What They’re Saying: Senator Feingold’s Attack on Faith-Based, Anti-Poverty Initiative “Sad”

After Senator Feingold attacked the Joseph Project, Ron defended the faith-based, anti-poverty initiative that’s given hope and opportunity to folks in Milwaukee. Ron and Pastor Jerome Smith Sr. of the Greater Praise Church of God in Christ have worked together to connect people with good jobs through the Joseph Project, and state and national media have covered their efforts to fight poverty in the face of Senator Feingold’s attacks.

Check out what they’re saying:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Johnson reacted sharply, telling reporters: ‘It’s literally sad that he would denigrate, that he would basically attack, a program that has transformed people’s lives. He actually owes the participants of the Joseph Project an apology.’ Johnson said the program’s participants are ‘committed to succeed and they’re using the Joseph Project and working at great companies that are helping them to succeed. And they’re getting up and they’re working. They’re willing to travel an hour to work.’”

Washington Free Beacon: “The Johnson campaign responded to Feingold’s attack by releasing a new digital ad highlighting the importance of the Joseph Project and what it has done to better people’s lives. The ad features testimonials from project participants as well as Pastor Jerome Smith, who partnered with Johnson to start the program. … One program participant named Michael appears in the ad and talks about how the Joseph Project has affected his own life. ‘Here I am working a factory making good money, supporting my family, my friends, giving back to my community. Everything I hoped for and wished for, I’m doing it,’ Michael says in the newly released ad.”

AP: “Ron Johnson is putting back into circulation a positive television ad highlighting a program he spearheads to put the unemployed in inner city Milwaukee back to work. The move just 12 days before the election comes after Johnson’s Democratic challenger Russ Feingold said the faith-based initiative called the Joseph Project wasn’t enough to address inner city poverty. Johnson’s campaign announced Thursday that the ad that had been down since Oct. 5 was coming back as part of a seven-figure statewide purchase in the final days of the campaign. That also includes targeted digital ads that go after Feingold for his comments.”

National Review: “‘Senator Feingold is not only denigrating the Joseph Project, he’s denigrating the dozens of hard-working people in Milwaukee and Madison who have taken these jobs and are trying to break cycles of poverty and improve their communities,’ Johnson said in response to Feingold’s attack. ‘He owes those who have participated in the Joseph Project an apology.’ But don’t take Johnson’s word for it. Take it from the men and women who participated in the Joseph Project, such as the 62-year-old man who was able to buy his first car after participating in the program and maintaining a job. ‘Ron Johnson doesn’t mind talking to you,’ another man said of the incumbent senator. ‘He doesn’t mind giving you advice. He’s hands-on with you. He’s not a ghost. We have Ron Johnson giving back to the community and giving back to the people of Milwaukee. I don’t see nobody else doing that.’”

WORLD Magazine: “‘The Joseph Project is doing a phenomenal job,’ Jerome Smith, pastor of Greater Praise, told me in a phone interview. ‘Anyone who is saying it’s not building the community is somebody who is not in touch with the community.’ …  Feingold, a three-term senator replaced by Johnson in 2011, called for the government to do more to alleviate inner-city problems. ‘I disagree,’ Smith said. ‘We need to keep the government out of it. I believe in order to fix a problem in the inner city, the answer has got to come from the inner city—not the government.'”