I say, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – When Harry Reid, the veteran Democratic senator from Nevada, brought up the idea last month of abolishing prostitution in the state, he did so almost as an aside — a few lines in an eight-page speech.
But his remarks touched a nerve in Nevada, the only state with legal brothels, and the resulting debate has reverberated through the Las Vegas mayor’s race.
Nevada allows brothels in counties with fewer than 400,000 residents. That leaves out Clark County and its main city, Las Vegas, a popular gambling and resort center with a reputation as “Sin City.”
The state has been home to legal brothels since the early 1970s, currently numbering two dozen.
But Reid, the Senate majority leader, complained that legalized prostitution lent the wrong image to businesses interested in relocating to Nevada, a potential loss of jobs the state can ill afford.
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“Nevada needs to be known as the first place for innovation and investment — not as the last place where prostitution is still legal,” Reid said, adding his concern was prompted by a visit by a technology firm to rural Storey County.
Within days, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman headed in the opposite direction, repeating an idea he has floated more than once in his nearly 12 years in office — make prostitution legal in the city and create a Wild West version of Amsterdam.