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'Free' tickets to inauguration scalped for up to $2,000

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By The Associated Press
Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 6:28 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Tickets to President Obama's inauguration are supposed to be free, but they're being peddled on eBay and Craigslist for up to $2,000 apiece.

Congressional offices and the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which are both distributing tickets to inaugural events, are trying to clamp down on the black market. So far, their efforts haven't stopped online entrepreneurs.

“These tix are going like hot cakes, and for FAR more than I am listing them for on here,” boasted one anonymous seller in a post Wednesday on the website Craigslist.

The seller, who did not return an email from The Associated Press, offered two seats to the Jan. 21 swearing-in at the Capitol for $4,000. Those tickets are supposed to be free from congressional offices. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies issued some 250,000 for lawmakers to dole out however they see fit.

Scalping the tickets is not illegal. But the committee's chairman, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, said he is encouraging members of Congress to distribute them fairly and to discourage scalpers.

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