November 17th, 2008
04:01 PM ET
9 years ago

Feinstein: Inaugural passes not ‘tickets to a football game’

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is looking to crack down on fake Inaugural tickets.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is looking to crack down on fake Inaugural tickets.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Dianne Feinstein is on a mission during the current lame duck session of Congress that isn’t focused solely on the words ‘bailout’ or ‘economy.’

On Monday, the Democrat from California introduced legislation to ban the “sale and counterfeiting” of tickets to President-elect Barack Obama’s Inauguration January 20.

While some tickets are being offered up on Internet sites for reportedly as high as $40,000, in actuality the tickets are free. Members of Congress and the Obama-Biden transition team hand out the tickets.

The government has printed 250,000 tickets so far, holding them in a secure location. For information on how to get one, click here.

Related: Obama inauguration tickets fetching 5 figures online

“No Web sites or other ticket outlets have inaugural swearing-in tickets to sell, despite what they may claim,” according to a press release from Feinstein’s office.

Feinstein – chairwoman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies - said that the inauguration should “not be bought and sold like tickets to a football game.”

“This legislation is meant to immediately stop the unscrupulous behavior of those who obtain these tickets for free and then seek to profit by selling them, often at dramatically inflated prices. This bill also would target those duping the public with fraudulent tickets or promises of tickets they don’t actually have,” she added.

According to the release, the bill would make it illegal to sell or attempt to sell tickets to the inauguration – and would also make it unlawful to create fake or forged tickets.

Those in violation of the proposed law would face fines of up to $100,000 and one year in prison.

soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Proud to be American

    Yeah! let ensure it is fair as EVERYONE I know would love to go and see that process but with the ecconomy the way it is who can afford it.... lets ensure it is a fair process and not just for the RICH!

    November 17, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. patriot

    Great idea, Sen. Feinstein, I like it! Now watch the right wingers decry this as socialism! How will Joe the Ticket Scalper feed his family and achieve the American Dream?!

    November 17, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |


    November 17, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Charlotte

    Excellent! I almost fell for one of these schemes. Luckily I did my research first. I'm sure others won't be so fortunate!

    November 17, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. Obama Victim

    this sounds like corruption...............but The Messiah promised "Change"????

    I am comfused

    November 17, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. RH

    "Feinstein...said that the inauguration should 'not be bought and sold like tickets to a football game.'"

    Why not? The presidency itself is.

    November 17, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Spencer/NY to VA

    The congressman only get 198 tickets. Boby Scott says he's received more than 10,000 request for tickets. When is the inaugaral transition team going to release information to where the general public can stand?

    November 17, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. gallimimus

    Doesn't it seem like the police or Secret service should be handling this? I would think that a senator should get off her butt and start helping to run the country. Instead, of worrying about how much the inaugral tickets are going for on ebay!!! How about come up with an alternative energy plan!!!!!

    November 17, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Kyle

    This is stupid. They should just say "look, don't buy these tickets, you'll get ripped off. You've been warned," rather than wasting legislative time with nonsense. Be happy that people are treating this event with the same level of enthusiam and hype as the last super bowl. But let the suckers be suckered and move on to more important things like say, the auto bailout?

    November 17, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. paul (staunch Moderate)

    Brava, to Ms Feinstein! This legislation should apply to all future inaugurations as well.

    November 17, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. Tim

    Good for her. This is to be an historic moment celebrating our country's progress; not an attempt for individuals to profit.

    November 17, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Let's see we have 2 wars going on, the economy is in the dumpster, and Feinstein thinks a top pririty is to stop ticket scalpers. Maybe she should take on fishing without a license next. It's because of idiots like this that Congress has a 9% approval rating. Would someone please smack her upside the head.

    November 17, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. Feinstein: How about an important issue?

    Obama told us he was the unity candidate? So why does he not embrace us gays? He walked away from us on Prop 8 and said nothing while we marched for our rights over the weekend.

    Is he afraid of the black community which voted against our basic rights by 70-30?

    How can he not support human rights unless he's just another slick politician who won't walk the talk. Are we not human? Speak to us president elect Obama. Where's the tolerance all of your followers talk about????

    November 17, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. GARY


    November 17, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. J.P.

    Yes, the tickets should not be sold for a profit. That would be capitalist in nature, and we know this administration has promised change.

    November 17, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. thomas

    Can we start calling this ticketgate yet?

    November 17, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    November 17, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Molly

    I'm glad someone stood up to it finally, but anyone dumb enough to shell out that kind of money deserves to get ripped off.

    November 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. Harry, IL

    At least Dianne is talking sense. What happened to Chuck Schumer. He is spending lot of money around to capture seats for these liberal democrats. Comm,on American is uffering right now and worrying about our future but these politicians are spending money like water. Chuck Schumer should be brought to justice.

    November 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. DC native

    The inauguration parade is also open to the public, so if you're not fortunate enough to get tickets from your state representative, feel free to stand along the parade route and be a part of history that way!! He atmosphere will be filled with joy! It will great a great experience! (even for the Obama haters)!

    November 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. Washington Observer

    It is business as usual for the Democrats Absolute power corrupts, and Obama is headed for absolute power.

    Anyone found to be scalping tickets ought to go to jail. Any ticket costing over $200 is a black spot on Obama's record

    November 17, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. ken

    I ordered for a ticket which I haven't gotten. who is supposed to get one?

    November 17, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. 60 year old, white female for Obama

    Obama Victim: I am not sure what emotion "comfused" is, but do wonder about your maturiy level at insisting that Obama is the "messiah" while claiming that he is so all powerful that he has the time to concern himself with the distribution of the tickets for his inauguration.

    He is much too busy getting ready for the job he was ELECTED to do...get over it!!

    November 17, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  24. patriot

    Hey Mike Syracuse: We continue to insist on imprisoning child molesters, arresting armed robbers and prosecuting rapists. Guess we ought to knock that off because we have 2 wars going on and the economy is in the dumpster, right? Give yourself a smack upside the head, then see if you can think before you post next time!!

    November 17, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. patriot

    Only in America would an historic national event be viewed as a business opportunity. C'mon, let's show a little decorum here. There is a time and a place for everything, including profit making. There was a reason Jesus kicked the money changers' arses out of the temple.

    November 17, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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