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. SKI

    The same neo-cons who cried earlier that the Inauguration tickets are selling for $40,000 and where the money goes and how much goes to President-Elect Obama and ALL THE B...S...

    Now the same group is twisting their tongue and advising(?) the Senator to concentrate on more pressing issues. Dont Sulk too much folks. Remember "Haste is Waste" – If you don't know who said this first, do some research.

    CHANGE HAS COME to America and we are marching towards new world under the leadership of ONE and ONLY Barack Obama!

    November 17, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Waddsa matter Dianne, don't you believe in the free black market system?

    November 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Cammi317

    I am on the "list" of one of my local senator's. The other's office sent an e-mail stating that they already had too many request. I hope I am able to get a ticket because being on the list still doesn't mean much when tickets are on a first come first serve basis.

    November 17, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Joe Starbuck

    These are some of the dumbest yet most brilliant comments tuned up by the orchestra of Americans that I've ever read! It's the Messiah for hells sakes, open the gates and let them go to him, for theirs is the kingdom of change!!

    November 17, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Randy - Denver

    Interesting how some feel that selling something you were given for free (or forged a copy) is the "American way" and that anyone who tries to allow the average person to get a free ticket and see the inauguration is somehow "Socialist" This is the ignorance that President Obama will have to fight everystep of the way in his attempt to put America back on the right path again.

    November 17, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. petena

    The responsibility lies in the people who have the tickets to give out – not the buyers.

    November 17, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. John S


    November 17, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. California Gold

    Ken, you submit a request and according to my Senator (Dianne Feinstein) tickets will be distributed in January 2009.

    November 17, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. Scott, Wichita

    I saw a YouTube video of someone proudly proclaiming that he had just spent $10,000 on 4 tickets so that he and his family could go. I couldn't help but laugh at him.

    Oh, and patriot: inauguration tickets have always been free. There is no socialism at work here. That comes later in the Obama administration.

    November 17, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. Are you kidding?

    Get a life senator! There are more important things to deal with. Please!

    November 17, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. Meh

    Obama Victim> You're completely ridiculous. First of all, no-one is calling him "the Messiah" except for the Right. Second of all, Barack has NOTHING to do w. tickets being scalped.
    You certainly are "comfused". At least you admit it!

    November 17, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  12. Sam

    Why even make people get tickets? They should just open up the mall to whoever wants to go.

    November 17, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    I am excited that this will be the LARGEST crowd ever gathered for an inauguration ceremony! Of course it wont quiet the idiots, sore-losers and bullies of the far-right!

    I can not wait for President Obama to succeed, so that the nay sayers, the far-right-hate-mongers on 'Faux News', AM radio, and some of the far-right-folks on these blogs will have to eat..........crow!

    November 17, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. Practical Gal

    There are dozens of reasons why not everyone who wants to go will be able to go (money, health, etc). Why not host a party with friends and family and watch this historic event on TV. The view will be better, the temperature will be more suitable and the bathroom will definitely be closer.

    November 17, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. David

    Why is it such a big deal now. It seems that the game always changes. I don't recall anyone speaking about this during any other inauguration. Why not let Capitalism flow. This is an Historic Event, if people want to pay that amount of money then they will. It seem s to me the good Senator should be worried about solving/supporting solutions to get us out of this Crisis. Or stopping our jobs from leaving the country.

    November 17, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Martin from Germany

    Wow! I mean, WOW! If anyone had ever told me that a president could be that popular, even before he actually IS the president... Unreal... I am so happy i saved the TiVo from his visit to Berlin. Something to show the grandkids, maybe. And i sure will TiVo the inauguration. The Secret Service must go NUTS! This is going to be BEDLAM! People dancing in the streets, firework, what have you. A country of 300+ Million people like EJECTING two "persona non grata". That's going to be a sight to see. Oh, and for those who worry about the economy: google "Wirtschaftswunder" and see what a change in politics can do for a country...

    November 17, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. Michael, Houston Texas

    Senator Feinstein, don't you have more important things to do than this. If you buy any ticket that the whole world knows is free...then sucks for you idiot. And if a dumba$$ wants to spend his/her money on a ticket that is free, then that is thier choice. Now shut up Senator Feinstien and get back to work on the real problems. And no I am not a Republican either. This is so stupid.

    November 17, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. Rockford

    Wow... all the trouble in this country and we address scalping?

    If you are dumb enough to buy one... buyer beware I say....

    November 17, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  19. VJmem

    Please everyone, let's stop the foolishness. Make sure that anyone who is interested in a ticket knows to call their local state representative's office and be placed on a list. There will be ONLY 240,000 tickets available AND they have NOT be given to the State Reps yet, so you know that you can't buy one. If anyone falls victim to this scalping you can believe that someone will be quite anxious to say that it was caused by "the Obama people". Those who are posting here like "J.P." and "RH" and "Obama Victim", why don't you figure out what you can do as an individual to help make things better for the people around you because based on your sacastic remarks, you need to do more.

    November 17, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Peter (CA)

    Hey Feinstein: How about.....?

    Let me post here the same comment I posted on another thread when you called yourself "Obama discriminating..."

    "Obama discriminating"—What's your agenda?
    I got a robocall before the election asking me to vote no on 8 and included a clip from Obama saying that it was an intolerant measure.
    What more do you want now??

    How about some answers instead of just spewing?

    November 17, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  21. Praetorian

    Our actions speak volumes of our nation.
    Scalping tickets!!!
    Again SOME of us are showing what BS our constitution and vales are by stooping so low our foreign neighbors rightfully presume–we'd sell our own Mother's to turn a buck!!!

    November 17, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. Matt

    If people want to waste money watching this idiot swear to destroy the nation let them

    November 17, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. JL

    I find it comical how some people on these boards are still scared of the President-Elect because they received an email or went to a Palin rally or because of the color of his skin. It will be really funny to see where they turn their hate and fear when Obama gets into office and turns our current situation around.

    I guess some people are not happy unless they are scared of some imaginary boogie-man. They are probably the same people that think W is a smart man who has done a great job and elvis is still alive.

    Unreal how partisan people choose to be, but, I guess it's easier for some people to just repeat whatever they hear and spew hate and fear rather than to actually think for themselves or do a little research before jumping to conclusions.

    November 17, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  24. conservative

    Wouldn't walk across the street for free tickets to this democrat dog and pony show !!

    November 17, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  25. Rick

    These people take themselves way too seriously. If I had a front row ticket I still wouldn't go. Nobody cares.

    November 17, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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