Obama in Ala.: `Something's got to change'

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Senator Barack Obama kicked off his Democratic presidential campaign in Alabama with appeals to both high-dollar donors and average voters.

He made a string of fundraising stops where ticket prices ranged from the cost of a nice meal to the price of a used car.

For 25 dollars, hundreds of supporters had a chance to hear the Illinois freshman speak in a big hotel ballroom in downtown Birmingham.

Dozens of people held up cell phones to take pictures as Obama embraced NBA great and Alabama native Charles Barkley before his talk.

The ballroom, with a capacity of 35-hundred people, was three-quarters full, but the campaign did not immediately release how many people paid to get in.

For 23-hundred dollars, backers got to chat with Obama at smaller receptions in both Huntsville and Birmingham. Organizers also planned a pair of one-thousand-dollar-a-person fundraisers for the in-between crowd.

Obama last visited the state in March, when he and Clinton visited Selma for the anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" civil rights march in 1965.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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