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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. David from Atlanta

    250k tickets divided by the 535 total congressmen means roughly 500 tickets for each member of Congress. If any normal citizen thinks they will get a ticket over major party supporters you are insane.

    November 17, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |

    me personally i am glad that she is concentrating on this... it keeps her from screwing california up anymore than it already is..... time for her and the rest of the tree hugging democrats to head north east

    November 17, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. patriot

    Those who don't understand the implications of scalping for a national event like this need to bone up on what being a citizen of this great country is all about. (Some people, it would seem, would sell tickets to their mother's funeral if they thought they could make money off it)

    November 17, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. No More Wall Street

    Would like to see a change in the greed-is-good mindset that would facilitate the sale of these tickets for 5-figure sums.

    For the good of the country, Obama, find a way to lock these leaches up and let it be the start of no more people being rewarded for NON-VALUE_ADDED activity.

    November 17, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  5. Inside job

    Another carpet bagger.

    November 17, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. linda from South Dakota

    isnt this typical,, everyone eants a spiece of the pie and many are goin online with fake sites to get your money to something thats not even legal,,, or really there,, hopefully people are smart enought to realize that this is a scam,,,,,DONT SEND MONEY!!!!! just be glad you are able to sit in your comfortable chair and watch it on tv,,,,, almost like a front row seat,,,,

    November 17, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  7. Don't miss the point

    See this for what it is, an example of how America has gotten to the point where being honorable, being the best, trying to get something for nothing, keeping up with the Joneses, living beyond one's means, has come home to roost.

    Senator Fienstien, because of these larger impacts on society, I support your views on the "scalping" of inaugural tickets.

    November 17, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  8. Vic

    Only people of means and wealth will receive these tickets... we peons don't have a chance ;(

    November 17, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  9. BM

    I contributed. I worked my tail off and in all sincerity, I think I should be given a free ticket.

    November 17, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. independent now

    anyone that is stupid enough to pay anything for these tickets, is an idiot. no 1 its gonna be real cold. 2 your not going to be able to see s–t. stay home watch on tv tivo it for your collection. Lets spend our money and time getting this country on the move again. take the money for the ticket and go buy a american CAR

    November 17, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  11. jane

    it's amazing how many people will and have already fallen prey to greedy ticket scalpers who's only objective is stuffing their pockets with as much money as they scan scam from the suckers who fall for the scams. obviously not everyone has done enough research to find out that the tickets are FREE and not pay $10,000 from scalpers who don't even have any tickets and 99.9999% chance never will! the person who paid $10,000 is an idiot and a sucker who just lost himself $10,000. poof! i, for one, plan to watch the inauguration in the comfort of my cozy living room as it's broadcast, as it most likely will be.

    November 17, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  12. Tiaunia - DALLAS, TEXAS


    November 17, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  13. Larry

    Ms.Frankinstein–Please send me 2 tickets,rather than ask for a government handout,that I won't get anyway,I could helped in other ways.

    In advance,Thank You !!!

    November 17, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    $40,000 for a ticket to stand around in the cold listening to a politician talk? They've got to be kidding...

    November 17, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  15. joe moma

    A fool and his money are soon parted, if these idiots want to spend their money for this then let the fools do so . Why would you care about something as stupid as this , I know someone at work that spent $2000 on fake gold for his character on world of war craft he has 2 kid at home and could have started a college fund for them .Listen to yo mom she told you a fool is born every minute history repeats itself over and over you are wasting you time .These idiots are going to use their mortage money to buy these tickets then lose their houses and point their finger at Bush,as was done so with katrina and global warming. These are the same haters that have 1.1 children and have 2 8000 pound SUVs parked in the driveway and thought it was a right to buy a big screen tv instead of paying the bills. Don't worry they will get their money back when the wealth is redistributed.

    November 17, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  16. Gene

    I really don't know what's worse. Having to pay thousands of dollars to get into this event.. or only being able to get in because you know the right people and kissed the right butts. Either way.. only the privileged attend.

    November 17, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  17. anyonmous

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    November 17, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  18. anyonmous

    Comments are moderated by CNN, in accordance with the CNN Comment Policy, and may not appear on this blog until they have been reviewed and deemed appropriate for posting. Also, due to the volume of comments we receive, not all comments will be posted.

    November 17, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  19. anyonmous

    « Back to mainPrevious article:
    Cafferty: Should Congress freeze remaining bailout money?Next article:
    Obama acts presidential even as he lays low

    November 17, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  20. anyonmous

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    November 17, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  21. W O W WO W


    staff,,,,,,,,,,,,has,,,,,,,,,,,,put,,,,,,,,,,,tickets,,,,,,,,,,,,for,,,,,,,,,,,,sale ? ? ?

    November 17, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  22. Simmy

    Some people have no shame!

    November 17, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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