Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says it's his official duty to attend boxing matches in Nevada and that he did nothing wrong when he accepted complimentary ringside seats from a state agency that was lobbying him.
Reid says he would have been criticized for not going to the
fight because he has an obligation to make sure the sport kept
The Nevada Democrat was responding to an Associated Press story
that detailed how the senator had accepted free tickets possibly
valued at several thousand dollars from the Nevada Athletic
Commission - the agency that regulates boxing in the state.
At the time, the agency was lobbying Reid to drop his support
for the creation of a federal boxing commission that could have
undermined the powerful Nevada agency's authority.
Reid made the comments after attending a town hall meeting with
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.
Dean called criticism of Reid's ethics "ridiculous" and
repeated his attacks on Republicans.