-stated" was the rules governing accepting gifts from state agencies, not that he shouldn't have taken the gift. No flip-flop there just clarification. He thought that you could only take them from your own state (so NV for him) and that someone like MCCain - who took the tickets but paid for them - couldn't. That's wrong, any senator fomr any state can take gifts from state agencies.

He did follow this by saying that in future he will avoid even the appearance of impropriety by not taking any gifts of this sort. However it was and remains within ethical guidelines to take this sort of gift. Moreover, no one has ever acutally suggested that this gift was intended to sawy his vote, nor that it did. It wasn't and didn't. So Kim, the fact that Ried did not change his views on the legislation is PRECICELY the point. I mean -what other point could there be?

Solomon needs to get some flak for this, he's medacious and misleading. BUt it also behooves bloggers to look into a story a little before they parrot misleading information from the MSM.

They were not tickets. Anot... (Below threshold)
jp2:

They were not tickets. Another lie from Kim.

Whether Reid voted the way ... (Below threshold)

Whether Reid voted the way the Commission wanted is completely irrelevant.

There are many ways to influence an outcome besides an actual vote. One could simply stop fighting against a proposal and attempting to convince other Senators to vote against it, while still voting against it oneself. If the vote alone is the determining factor, one could never be caught this way.

Besides, in the Senate it is often possible to work a trade of votes on issues in such a way that two Senators on opposite sides of two given issues simply switch their votes. That way, the final result is unchanged, but each is absolved from any responsibility for the way they would have voted. This usually occurs for political reasons, but there is no way to be certain when it happens, as there is no record at all.

There is not a single code of ethics in government or business which would absolve someone from an "apparent conflict of interests" just because he didn't come down on the side of the apparent attempt to influence his actions in the end.


What Reid is saying here, in effect, is, "I have done nothing wrong - and I promise never to do it again!"

OMG jp2, the difference bet... (Below threshold)
scsiwuzzy:

OMG jp2, the difference between seats and the tickets to the seats are WHAT?

I thought that was kind of ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I thought that was kind of weird too, but apparently there is a difference:

From the Las Vegas Review Journal

Ratner said Tuesday the seats Reid and McCain got weren't tickets available to the general public but "credentials" the commission gives only to public officials hoping to observe the commission's activity.

---

I can imagine why he (Reid) would want to watch us in action -- to watch how the scorecards are taken from the judges and what we do with the scorecards -- to see whether there was a need for legislation at the federal level," he said.

Boxing promoter Bob Arum said Reid and McCain also sat in ticketed seating at about three matches each but paid for their tickets "invariably." Arum said McCain and Reid's seats at the Hopkins-de la Hoya fight, on the other hand, were credentials from the commission, not tickets from Arum. But McCain, who brought his wife to the fight, sent Arum a check for the price of two ringside seats.

Arum said he didn't know what to do with the money.

"Those credentials cannot be sold," he said. "There's no price on them. (They are given to) governors, attorney generals, boxing commissioners of other states. ... It's illegal to accept money for a credential."

Arum said he couldn't accept McCain's money but McCain wouldn't take it back, so Arum donated it to Catholic Charities.

So do these "credentials" qualify as gifts if they can't be sold and thus have no monetary value? I don't think so.

mantis, precisely. If anyt... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

mantis, precisely. If anything, these never available to Joe average seats are more valuable than others. It's like a back stage pass, and everyone will be treated as a VIP just for having that seat.

Calling Kim a liar for using the word ticket is just looking for any reason to attack.

Its part of the "do it unti... (Below threshold)

Its part of the "do it until someone complains" culture. Unapologetic until he sees that "someone" is one million deep and then he recognizes the "SOMEONE" should be listened to.

In the old day, when people had real consciences this sort of thing happened at a synaptic level.

This "credentials" stuff is... (Below threshold)

This "credentials" stuff is obviously created specifically to aloow arguments that they are no gifts.

If your teen comes home and says:

"Geesh Dad, I didn't crash the car, I just actively promoted its kinetic disassembly."

Do you say, "Whew, am I glad you weren't in an accident."

Or do you say:

"You are grounded until you are 80, and after trying to decieve me that way you can start mowing the lawn with toenail clippers every day for the next 3 months."

oops, spell checker and Mar... (Below threshold)

oops, spell checker and Mark 1 eyeballs malfunctioning:

...allow... ...not [gifts].

I wonder how Harry would "i... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

I wonder how Harry would "investigate" prostitution in Nevada.




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