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.