Squadron Drops “Hamilton” On Senate Floor In Call To Reform Ticket Law

Squadron Continues Long Call for Ticket Reselling Reform

ALBANY – Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron cited lyrics from Tony-nominated Broadway musical “Hamilton” on the Senate floor (video here), in opposition to extension of New York’s broken ticket reselling law (S.7181). Squadron has called for the Senate Majority to hold oversight hearings following a report by Attorney General Schneiderman showing widespread industry abuse, in addition to long pushing reforms to increase transparency and institute price caps (S.192), as well as a ban on charity ticket profiteering (S.571).

Squadron has previously cited musicians including Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Bruce Springsteen, (20142015 floor speeches). There have been widespread reports of ticket resellers utilizing automatic ticket-purchasing “bots” and other practices to purchase and resell thousands of Hamilton tickets. This year, in addition to his call for oversight hearings, Squadron has worked with the Archdiocese of NY and Senator Schumer to denounce ticket resellers profiteering from the Pope’s New York visit, and urged ticket reselling websites to remove charity event profiteering event listings. Squadron’s “Hamilton” speech pulled from numbers including: “Alexander Hamilton,” “Aaron Burr, Sir,” “My Shot,” “You’ll Be Back,” “Non-Stop” and “The Room Where It Happens.”

Squadron’s full floor speech, as prepared, is below:

“Earlier this year, Attorney General Schneiderman released a report on ticket reselling that showed that over 50% of tickets to big shows are often never offered to the general public. Resold tickets are being sold at an average of 49% above face-value. Bots are purchasing hundreds of thousands of tickets.

I’ve long carried bills to increase ticket industry transparency, create price caps, and ban charity ticket profiteering. As we’ve discussed, year after year, the Majority pushes through the same bill, with the same damage to consumers and fans, with the same promises that next year something will change.

Whether it’s profiteering off the Pope’s visit, a Sandy benefit concert, or even just getting a ticket to the great new American musical, it’s clear that our broken ticket law has been caught up in the Benjamins.

So, I thought I'd take you through an abridged, and modified rendition of Hamilton.

For those who have been able to score tickets, you may recognize some of this. For those who have not seen the musical, rest assured, the real thing is better.

With apologies to Lin-Manuel Miranda:

 

ALEXANDER HAMILTON

What's my name, Senator?

 

State Senator Squadron

My name is State Senator Squadron

And there’s a million fans havin no fun

But they just wait, they just wait

 

In New York

you cannot be a

real fan

Oh no,

In New York

you cannot be a

real fan

 

AARON BURR, SIR

While we're talking let me offer you some free advice

Extend less

Reform more

Let's let them know what we're against and what we're for

 

MY SHOT

We're just giving away

our shot

We're just giving away

our shot

New York's law is junky

old, rotten and clunky

And we're just giving away

our shot

 

YOU'LL BE BACK

Bots rise, fans fall

We have seen no reform through it all

And when push comes to shove

Lobbyists will send a fully armed battalion to remind Sens of their “love”

Ba ba bap ba

 

NON-STOP

Tickets go on on sale, at the very same time

Real suddenly they begin to climb

How to account for this rise to the top?

Maaaaan, the bots are

Non-stop!

 

I know I talk too much, I’m abrasive

Bots're incredible at tix. They’re speedy, evasive

The fans need a strong defense. Not this solution.

What'da we need?

A ticket revolution

 

(And, from here on, it’s the real lyrics)

Corruption is such an old song that we can sing along in harmony

And nowhere is it stronger than in Albany

 

THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS

(These are still real lyrics)

No one really knows how the game is played

The art of the trade

How the sausage gets made

We just assume that it happens

But no one else is in

The room where it happens

The room where it happens

The room where it happens

 

Then at the end of the musical -- spoiler alert: Burr shoots Hamilton in a duel, and he dies.

 

Then at the end of this speech -- spoiler alert: Every year since 2010 fans across New York have been promised a better ticket selling law.

 

Things have not ended well, for Alexander Hamilton or New York’s consumers.

 

So, from the musical’s final number:

 

What passes?

What fails?

Who tells your story?

Or actually, which New Yorkers have access to this great story, and so many others. Let’s not throw away our shot. Please join me in voting no on this bill.”

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