Ohio charity loses donations after Ryan photo-op flap

The soup kitchen says it has lost "substantial" amounts

Published October 19, 2012 3:46PM (EDT)

An Ohio charity says it's facing a great deal of backlash for saying that Paul Ryan and his campaign “ramrodded their way” into the soup kitchen for a photo op.

Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, told the Huffington Post that they've lost a number of donors over the incident, though he wouldn't say how much because donations are a "private matter with our organization."

"It appears to be a substantial amount," Antal said. "You can rest assured there has been a substantial backlash."

From the Huffington Post:

"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!'"

Antal told the Washington Post earlier this week that the Ryan campaign showed up at a soup kitchen unannounced, and insisted on taking a photo of Ryan cleaning dishes, despite the fact that everything had already been cleaned. “The photo op they did wasn’t even accurate," Antal said. "He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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2012 Elections Barack Obama Mitt Romney Ohio Paul Ryan