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Damper for hundreds: Not near enough seats

Published: Tue, October 30, 2012 @ 12:08 a.m.

By danny restivo



While former President Bill Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden made speeches to a raucous crowd inside the Covelli Centre on Monday, the scene outside was less celebratory.

Hundreds of people hoping to see the two politicians speak were refused access after the venue had reached full capacity. A campaign source said 8,000 tickets were handed out, with the expectation that not all would attend. About 4,800 were in attendance.

A source told The Vindicator that the arena setup originally was planned to hold up to 6,000 people.

In an effort to limit empty seating, the campaign curtained off certain sections of the arena after President Barack Obama canceled his appearance Sunday, said Democratic sources. The result left a large group of onlookers waiting in the wet weather outside the arena’s northeast entrance.

“Its disingenuous at best, and egregious at the worst,” said Ronald G. Norwood. “It just really dampens my spirit.”

Norwood was among more than a hundred Democratic supporters who waited under a canvased tent after secret service officials locked the doors shortly after 3 p.m.

The event was scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. Clinton started his speech at 3:11 p.m.

The rejection, coupled with the rain and cold wind, created a contrasting atmosphere from the supporters inside the arena.

“It just makes me angry that they gave away more tickets than they can hold,” said Amelia Mitzel, a Kent State University graduate student who traveled to Youngstown with hopes of seeing Biden and Clinton.

Her sentiments were shared by others left out in the rain.

“Even if the event started earlier, I can’t realize why they won’t let people in,” said Missy McCormick, a Youngstown State University ceramics professor who was accompanied by her 10-month-old son, Ash McCormick-Adams.

“I anticipated a delay, so that’s why I got down here shortly before it started,” she said.

While McCormick and Norwood waited for entry, chants of “We want it in” began in the crowd. Some even began pounding on the glass doors in an effort to get security officials’ attention.

“It’s been my experience that when candidates start talking, they won’t let anyone in,” said David Betras, chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party. He said the decision to stop admission is made by the Secret Service.

“Today was an overwhelming success as available seating for the Obama campaign’s grass-roots event was filled to capacity and nearly 5,000 enthusiastic supporters were energized by Vice President Joe Biden’s and former President Bill Clinton’s message that President Obama is moving the Valley forward. Due to overwhelming support for the President’s re-election, we regret that not everyone was able to attend,” said an Obama Campaign in Ohio spokesman.

Even though McCormick and Norwood were left out in the cold on Monday, both answered “no” when asked if they would vote for Romney now.

“If someone answers ‘Yes’ to that question, then we’re in trouble,” said McCormick.


1lee(544 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

More tickets then it will hold -mmm- sounds like the Govt. giving away more money than we can afford.

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2Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

At the very least they could have received a free Obama phone, payed by the tax payers of course.

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3Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

This is what we have become.

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4redeye1(5684 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

HULKSTER Maybe they won't, because they all could be sitting in the ER awaiting for their FREE treatment LMAO!

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5borylie(953 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The liberal/democrat way. Government,The Elite and the people. Just like at Covelli, on the outside looking in.

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6seinfried(19 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The free phone started much before this President.. Check and you will see by a rep. President.. Also not pd by fed taxes. If you pay a cellphone bill every month you are paying this company to give out its phones.. They stand to gain much..Plus those receiving the phones might add to their plan..making them more money..Probably a republican company that complains about having to give their employees healthcare.

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7borylie(953 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

You said it was probable that the free phones were give by a republican. If you can stand the truth and probably be just as disgusted,TracFone,one of the major benefactors of the free phones,it's CEO FJ Pollak and his wife Abigail of Miami Beach who gave between $100,000.00 and $200,000.00 to President Obama and for years are big democrat donors. I'm sure these facts will change your view of the republicans or perhaps you'll ignore the facts and continue your attempt at cheap shots. Heard a good one today,a relative with numerous children has so many free phones that she gave one to her 5 year old daughter. More children learning the value of free things. Valleymom,we're flogging a dead horse here,but let's keep trying.

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8seinfried(19 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

that is exactly what i said.. read slowly....the company is making a mint and will continue to recruit new people so we can pay for their phone.. has nothing to do with Obama,,

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9kurtw(1832 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I was going to comment on this but I can't do better than comments already made- especially no. 1 by Knightcap- "Waiting in the Mahoning River to get baptized by Obama"

That's priceless! I only wish I had thought of it myself. I only hope this fiasco costs them some votes- I doubt it though.

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