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.

To continue reading, log into your account or explore our subscription options:

More TDP Editorials

TDP Editorials
Looking to resolve the downside of a booming economy
Can too much of a good thing ever be a bad thing?Or more to the point here: Is there a downside to a booming economy?The most recent government statistics put the unemployment rate in West Virginia at 4.
July 19, 2019 - 9:26 am
TDP Editorials
City Council needs to slow down and think a lot smaller
Too much, too fast was probably an understatement.When Morgantowns draft annexation plans were first unveiled in April we were taken aback by its scope, its timeline and the process the city planned to use to accomplish its goals.
July 18, 2019 - 5:05 pm
TDP Editorials
Effort to catch up with roads repairs stuck in slow lane
Were gonna need a bigger calendar.Its more apparent than ever that the governors secondary road repair initiative is not fast enough for anyone.
July 17, 2019 - 9:48 am
TDP Editorials
You soon might be able to answer your phone calls, again
Dont answer that! Let it go to voicemail.Thats probably the best advice there is for coping with robocalls.
July 16, 2019 - 9:30 am