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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ryan’s Publicity Stunt Could Hurt Ohio Soup Kitchen

Ryan’s Publicity Stunt Could Hurt Ohio Soup Kitchen

Americans across the country now know about a soup kitchen serving thousands of hungry people in Youngstown, Ohio.

Unfortunately, most learned about it because of a publicity stunt by Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. The backlash from The Ryan Budget Traveling Roadshow could threaten future funding for the program.

Last weekend, Ryan and his family were on their way to the airport, when he decided to barge into a dining hall run by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The patrons already had eaten and departed. The volunteers had cleared the hall and cleaned most of the dishes. Nevertheless, Ryan, his wife and three young children donned aprons. Moments later, photographers and television cameras captured Ryan standing at the sink, his head bent low as he scrubbed a pot.

When the charity’s president, Brian J. Antal, found out about Ryan’s stunt, he was furious. Ryan and his campaign had “ramrodded” their way into the kitchen, Antal told The Washington Post on Monday.

“We’re a faith-based organization,” he said. “We are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations. 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. […]The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”

Public reaction was ferocious — and much of it has targeted Antal.

When I talked to Antal on Tuesday afternoon, he said he was starting to worry “a little bit” for the safety of his family. A young child wailed in the background as he described the barrage of angry calls he’d been fielding ever since the story broke.

“They keep accusing me of being partisan,” he said. “They say they’re donors who will never give again because of what I said.” None of them would give a name.

Juanita Sherba, St. Vincent’s Saturday coordinator for the dining hall, told The Youngstown Vindicator’s David Skolnick that she had given the Ryan campaign prior approval but later regretted her decision to allow what was clearly “a photo-op.”

“It was the phoniest piece of baloney I’ve ever been associated with,” she told The Vindicator. “In hindsight, I would have never let him in the door. […]They couldn’t have cared less. The advance man said Paul Ryan wanted to come and talk to our clientele, but he didn’t.”

Pundits and reporters are having a field day with this, of course. One reporter called it “Brillo Gate.” Another pointed out that Antal has voted in Democratic primaries — in the Democratic stronghold of Youngstown, you understand, where local Republican candidates are as common as palm trees.

Lost in this revelry are some hard facts facing Youngstown every day.

Between October 2011 and September 2012, St. Vincent’s served more than 98,000 meals. Antal says the need only continues to grow.

“They come from all walks of life,” he said. “Homeless people, of course, [Youngstown State University] students, people who just can’t make ends meet.”

The largest growing population in need? “The working poor. We see a lot of families these days, a lot of children.”

  • bcarreiro

    ignorance is bliss, ryan should be handing out the soup at one of his formal lunchatations to his republicans as he writes a check to st vincents for the amount that was lost and future losses. He should be ashamed…..but they have no conscience let alone feelings.

    • Won’t happen, Ryan is the typical Republican that uses people to get what they want and then move on.

  • nobsartist

    the “phoniest piece of baloney” describes lyin’ ryan and the entire republiCON party perfectly.

    except she left out treasonous.

  • AttilatheBlond

    Employees of, and volunteers for non-profits like soup kitchens need to understand the risks of allowing pols to use/abuse their organizations. Juanita Sherba, St. Vincent’s Saturday coordinator needs to be removed as Saturday coordinator. Her judgment is suspect.

  • Mightyike

    Just goes to show that the Rescums will stoop to any depth to score political points. Ryan does not give a hoot about the poor, except the fact he wants to create more poor people.

  • I have commented on this story’s first iteration, and i say here what I said before; I honestly believe he did this in hopes the soup kitchen would get shut down.

    It’s the “conservative” way; barge in with “aid” that does not help but instead makes something hemorrhage money, then swoop in to cut it down once it’s seen as fatally flawed. Witness Medicare Advantage.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Ryan is as mean spirited a creton as Cheney. And since, Cheney so “admires” Ryan as his clone…how can any sane, rational person possibly see Ryan as anything but a liar, phony and demonizer of anyone not in his rich boi class.

    Time to take this little twerp down a few pegs. Best way to do that? Make sure his political career ends his erosion of our tax dollars that support him and his perfect wife and perfect kiddies.

    Ryan is an Ayn Rand advocate. These are people who actually have the raisins to believe the BS they spout and that their narcissism is sane and rational.

  • Nomoresmoke

    Look folks, all Ly’in Ryan was trying to do was test the water for his running mate in a quest to see the 47% in action. It had nothing to do with his egotistic look-down-your-nose attitude at all. Now they(Mitt and Ryan) will conclude that 4 years of Obama are responsible for these conditions. Under their plans none of this could happen!

  • 10Northgate

    If possible, I suggest that those who can afford it to make donations to “Society of St. Vincent de Paul, PO Box 224, Youngstown, OH 44501”. I hope Mr. Antal gets flooded with donations from all across America. The good work that this charity does should not be threatened by this stupid stunt and the Neanderthals that have made these threats.

  • William Deutschlander

    It would seem if Ryan and his family TRULY wanted to help feed the unfortunate, they would have shown up in time to help serve the food and talk with the unfortunate, so they could understand what the REPUBLICAN GREAT RECESSION DID TO THE CITIZENS.

    Thank you Obama Administration for halting the REPUBLICAN GREAT RECESSION OF 2008 and turning our countries economy on a CONTINUING PATH OF RECOVERY. I NOTE that the REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS have OBSTRUCTED your PLANS FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY, CAUSING OUR CITIZENS MORE HARDSHIP FOR A LONGER DURATION OF TIME in the hope their OBSTRUCTION would fool more citizens into SUPPORTING THE REPUBLICAN CARTEL.

