03/01/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Obama's Security Alarms Some VIP Donors

Downtown Washington resembled a militarized zone last week for the inauguration of President Barack Obama, but some major contributors who had direct contact with Obama said they were surprised to find what they viewed as porous security surrounding the president-elect and vice president-elect.

Three contributors who raised $300,000 or more for the inauguration said they were never asked to show identification to retrieve dozens of tickets, including VIP passes that allowed them and their guests to meet privately with Obama. One of the three said ticket checks were so lax that no one noticed when, after a breakfast for contributors, a friend whose name hadn't been submitted for a background check tagged along into a VIP room to take pictures with Vice President-elect Joseph Biden.

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