Reid defends accepting free ringside tickets

Updated: May 30, 2006, 2:12 PM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is broadly defending accepting free ringside boxing tickets from the Nevada Athletic Commission while the state agency was trying to influence him on federal boxing regulations.

The senior senator from Nevada is also defending several actions he took that benefited disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff's clients and partners as they donated to him.

Reid, a former boxer and boxing judge, said he feels he did nothing wrong.

An Associated Press report found Reid took free seats for three big Las Vegas fights between 2003 and 2005 -- as he was pressing legislation to increase government oversight of the sport.

One measure would have formed a federal boxing commission that might have usurped Nevada Athletic Commission authority.

Reid also had separate meetings in June 2003 in his Senate offices with two Abramoff tribal clients and a former staffer who went to work for Abramoff.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press