Free tickets given out for Obama speech in LA

By STEVEN HERBERT, City News Service
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President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situation in Ukraine and Gaza, at the White House in Washington, Monday, July 21, 2014.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situation in Ukraine and Gaza, at the White House in Washington, Monday, July 21, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Hundreds of people lined up for hours today for a shot at free tickets to see President Barack Obama deliver a speech at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College.

Some people began lining up at about 2:30 a.m. outside the college’s Aspen Hall to get tickets for Obama’s speech, which is scheduled for about 1:15 p.m. Thursday. He is expected to speak on the “importance of job-driven skills training, particularly for fast-growing sectors such as health care,” according to the White House.

The White House declined to reveal how many tickets were made available for the speech.

Doors for the speech will open at 10:45 a.m. Thursday. According to the White House, attendees will pass through airport-like security. People are urged not to bring bags and should limit personal items. No signs or banners will be permitted.

Obama will be visiting Los Angeles to conclude a three-day West Coast fundraising swing set to begin today in Seattle, where he will speak at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. On Wednesday, he will attend a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser in San Francisco.

Obama is scheduled to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, then attend a DNC fundraising reception and dinner at the Hancock Park home of television producer Shonda Rhimes.

Tickets for the event begin at $1,000, according to an invitation posted on the website, PoliticalPartyTime.org, which tracks political fundraisers.

The price is $10,000 to attend the reception and for the opportunity to have a photo taken with Obama, and $32,400 — the maximum allowable contribution to a national party committee in a calendar year — to be a co- host of the event, which also allows the donor to attend a dinner with Obama in addition to the reception and the photo opportunity.

The event’s co-chairs include Kerry Washington, the star of the Rhimes- produced ABC drama “Scandal.” Rhimes is also a producer of two other ABC dramas, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” which is set to premiere Sept. 25.

“The overwhelming majority” of tickets for the fundraiser were priced at $1,000 “because most of the people I know cannot afford” a $32,400 ticket, Rhimes told City News Service.

On Thursday, in addition to his speech at Trade-Technical College, Obama is scheduled to attend a roundtable discussion with about 30 people at the Los Angeles home of Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, with tickets costing $32,400 each, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The trip will be Obama’s 19th to Los Angeles or Orange counties since taking office in 2009 and the third in three months. All but three of his trips have included political fundraisers.

Obama is scheduled to depart from LAX at about 3:10 p.m. Thursday.

 

 

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