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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Republicans move to close scalping loophole

Following the brouhaha over Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s plan to resell Bruce Springsteen tickets at sky-high prices for a campaign fundraiser, a Republican state senator has announced that he plans on introducing legislation to put an end to the practice.

The legislation by Sen. Anthony Bucco, R-25, would close a loophole in event ticketing laws that gives political organizations enough legal leeway to sell event tickets at prices many times the original event price for political fundraisers.

Other individuals and entities are normally prohibited from doing so by ticket scalping laws.

“As part of our effort to eliminate the potential for corruption in the political process, we must remove the exemptions that have been carved out in our laws to the sole benefit of politicians,” said Sen. Bucco, in a statement. “Candidates for public office should not be able to purchase tickets to popular concerts and events at face value and mark them up for sale to donors. If members of the public cannot resell their tickets for substantial profit, elected officials and candidates for office should not be allowed to do so either.”

Earlier this month longtime New Jersey politician and Sen. Lautenberg nearly purchased 40 tickets to a Bruce Springsteen concert to be held at Giants Stadium for $108 a piece, with his campaign planning to resell them at $1500 each to raise funds for the senator’s campaign against Republic Dick Zimmer.

Sen. Lautenberg’s campaign eventually rescinded the purchase and asked the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to reexamine the way it doled out tickets, to make the process more fair and tickets more available to everyone and not just important public figures.

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