When a former congressional aide tried to scalp tickets to Barack Obama's inauguration, which she was receiving free from her old boss, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), her only mistake was going on Craigslist.org and making the whole thing public.

Many Republicans who recieved tickets to the much-anticipated swearing-in ceremony aren't planning to go, and indeed, may be trying to unload their tickets for personal gain. But Gina Santucci went online, using her real name and personal email address, and was quickly outed trying scalp her four free tickets for $3,500 in cash. The story has made headlines.

But up until today scalping those tickets wasn't necessarily illegal -- opportunistic, greedy and a bit slimy perhaps, but not illegal. However, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced legislation making it illegal to scalp inauguration tickets hours after this flap hit the media, and the Senate passed it unanimously Tuesday night.

The House will have to quickly vote for passage before next week's sell-out event. Whether it will or not remains open to question. After all, Republicans might view scalping as the free market at work. And we all know how the outgoing administration embraces free market principles.

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