John Ensign Defends Legal Prostitution in Nevada

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Pushing back against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), who has called for an end to legal prostitution in Nevada, the state's other senator defended the Moonlite Bunny Ranch status quo:

Henderson, NV -- Senator John Ensign is breaking with Nevada's senior senator over the issue of legalized prostitution, saying leave it alone.

"You know, that's a county by county issue and I think and it should be left to the counties," said Ensign after a town hall meeting in Henderson Wednesday.

Senator Harry Reid's remarks Tuesday that Nevada should end legalized prostitution set off a firestorm throughout the state, particularly in rural areas where brothels are big business.

The Senate Ethics Committee recently appointed a special counsel to look into whether Ensign, a Republican, should be charged with breaking Senate rules or federal law in his handling of the aftermath of an affair with the wife of his deputy chief of staff. He is up for re-election in 2012 and was cleared in earlier probes of the affair aftermath by the Federal Election Commission and Department of Justice.

Read the full story at KTNV in Las Vegas.

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Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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