Harry Reid speaks

and people chuckle. From Politico:

Harry Reid's prostitution lecture bombs
The most powerful man in the United States Senate, addressing the legislature of his home state at a time of fiscal chaos and potential government shutdown, had something he wanted to talk about Tuesday: hookers.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's impassioned lecture landed in Carson City with a thud.

"The time has come for us to outlaw prostitution," Reid said in his biennial address to the Nevada legislature and an audience that included a legal brothel owner, legal prostitutes and the legal industry's state lobbyist.

Reid paused at that point, one of the few times he did so in a half-hour speech he otherwise seemed to rush through. No one applauded.

The whorehouse owner in attendance, Dennis Hof of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, told reporters on the scene: "Harry Reid will have to pry the cathouse keys from my cold, dead hands."

A bit more:

"I think everybody is just kind of laughing up their sleeve about it," said Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea, a Republican from rural Eureka. "I can promise you there's not any kind of a movement to bring a bill forward."

State Sen. Sheila Leslie, a Reno Democrat, said she didn't see prostitution coming on the legislature's radar: "We are consumed by the the budget and its implications for our state," she said.

Legislators of both parties generally see legal prostitution in Nevada, the only state that permits it, as a settled issue of local control by the rural counties where it is allowed. Many voiced surprise that Reid brought it up.

Goicoechea, a rancher, joked: "You know, they say sheepherding is the second-oldest profession. Is he going to try to do away with us too?"

And the numbers?

Storey County Commissioner Bum Hess said taxes paid by the county's two brothels account for about $1 million of the county's roughly $12 million budget, including licenses, room taxes and property taxes. He believes legal prostitution is safer than illegal prostitution and regulating it reduces crime.

"I wouldn't want my niece or daughter or aunt doing it, but we choose to regulate and control it," he said.

Nevadans are ruing the day he got re-elected last November. Six years is a long time...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on February 24, 2011 8:44 PM.

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