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U.S. governors scale back inaugurations

Dec. 9, 2008 at 12:36 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. state governors who won election on Nov. 4 say they are planning scaled-back inauguration ceremonies in light of hard economic times.

For instance, Delaware Gov.-elect Jack Markell, a Democrat, is canceling the traditional inauguration ball and is instead asking residents to volunteer for a "Weekend of Service," and in Utah, Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. won't have a formal ball as he did four years ago, USA Today reported Tuesday.

Instead, Huntsman is planning a less expensive concert or similar activity, spokeswoman Lisa Roskelley told the newspaper, adding, "It just isn't going to be an ostentatious event."

"Fiscal symbolism is very important," added Chris Edwards of the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute. "Citizens don't want to look on TV and see pomp and ceremony and expensive parades."

Meanwhile, celebrations for Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, will be "a little more subdued" and Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, will completely scrap a second-term ball.

"We figured times were tough," Schweitzer spokeswoman Sarah Elliott told USA Today.

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