Senate Democratic Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) 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.
Reid 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.
He defended the gifts, saying that they would never influence his position on the bill and he 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 number one businesses,” he said. “I love the fights anyways, so it wasn’t like being punished,” added the senator, a former boxer and boxing judge.
Boxing reform blocked by Reid, McCain alleges
By Tony Batt Las Vegas Review-Journal February 4, 2004
WASHINGTON — A feud between Sens. John McCain and Harry Reid over boxing reform intensified Tuesday when McCain accused Reid on a nationally syndicated radio program of stalling efforts to clean up the sport.
Appearing on the Don Imus show, which is simulcast on MSNBC, McCain promoted his bill to empower a national boxing commissioner.
“It’s being held up by Sen. Harry Reid,” said McCain, R-Ariz. “(Promoters) Don King and Bob Arum don’t want boxing reform, but we’re going to win because there are going to be more scandals.
As do all multimillion dollar industries, I suppose. Because where would the government be without multimillion dollars industries under its regulatory thumb? And where would government officials be without multimillion dollar industries to give them thousands of dollars worth of…err…gifts?
Well, they’d be where Senator McCain was, paying 1400 smackers for the tickets that Reid sucked down for free.
Category: Political Pontifications