Democratic House member Scott Peters of La Jolla likely assumed the person of the hour would be different when he procured a stash of official presidential inaugural tickets. Now he’s handing them out for free, along with some discouraging words. “On Friday, January 20, 2017, people from all over the country will gather for the 58th Presidential Inauguration,” says an email to constituents. “Our office is able to provide a limited number of tickets to San Diegans interested in visiting D.C. and attending the inauguration.” Would-be attendees will be selected by lottery. “Please understand that submitting a request DOES NOT guarantee you will receive tickets. Those who do not obtain tickets can still view the Inauguration on giant video screens for spectators along the length of the National Mall.”
But don’t expect anything posh, warns the congressman. “Our office cannot provide accommodations or refer guests to a hotel. Room rates rise during this time and many hotels have a minimum number of nights required for reservations.” Besides that, the email points out, “This event is typically wet and very cold, the crowds are large and guests will be required to go through security. Events are standing room only and guests should also expect extended periods of waiting.”
Those wishing to party indoors best link up with somebody else, preferably Republican. “Unfortunately, we are unable to provide tickets to Inaugural Balls or any other inauguration event. Tickets are not required to attend the incoming President’s historical Inaugural parade. However, there will be several restricted areas that will be off limits to the public.” Unmentioned goes the name of the center of attention, GOP president-elect Donald Trump.
Speaking of unnamed U.S. commanders in chief, veteran U-T columnist Diane Bell managed to get through an entire column lauding the late defense secretary Melvin Laird without a single mention of his boss, Richard Nixon, whose political history is intimately linked to that of the newspaper’s.
Despite her peaceful use of the federally regulated public airwaves, wealthy La Jollan and KFMB stations owner Elisabeth Kimmel remains loyal to her libertarian credo. Her Illinois-based Meyer Charitable Foundation’s most recent IRS form, filed in September, shows that the fund’s biggest 2015 beneficiary was the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, with $232,000. The organization is popularly known as the Johnny Appleseed of anti-regulation groups, per the liberal website SourceWatch.org. Its self-proclaimed mission: “to litter the world with free-market think-tanks.” Another Kimmel foundation favorite, with $40,000, was the Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government, backed by the Charles G. Koch Foundation.