Justice’s schedule light on governing, big on photo-ops

Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be nice. You disagree? Well, this is how much it costs.
Last weekend, we stopped at one point in our elaboration about why Gov. Jim Justice should not be governing.
That point was his absenteeism in Charleston, an issue we have raised in the past, but thought unnecessary to pile on.
After all, he’s already facing federal subpoenas, a federal lawsuit, unpaid tax bills in three other states, allegations his businesses stiffed vendors, etc.
But wouldn’t you know it, the moment you hesitate to pour it on, somebody else won’t.
The day after that editorial went to press the Associated Press obtained the governor’s calendar for the past seven months. True, it only showed what we already knew — he’s good for photo-ops but not much more. Unless you  include unaccounted for.
Initially, the governor’s office refused this request  and that of another state newspaper’s for his calendar.
Reasons for denying those requests ranged from his calendar was only in draft format to its release could put his security at risk.
No one expects Justice to log who he’s meeting with and what he’s doing daily, but shouldn’t someone?
Still, judging by what turned up in that “activity” schedule it’s clear the reason for the subterfuge — the sheer lack of activities, such as meeting with his Cabinet or even  being at the Capitol.
OK, maybe he doesn’t need to live in Charleston — as the state Constitution clearly mandates  — but you would think he would want to be there during the 60-day regular legislative session. Or maybe not.
And lest anyone  has forgotten, during the 2018 session, it took a nine-day teachers’ strike to dislodge him from his home in Greenbrier County.
Let’s be frank. Yes, we know you can be in touch with anyone practically anywhere in minutes. And “remote” management styles are trendy.
If you are going to just call it in every day that’s fine if it’s your business or you have the boss’ blessings. But Justice doesn’t have the blessings of the people who didn’t elect him to run the state part-time in his pajamas at home.
This is not about politics, either. The criticism aimed at the governor’s comings and goings is bipartisan from top to bottom in the Legislature.
Our guess is much of the time Justice is sweating not only running a private empire but a world of legal problems.
We are not going to dump all the state’s woes on him here because of his absenteeism and lack of interest, though it’s certainly not helping.
But don’t be surprised   if a lot of voters do next year.

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