Young Demands Apology for Inaugural Mishaps

Posted January 21, 2009 at 12:59pm

It’s not all good feelings on Capitol Hill in the wake of President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), angry that some ticketholders were shut out of Tuesday’s ceremony, is asking colleagues to sign on to a letter to the event’s planners demanding an explanation and an apology. “This was a failure in planning and organization and one that must be explained,” Young says in a letter he plans to send today to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, and other event managers, according to a copy. More than 1 million people poured into Washington on Tuesday to join a jubilant celebration of Obama’s swearing-in. But about 4,000 people with highly sought-after blue and purple tickets were reportedly blocked from entering Capitol grounds when officials locked the gates of their viewing area. It is not yet clear why, and the inaugural committee reportedly plans to investigate. Young, in his letter, said planners need to apologize to those shut out. “They were promised admission to the historic Inauguration of President Obama and they were denied the opportunity, no matter how far they traveled, how much money they spent or how long they waited, every person who was issued a ticket and was unable to get in should receive an apology from those responsible for organizing the Inauguration,” he wrote. “Yesterday was a proud moment for America and it is a shame that it was marred by something simple as the inability to take people’s tickets.”