Thousands of people are expected to jam into the north side of the Capitol on Sunday to hear President Bush speak...I don't know what to make of this ticketing situation. But this appearance was NOT a campaign event, and took place on State Capitol grounds.
Bush's trip is being billed as a presidential trip, not a campaign visit, meaning taxpayers will pay the costs. Gross said the president's speech will focus on the nation's values and leadership role. He will relate it to the state motto of 'Mountaineers are always free", and have a special tribute to the nation's armed forces.Plenty of tickets were made available to members of the state Air and Army National Guard and local military recruiters, Gross said. All members of the Legislature and Charleston City Council got tickets, as well as a number of both entities’ employees.
Other tickets were distributed through community organizations and businesses, Gross said. There have been some complaints about people not being able to obtain tickets, but Gross said the distribution process is the same for most presidential events.
“How local groups decide to distribute their tickets is their prerogative,” he said.
Some tickets might still be available through Capito’s Charleston office. The office got numerous calls Friday from people searching for tickets, said R.C. Hammond, Capito’s spokesman. Capito’s staff members were taking names and calling people when they are assured of a ticket.
“We wish we had more tickets to give out,” Hammond said.
Still, he noted, Bush probably will return to the state more than once before the November election, “so West Virginians will have another shot” to see him.
Sunday, July 04, 2004
Here's what the West Virginia Gazette-Mail reported yesterday, July 3: