Harry Reid's "outlaw prostitution" speech was puzzling. The sentiments he expressed ("Nevada needs to be known as the first place for innovation and investment-–not as the last place where prostitution is still legal") make sense in theory, but why now? As Politico's Molly Ball observed, "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."
Perhaps more confusing than Reid's timing was fellow NV Senator John Ensign's response: defending legal prostitution. Ensign, if you recall, was previously embroiled in a 2009 sex scandal where he "acknowledged an extramarital affair with a former campaign staffer who is married to one of the lawmaker's former legislative aides." You'd think that Ensign would want to distance himself from anything involving sex if he is, indeed, considering a re-election bid.
But, nope. "You know, [legal prostitution is] a county by county issue and I think and it should be left to the counties," figured Ensign in an interview with local station KTNV.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.