Bidding on seats at the debates

Although the Los Angeles Times is listed as one of the sponsors (along with CNN and Politico) of the presidential campaign debates behind held here Jan. 30 and 31, the paper can only get so many of its chosen people inside the hall. A memo just went out inviting employees to join a lottery for tix to the Democratic event at the Kodak Theatre. The Republicans, who will be at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, already told the Times no way.

From: McClearyLaFrance, Kim
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 11:05 AM
To: All LATimes Employees
Subject: Presidential Debate - Employee Lottery

In less than two weeks, The Times, along with CNN and, will be sponsoring the last two presidential debates before the California primary. The Republican debate will be on Wednesday, January 30 and the Democratic debate will take place on Thursday the 31st. Both debates will be televised live on CNN and streamed live at and on our partners' websites at and

Due to the small venue for the Republican debate, we will not be able to open up any seats for employees. However, I'm pleased to tell you we will be hosting a lottery for staff to attend the Democratic debate at Kodak Theater.

Here's all the info:

* Lottery is for one seat only, no guests.

* All Los Angeles Times Media Group full and part-time employees in good standing (i.e not on leave, disciplinary action) are eligible to apply. One entry per employee.

* Incomplete forms are automatically disqualified.

* Application deadline is January 21 at 5 p.m.

* Winners will be selected on January 22 and notified no later than January 25.

* Final list of winners will be available on Jan. 30.

* Winners are responsible for taking appropriate time off (i.e. vacation day) if selected.

The live broadcast will run from 5:00 p.m. to approximately 7:00 p.m. All audience guests should plan to arrive by 2:00 p.m. in order to allow enough time to park and register for the debate. The doors at Kodak Theatre will open at 2:30 p.m. and be closed at 4:00 p.m. and no one will be admitted after that time. Due to security measures, we will require the name, date of birth, contact phone number, and email address for each attendee.

The public affairs staff will notify and confirm winners. List of winners will be provided to our debate partner, CNN, who will send parking and other details regarding attendance to your e-mail address. You will need to bring your attendance confirmation and government photo identification (i.e. driver's license) with you to registration as attendees must be pre-registered.

If you'd like to apply, please fill out the form below and drop it off at the Company Store (Mon-Fri from 12:30 to 3 p.m.) or fax it to Public Affairs....


Good luck,

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent LAT stories on LA Observed:
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
Why the LA Times' new theater column needs a new name
Helping in Houston, new lion cubs, Garcetti's back
Memo: New LA Times publisher drops web widget
Warren Olney leaving KCRW's radio lineup
LA Times purge 'capped a month of newsroom turmoil'
As the L.A. Times turns ...


LA Observed on Twitter