Senator Harry Reid has pissed off numerous people at home with just a few words in a major speech recently: "The time has come for us to outlaw prostitution."
He said he had recently been told by a businessman who was considering investing locally that "he simply couldn't believe that one of the biggest businesses in the county he was considering for his new home is legal prostitution." Reid added, "I've talked to families who feel the same way — parents who don't want their children to look out of a school bus and see a brothel, or to live in a state with the wrong kind of red lights."
Prostitution is legal in several rural counties in Nevada and is broadly seen as an issue of local control within the state. As a child, Reid learned how to swim in a bordello pool. And given the overall state of affairs in Nevada, the consensus appeared to be irritation that Reid was making this into an issue — one of the state's reputation above all else, with limited evidence. There isn't even any particular legislation to outlaw it, nor any talk of it.
Dennis Hof of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, having gotten advance notice of the speech, announced on the scene, "Harry Reid will have to pry the cathouse keys from my cold, dead hands."
The brothel owners actually went to the government in 2009 to suggest they be taxed, a proposal the legislature passed on, saying it had other priorities. (They do pay taxes on the basic operations.)
In response, Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston wrote,
You think major companies would not move to Nevada because of a couple dozen brothels in rural parts of the state as opposed to executives being repelled by the wasteland that is Nevada's education system? Reid knows this, and what's worse, he showed he knows it later in his speech, realizing full well the Fourth Estate and others would glom onto his unnecessary "Bye Bye Brothels" verses.
And so it did.
Reid's Prostitution Lecture Bombs [Politico]
Harry Reid's Call For Brothel Ban A Real Showstopper [Las Vegas Sun]
The Capital's Red Light District [Las Vegas Sun]