'Phony Baloney' Ryan Photo-Op Irks Charity Chief

Campaign 'ramrodded their way' into closed soup kitchen
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2012 2:28 AM CDT
Paul Ryan and his wife Janna wash pots at the St. Vincent De Paul dinning hall in Youngstown, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(Newser) – Paul Ryan and campaign staffers "ramrodded their way" into a soup kitchen for a photo-op long after the patrons had left and staff had cleaned up, complains the chief of an Ohio charity. "We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations," the head of Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society tells the Washington Post. "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 charity chief says he wouldn't have let Obama or Biden use the dining hall for a photo-op either, but Ryan's appearance was especially annoying because the VP candidate wants to cut the small amount of federal funding the facility receives. "That is a little two-faced to say the least," he says. "I cannot have the appearance that we are endorsing the Republicans by letting them use our facility for photo-ops and publicity stunts." The volunteer who let Ryan and his staffers in says the event "was the phoniest piece of baloney I’ve ever been associated with." But contrary to some reports, the pots Ryan was pictured washing were actually dirty, because a Ryan aide had asked for some dirty ones to be set aside for him to clean, she tells the Youngstown Vindicator,

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