CAPITOL HILL, D.C. (WUSA) -- Tickets to stand up-front at President Obama's second inauguration are only just going out -- and are already up for bid on eBay for as much as $4,700.
The tickets are supposed to be free, and StubHub has already agreed not to sell them. Sen. Charles Schumer, chair of the Joint Congressional Inauguration Committee is urging eBay and Craigslist not to sell them either.
"These tickets may not be as hard to get as Willie Wonka's golden ticket, but they're right up there," said Schumer.
In a basement room at the Capitol, Congressional staffers lined up for a box full of the priceless tickets to the inauguration's front rows.
"I get calls every day," said a staffer to Rep. Justin Amash, (R-MI), a Tea Party fan so rebellious, Speaker John Boehner kicked him off the Budget Committee. Even members from the deepest red Republican districts say they're overwhelmed.
DC's delegate was giving her tickets away for free, using a lottery to whittle down the 4000 requests to 200 lucky winners. Eleanor Holmes Norton is angry the District only gets a couple of hundred... and even the smallest, most distant state gets at least one thousand.
"You would think that as a booby prize we could get a few more tickets."
One ticket they won't be giving away? A purple one. That was the ticket that stuck thousands of people four years ago in the 3rd Street purple tunnel of doom.
Organizers say it may not be perfect this time, but they promise it will be better.
Organizers also unveiled a mobile website, www.inaugural.senate.gov, that will use GPS on your smartphone to direct you to exactly the right gate.
There will also be a twitter feed to warn of jam ups.
WRITTEN AND REPORTED BY BRUCE LESHAN
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