Published Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 | 5:25 p.m.
Updated Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 | 8:25 p.m.
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.