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Reps. George Miller and Chris Van Hollen Want Answers on Ticket Meltdown

tunnelwall.jpgPhoto taken by Taylor Barnes in the 3rd Street tunnel off-ramp to D Street on 10 a.m. Tuesday while waiting in the Purple-ticket line. Barnes and Barnes' father never made it into the ceremony.

The pressure is heating up on Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), head of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, to explain what went wrong Tuesday when thousands of Purple and Blue ticket-holders did not get into Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony.

Both Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) have sent letters to Feinstein asking for answers.

In a letter sent yesterday Miller writes: "On behalf of many of my constituents and thousands of many other Americans from across the country who traveled great distances and spent a considerable amount of money to attend the Inauguration and who waited in line in their designated areas for many hours on Tuesday morning only to be turned away without seeing the Inauguration as planned, I would appreciate receiving an explanation from your office regarding what went wrong."

In a letter sent today, Van Hollen writes: "These were people who did everything they were supposed to do ... Yet despite following the rules, they were still denied access. And worse yet, they were kept in the dark -- deprived of information -- as the hours passed and their hopes of seeing history in the making slipped away."

Feinstein's committee has apologized and she has launched an investigation.

By David A Nakamura  |  January 22, 2009; 4:56 PM ET  | Category:  Crowds , Security , Swearing-in Ceremony , Tickets
Previous: Souvenir Watch: Inauguration Air | Next: Sen. Feinstein: Purple and Blue Ticket-holders Will Receive Special Souvenirs (*Updated)

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One correction which is the people in the purple entrance were not turned away but just left there standing while officers on the roof tops, and helicopter just watched and did NOTHING.

Posted by: Mikefrom8thdistrict | January 22, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the clarification mikefrom8thdistrict: we were never turned away because we were completely abandoned out there. I would have almost preferred to be turned away; maybe I would have had time to make it somewhere else to watch the ceremony. As it was, all I got to see were ticketed guests who HAD made it in, leave after the oath of office and BEFORE his speech because they did not want to wait in line to get OUT.

ABANDONED ....that is what we were.

Posted by: kashabear | January 23, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The Nation's Capital will celebrate the effective, efficient security measures during the recent Inauguration festivities at the National Bollard Festival.

See http://notionscapital.wordpress.com/2009/01/25/celebrate-inaugural-security/

Posted by: MikeLicht | January 25, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

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