Reid defends accepting free ringside tickets

5/30/2006 - Boxing

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.