Most Ohio reporters say they'll skip Vance rally over concerns about media policy
A rally, sponsored by a far-right organization, is scheduled tonight in the Youngstown area, featuring Ohio U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, both Republicans.
But a lot of reporters say they are skipping the event.
The application for a "press pass" for the event, sponsored by Turning Point Action, stated that the group has the right to access media footage for archival and promotional purposes, and "to know in what manner the footage will be utilized."
It also said reporters must contact Turning Point Action to get approval to talk to attendees, some of whom, the group said, are underage. And reporters wouldn’t be allowed to record videos shown on screens during the event.
The online application features 12 bullet points that journalists must agree to, along with an acknowledgement that "you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19."
Most journalists and news outlets have said those rules violate their ethics policies, and that they will not cover the rally under such conditions.
Vance has participated in other rallies and events that did not have these restrictions, including an event at the Delaware County Fairgrounds with former President Donald Trump in April.
Organizers had said the event would happen at the Maronite Center in Youngstown, but that facility said it was not available because of an annual church festival. The rally has now been moved to the Metroplex in nearby Girard.
Vance is facing Tim Ryan, Democratic candidate and congressional member, in Ohio's race for U.S. Senate. The event is taking place in Ryan's congressional district — an area he has represented in the U.S. House since 2003.
The winner will succeed U.S. Senator Rob Portman, a Republican, who announced in January 2021 that he would not seek re-election. Portman's announcement sparked a hotly-contested race among candidates for the Republican nomination.
The race has gained national attention as Republicans and Democrats fight for the future balance of the U.S. Senate, where the Democrats currently have a slight 50-50 majority with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote.