Politics

Why did Craigslist and eBay submit to Schumer bullying?

Why did Craigslist and eBay submit to Schumer bullying?

If both parties are satisfied, why is profit a problem?

That’s the question I’d pose New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, who for some unexplained reason has been in a tizzy over the idea of Americans selling their Obama Inauguration tickets online to other Americans who actually want to attend the event.

Initially distributed for free by congressional offices, a bunch of these tickets are apparently being scalped online for up to $4,300 on Craigslist and Ebay. God bless, America.

First, Schumer implored congressional office staff to put a stop to the madness — “When the tickets are released this year, I’d encourage my colleagues in the House and Senate to take similar measures to discourage ticket holders from using those tickets to make a quick buck,” he explained.

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While elected officials might have a problem with the behavior of their staff members — though it might be that these tickets were being auctioned by others —  is it illegal to sell a free ticket? On Craigslist, I can purchase tickets to any event in the Washington area. In D.C., tickets can’t be sold on public land, but it’s perfectly legal to sell it online. And, as far as I can tell, Inauguration tickets are no different.

I found this on Tom Udall’s website.

If I receive a ticket to the Inauguration, can I sell it? 

You should not attempt to sell, swap, or trade your ticket. It may soon become illegal to do so, and it is against the spirit of the event.

You might be sullying the spirit of the event, but you’re not engaging in illegal behavior — yet. Well, no matter, today Schumer announced that “at his request” eBay and Craigslist had surrendered to his nagging and pledged to work with him to stop the sale of tickets.

From the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies release:

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that, at his request, eBay and Craigslist have pledged to work with Schumer’s office to stop the sale of scalped tickets to the Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies. After media reports that online retailers were offering scalped tickets that are meant to be free for members of the public, Schumer publicly called on the companies to cease the practice and preserve the integrity of the Inaugural events.

Last I looked (1:18 p.m. Thursday), Washington’s Craigslist still featured tickets for sale:

ingtix2

So snap them up.

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