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Written By : Gaius
October 18, 2012

What an absolute fraud.

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In the wake of Rep. Paul Ryan’s embarrassing soup kitchen photo-op last week, the organization that runs the facility tells The Huffington Post that donors have begun pulling their money out of the Youngstown, Ohio charity.

Ryan may have suffered a few late-night jokes, but the fallout for the soup kitchen appears to be far more bruising. Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, confirmed that donors have begun an exodus in protest over Ryan’s embarrassment. The monetary losses have been big. “It appears to be a substantial amount,” Antal said. “You can rest assured there has been a substantial backlash.”

Antal says he can’t give an actual dollar amount. “I can’t say how much [in] donations we lost,” he said. “Donations are a private matter with our organization.”

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Update: Antal, who describes himself as an independent, has voted in Democratic primaries for the past 17 years.

The head of a northeast Ohio charity says that the Romney campaign last week “ramrodded their way” into the group’s Youngstown soup kitchen so that GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan could get his picture taken washing dishes in the dining hall.

Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, said that he was not contacted by the Romney campaign ahead of the Saturday morning visit by Ryan, who stopped by the soup kitchen after a town hall at Youngstown State University.

“We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations,” Antal said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there, and they did not have permission. They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors.”

His first attack failed. His second makes faith-based people look like jerks. He’s a political player, straight-up. And, frankly, a not very nice one, despite his charitable efforts. And if he’s trying to elicit greater funds with this behavior, he’s doing his charity a huge disservice.

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