I think it has been pretty clear that I brook no slack on corruption, regardless the party label work by offenders. I find corruption to be a gross violation of the public trust. So I read with interest the AP's supposed revelations of unethical behavior by Harry Reid. And, frankly, I was underwhelmed. At a time when "corruption" literally means the buying of congressmen and legislation with cash, boats, houses, and hookers, we're supposed to get upset because Reid (a former boxer and boxing commissioner in Nevada) got free tickets to a boxing match?
I'll go with Josh Marshall's reponse:
Back in February, the AP's John Solomon ran a lengthy piece detailing alleged contacts between Jack Abramoff's team at Greenberg Traurig and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV). As Josh pointed out, although the article concentrated on the fact that Team Abramoff was lobbying Reid on behalf of sweatshop owners in the Northern Marianas, Solomon failed to note that Reid actually voted against the legislation Abramoff was pushing.
Well, Solomon has written a new piece purporting to illustrate still more of Reid's ethical improprieties. He's managed to actually make a weaker case than in his last story.
Here's the central allegation:
Senate Democratic 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.
That sounds pretty bad.
Only, there is an exception for gifts from governmental agencies (like the Nevada Athletic Commission) in the Senate ethics rules. So there is nothing untoward about Reid having accepted the free tickets.
But it would still seem pretty bad if Reid had accepted the tickets and then stumped shamelessly for the commission.
Only, he didn't. As was the case with Abramoff and the Marianas, Reid voted against the peddler's interest.
If this is the best that months of investigative digging can do on our Senate leader, then I'm confident we're in pretty solid footing. As Josh says, Reid is looking "remarkably incorruptible".
But there's something more at play here. It's clear, thanks to some digging around by Aravosis, that Solomon is either an incompetent reporter or a partisan on an anti-Democratic crusade. His hit pieces on Democrats have left out key facts, as did his reporting on the Plame Affair.
Call me when a reputable reporter digs up some real dirt on Harry Reid. So far, the former Boxer from Nevada who cleared out the mafia from Las Vegas (to huge personal risk) is looking pretty darn good.