Paul Ryan’s supporters punish a soup kitchen. Wow!
What is it about the far right-wing fringe that actually makes them outraged at Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society speaking out about Paul Ryan’s photo op at the soup kitchen recently?
In what alternative universe do these people live?
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.”
Antal’s charity represents the kind of organization that conservative Republicans might champion. But that was before the Ryan incident went viral a few days ago. According to The Washington Post, Antal said that the moment should never have happened. He told the newspaper that the photo-op was not authorized and that the campaign had “ramrodded their way” inside.
Ryan supporters have now targeted Antal and his soup kitchen, Antal said, including making hundreds of angry phone calls. Some members of Antal’s volunteer staff have had to endure the barrage as well, he said. “The sad part is a lot of [the callers] want to hide behind anonymity,” he said, adding that if someone leaves their name and number he has tried to return their call. In addition to phone calls, people have posted a few choice words on the charity’s Facebook wall, including statements like “I hope you lose your tax [sic] emempt status,” Anyone who is thinking about donations to you should think twice” and “Shame on you Brian Antal!”
On the phone with HuffPost, Antal seemed worn out by all the vitriol. “Honesty, I really don’t need any more attention,” he said. “I really just want this to go away.”
- Charity president unhappy about Paul Ryan soup kitchen ‘photo op’ (kaystreet.wordpress.com)
- Paul Ryan’s Shameless Soup Kitchen Photo Op (tmz.com)
- Paul Ryan Slammed by Charity President Over Soup Kitchen Photo Op: ‘He Did Nothing’ [Paul Ryan] (gawker.com)
- Paul Ryan Blasted by Soup Kitchen Owner for Fake, Unauthorized, Photo-Op: VIDEO (towleroad.com)
- Paul Ryan Soup Kitchen Photo Op Draws Complaints From Charity President (huffingtonpost.com)