The country is in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, which isn’t stopping rich donors and the government from spending $170 million, or more, on the inauguration of Barack Obama.
But there are plenty of rich donors willing to pick up the tab.
“They are not the $20 and $50 donors who helped propel Obama through Election Day,” said Massie Ritsch, communications director for the Center for Responsive Politics. “These are people giving mostly $50,000 apiece. They tend to be corporate executives, celebrities, the elite of the elite.”
The biggest group of donors were none other than the recently bailed-out Wall Street executives and employees.
“The finance sector is well represented, despite its recent troubles,” Ritsch said. “Those who worked in finance still managed to pull together nearly $7 million for the inauguration.”
The donors will get some of the best seats in the house for the inauguration, as well as admittance to some of the best balls and other events.
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