March 13, 2010

Beliveau heading inaugural committee

SUSAN M

— By . COVER

Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — Maine native Emmett Beliveau is leading the presidential inauguration committee that's working on the Washington celebration to usher President-elect Barack Obama into office.

Beliveau, 32, recently moved from Chicago, where he served as Obama's director of advance, to Washington, said his father, Augusta lawyer and State House lobbyist Severin Beliveau.

''He's coordinating inaugural events,'' he said.

The inauguration and related events are expected to draw more than 1 million people to the nation's capital.

There are 240,000 tickets for the inauguration itself, but organizers are looking for ways to expand capacity, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Emmett Beliveau, a graduate of Colby College and Georgetown University Law School, formerly worked as a lawyer in Washington. He also has worked on the presidential campaigns of Democrats Al Gore and John Kerry.

Earlier this month, he organized the Grant Park celebration that followed Obama's victory over U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

The theme of the inauguration is ''A New Birth of Freedom,'' commemorating the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Severin Beliveau said his son has 400 people working with him and that he's been besieged by requests for inauguration tickets.

The Washington Post reports that members of Congress also have been deluged with phone calls from people trying to get tickets, leading many of them to set up a lottery system to determine who will get the free passes to the event.

Monica Castellanos, spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, said his office has gotten a lot of calls.

''I know we've had more requests than we have tickets,'' she said, adding that the office is still taking names and have not decided how to disburse tickets.

Outgoing Maine House Speaker Glenn Cummings, D-Portland, said, ''It's terrific Emmett is in such a prominent place and so close to the new president,'' Cummings said. ''He's very young and very talented. He's a trusted member of the Obama team.''

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