A Web site listing the names of donors funding a massive, four-day inaugural blast for President-elect Barack Obama contains a veritable who’s who of Tinsel Town.
The site lists several prominent directors, actors and music moguls all of whom contributed funds to the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC).
Robert Zemeckis, Samuel L. Jackson, Sharon Stone, and husband and wife Christopher Guest and Jamie Lee Curtis are listed, along with Motown founder Berry Gordy, Halle Berry and Jamie Fox. Visitors to the site PIC2009.com can see who’s giving and in what amounts and can search in virtually real-time by donor name, employer, city or state.
PIC Executive Director Emmet Beliveau says the database “is one of the first steps toward a more open and transparent Washington.” He tells The Hill “the need for accountability doesn’t begin when the oath of offices is taken; it needs to be a part of every step in the process.”
Co-Chair of the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee Penny Pritzker adds that, “From the beginning, we’ve said we’re going to plan the most open and accessible inauguration in history and that includes using 21st century technology to give the American people access to information about donors to our committee.“
The PIC is accepting individual donations of $200 or more, but a maximum of $50,000, which many of the Hollywood high-rollers listed on the site have contributed. The committee is not, however, accepting contributions from corporations, unions or lobbyists
To-date, more than $10 million has already been raised, with a goal of $50 million to be reached before the Jan. 17-20 events that are expected to draw millions of visitors to the nation’s capital.
Incentives for the donations reportedly include tough-to-get spots at the numerous D.C. parties, dinners, and parades, but an Inauguration Committee spokesman tells the Associated Press that there is no guarantee of tickets to the swearing-in.
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