    • Sand_Cat

      “IF”? Is it even rational to concede the faintest possibility that Ayn Rand selfishness worshipper Paul Ryan gives a damn about the poor and hungry?

  • You could see that Romney had never worked in an institutional kitchen before. There isn’t time to squirt soap on a sponge, wipe, and rinse each pot. The rinse nozzle is used to clean food off before putting in the sink. Health laws require three sinks if there isn’t a dishwasher. The first sink has soapy water. The second sink has rinse water. The third sink has sanitizer. Sponges aren’t usually used as they are germ incubators.

    • ALLLLAMERICAN

      Maggie—Your sooooo LOST!!!!!!

      • grammyjill

        nd you know everything about everything? What an ass!

      • Actually having spent time in an industrial kitchen I would have to say Maggie is right on. Also I never once washed a dish that was clean when I started. Look at ryan grab a clean dish and start washing it wrong…cute…someone had to come along behind him and sanitize it properly. It’s kind of a metaphore for his life.

        Are you going to jump out a window when Obama wins in a landslide? They have nets to keep you from killing pedestrians below you if you go jump from one of Romney’s Chinese factories. Keeps mittens from eing sued.

  • ALLLLAMERICAN

    Ryan’s Publicity Stunt Could Hurt Ohio Soup Kitchen———“IF” this could EVER happen it would be becuse of these stupid idiots from THE NATIONAL MEMO!!!!!!!!! Making it a Huge ordeal and trying to make a story out of it.

    • Sand_Cat

      Wow, you’ve got some nerve calling someone else stupid!

      But if this is a government-funded “faith-based” soup kitchen, or any other “faith-based” organization subsidized by our supposedly secular government that – Pat Robertson and Torquemada Santorum nothwithstanding – is forbidden to get involved in such things, then let’s hope it does damage at least that part of their funding.

      • IT’S NOT GOVERNMENT FUNDED SAND…THAT IS THE POINT oops sorry for the caps not yelling at you but it says right in the artical that it is privately funded….I bet the angry calls are from Rove’s telemarketing firm.

    • dtgraham

      If it closes, you should like that ALLLLAMERICAN. You’re on the side of the Party whose members like to lovingly quote that old Bible passage concerning “if a man doesn’t work, neither shall he eat.” Think Michelle Bachmann there. Of course that would also hurt the working poor who go there, but….

  • ednabarber777

    As a homeless 73 year-old woman victimized by fraud, such soup kitchens are vital. It is simply shameful for a political candidate such as Ryan to commit such an underhanded stunt!!!!
    Edna of DC

  • This incident just served to clearly illustrate the Republican candidates’ hypocrisy. Both Romney and Ryan claim that what they are doing is moral and Christian. Ryan’s own church said it wasn’t. While Thomas Jefferson proved it is possible to be a moral person without being a falling-down Bible banging Christian, Ryan and Romney have proven they cannot be BOTH immoral and Christian.

  • Thank you Connie Schultz for highlighting two important issues for this current presidential election cycle: the disingenuous hypocrisy of Ryan, and the plight of the needy around this coountry, issues that seem, somehow, intertwined.

  • A phoney photo-op by Congressman Ryan, why doesn’t that surprise me? but what does surprise me is his wife going along with this deception. Very sad that she can’t stand by her own convictions. I guess she has no choice, she is woman in the “Republican Party” .

  • MDG1955

    Nice article Connie, but to me it seems like a conflict of intrest with your husband running for the Senate in Ohio, a democrat. I was not going to vote for Josh Mandell but this article decided it for me. He’ll get a nice pension and the two of you will have more time to spend with each other.

    • frankelee

      That’s crazy because I wasn’t going to vote against Josh Mandell, but your comment decided it for me. And then I talked to ten people who weren’t planning to vote, and convinced all of them to vote against Josh Mandell too. Wow, you’re really losing the vote, sorry buddy.

  • Rob

    We’re losing sight of how this constant bickering is affecting/can affect those that have much bigger things to worry about than winning an election. My hope is that the people that donate look towards the reason they SHOULD be donating (to save someone from a day of hunger) rather than refusing to donate based upon politics.

  • what a bunch of hogwash!why do people reading this garbage not see the author has so much to gain from bashing ryan.her husband is running for senate and the democrats are the worst fact twisters i have ever seen

  • dljones

    The “photo-op” was about how Obama has chased the middle class into poverty. Another soap opera interpretation of the reality how America is voting the lunacy out office.

    No one in the lib-media talking about the four dead men killed in Bengazi Libia. What are you, deaf, dumb, and illiterate?

  • TThe soup kitchen stunt was a major faux pas…

    Ms. Schultz has a memorable quote to remember when commenting here please….”Unfortunately, most learned about it because of a publicity stunt by Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. The backlash from The Ryan Budget Traveling Roadshow could threaten future funding for the program. Last weekend, Ryan and his family were on their way to the airport, when he decided to barge into a dining hall run by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The patrons already had eaten and departed. The volunteers had cleared the hall and cleaned most of the dishes. Nevertheless, Ryan, his wife and three young children donned aprons. Moments later, photographers and television cameras captured Ryan standing at the sink, his head bent low as he scrubbed a pot. When the charity’s president, Brian J. Antal, found out about Ryan’s stunt, he was furious. Ryan and his campaign had “ramrodded” their way into the kitchen, Antal told The Washington Post on Monday.”

    Vote Obama.

  • frankelee

    The Republican Party represents little more than hate. I just don’t get it, I don’t get how so many people would rather descend into bigotry, class-warfare, and pure rage toward everyone who doesn’t agree with their lies, than just stand up to their political party and say they aren’t supporting this terrible nonsense.