In May 2021, Vance joined Peter Thiel and other prominent conservative venture capitalists and invested in the video platform Rumble, a YouTube alternative favored by the political right. After tech companies including Meta and Twitter limited Russia’s state-controlled news network RT to minimize the spread of propaganda, the Russian government announced it would move to Rumble. “Rumble has consistently supported free speech on its platform — even speech it may find offensive,” Vance campaign spokesperson Taylor Van Kirk said in an email, adding that this is “unlike Twitter, which censors a sitting U.S. President while allowing the Chinese Communist Party, North Korea and the Ayatollah Khomeini (to name a few) to continue their propaganda.”
As war rages in Ukraine, ties to business deals involving Russia are threatening potential political fallout to candidates in Ohio’s Several Republicans competing for the party’s nomination to run for U.S. Senate in Ohio are facing scrutiny for their ties to Russia as the country intensifies its war against Ukraine, reports AP.
Much of the attention has focused on former Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken, whose husband’s family founded a company that does business in Russia. But other candidates in the race to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman, including J.D. Vance and Mike Gibbons, also have links to business deals in Russia that could become vulnerabilities in the May 3 primary.
While domestic issues generally dominate midterm political contests, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — with its harrowing images of civilian casualties — has become an animating subject of the competitive Senate race in Ohio, which has a large Ukrainian American population. In a race with several millionaire candidates, the war is highlighting the risks that come with being wealthy and having tangled investment interests involving foreign countries.
The easiest target has long been Timken, whose husband sits on the board of the like-named Fortune 500 ball bearing manufacturer based in North Canton, Ohio. Even before Ukraine, her adversaries sought to pin the Timken Co.’s international business dealings on Timken.
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