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Brothel industry fears Harry Reid will seek to end legal prostitution

Updated Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 | 8:25 p.m.

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Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could have used this defense to rebuff Republicans who blamed him for the state's dismal economy during the campaign: The brothels are responsible for our high unemployment rate.

The brothel industry is preparing to stack the Legislature with its professional women on Tuesday, fearing Reid will call for an end to legalized prostitution in Nevada when he addresses lawmakers.

George Flint, lobbyist for the Nevada brothel industry, said he believes Reid will use his biannual address to broach the subject.

A source close to the Democrats confirmed that Reid's staff was trying to convince Reid not to talk about prostitution and point out its role as an impediment to economic development.

Reid spokesman Jon Summers would neither confirm nor deny what would be in Reid's speech.

The story was first reported by the Reno Gazette-Journal's Ray Hagar.

Bringing up brothels has been frowned upon in Nevada's Legislature.

In 2009, when the state was hurting for money, Flint said the brothel industry would be willing to pay a tax to the state. (Currently, it pays fees to the counties where brothels are based.) Flint was shot down by Democratic legislators, who regarded the issue as a distraction.

State law prohibits Clark and Washoe counties, the two most populous counties in the state, from having legalized prostitution. But just outside of Carson City, 6.3 miles away, are legal brothels.

Sun reporter Anjeanette Damon contributed to this story.

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  1. A year ago this month, the lobbyist for the brothel industry offered 2.5 million in taxes to Sens. Townsend, Care, and Coffin during the special session to help with the budget deficit.

    Harry should bash the legislature for NOT taking that money before they started to cfonsider taking MORE wages, benefits, and retirement from working Nevada families.

    The momey to solve this budget problem has been made more times over and over by foreign mining companies over these recession years, not working families who are living from paycheck to paycheck.

  2. We are Nevada. We sell debauchery!

    The legislators and prostitutes have a lot in common.

    Apologies to the prostitutes for the comparison.

  3. Look, this profession, which I dare say is the "oldest profession" has been in existence since the beginning of time. You CAN NOT legislate morality! You CAN legislate fair paying of taxes, which Nevada has blantantly failed to do for decades.

    For too long, people living paycheck to paycheck have born the burden of taxes, with the wealthy sector getting off (oh, did I say that?) barely paying any tax. Now, we are hearing who has been the ones who have failed to bring about a fair taxation structure.

    Let me also address the fact the the majority of those now in the sex trades are ILLEGAL ALIENS, who, are subjected to all manner of slavery, something that has been outlawed in this country for over 100 years, but, those with golden morals seem to turn a blind eye to. What about that? At the very least, those who have chosen legal prostitution and abide by the law have offered to pay more tax and to not only provide the outreach services to women wishing to leave the industry, but to CLEAN UP THE STREETS AND STATE of illegal sex trade and smut peddlers. What about that?

    It is absolutely offensive that leaders in not only our state but country pick and choose issues to serve their perceived image. Are the people going to continue with the status quo, with the uprising of social sectors who are being unfairly treated? The time is ripe for social unrest, and the unmasking and dethroning of those who have abused the very people they serve. What about that?

  4. Right. Businesses don't move here because there are a few whorehouses. Sure.

    It's certainly not because of the bottom-ranked school system, the water quality, the high crime rates, the lack of an educated work force, the limited recreational options, the crooked politicians, the (pick a worst-of list we haven't been on in 2010). It's because you can, in certain counties, safely and discretely pay for legal sex.

    Yeah. That's it. Not placating the LDS church at all. Nope.

  5. and if you don't think a ceo's wife or two hasn't killed her husband's plans for expanding in vegas...



    If that CEO or anyone else in the company is going to hire a prostitute, they certainly don't have to be in Vegas to do it!!!

  6. I find this whole thing confusing: with all that is going on in this Country and the State of Nevada (and just about every other State), Reid wants to step up to the plate and end legal prostitution in NV!!! Sheesh!! Guess he doesn't frequent any of the resort pools in Vegas, or any of the clubs. It's STILL is gonna be happening - legal or otherwise.

    This certainly is a "WTF!!" moment.

    Priorities, man, priorities!!!

  7. I'm not a big fan of brothels, but "The brothels are responsible for our high unemployment rate." How does that figure. To bad the republicans couldn't have come up with someone more solid than Sharon Angle in the last election. We could have been rid of Harry Reid.

  8. How about that!!!!! This coming from one of the biggest prostitutes in Congress. Will he also ban himself???????

  9. I can understand moral and health concerns, but this thrust from a professional politician is hypocrisy, on its back.

  10. Leave it alone Harry. Brothels have nothing to do with businesses locating in Nevada however it does contribute to the tourist revenue. There are many pressing matters to deal with and LEGAL prostitution isn't one of them. Stop being selective about the issues you want to poke around with and deal with those that need attention. If its not broken don't try fixing it. Professional hooking isn't broken Harry.