Senator offers his 'seat' for basketball tix

February 7, 2009 7:14:42 AM PST
Sensing from the Rod Blagojevich scandal that Senate seats are a hot commodity, North Carolina state Sen. Eddie Goodall put his on eBay. [SIGN UP: Get bizarre news sent to you]

His price isn't a wad of cash or cushy job for himself or his wife. All he wants is a pair of seats to next week's North Carolina-Duke basketball game.

"I've worked for a long time so that I can trade this seat for two tickets for a Carolina-Duke game," Goodall, R-Union, said Friday.

But what's on offer isn't actually power, influence, or his elected position at all. Rather, his eBay ad shows a black leather swivel chair with the Senate seal stitched into the back, vacant on the floor of the freshly redecorated Senate floor.

Goodall's chair is personalized with his name stitched into the top surface of the chair back, so he bought it when the Senate was refurbished three years ago, not the state. Goodall paid $787.95, including delivery, for the seat, and he can take it with him when his Senate career ends, said Janet Pruitt, the Senate's principal clerk.

But even parting with such a chair could land a legislator in hot water: A state law passed in 2007 also prohibits "commercial use" of the Senate seal. Goodall concedes the eBay ad is an elaborate goof.

"I wouldn't get within miles of the tickets if somebody gave them to me," he said. Instead, he plans to watch the game in his room at a Raleigh hotel.

As it turns out, a person would have trouble scoring tickets to the rivalry game for less than what Goodall paid for his chair. On Friday afternoon sellers on Stubhub.com were asking $700-$2,400 for seats inside Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium, which has a capacity of about 9,000 -- tiny by college hoops standards.

"In real life, I want to keep my Senate seat," said the retired CPA, who played a season of basketball at UNC Charlotte. But "maybe if politicians could laugh at ourselves more, people wouldn't laugh at us as much."

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