At a time when West Virginia needs all the help it can get, we have a distracted, often absentee governor in the mansion—when he is even there, that is. A recent Charleston Gazette-Mail story, produced in partnership with Pro Publica, had a lot to say in just the headline alone: “Gov. Justice still guides billion-dollar business empire, even though he said he wouldn’t.”
“Being governor,” Justice wrote in a January 2017 note to state employees, “is a full-time responsibility.”
But as the story notes: “Justice remains deeply enmeshed in his businesses. In fact, he has frequently used official public appearances, and the trappings of his office, to promote them.”
The dysfunction and lack of leadership in the state Capitol has much to do with our missing-in-action governor, who sometimes seems more interested in his personal empire than the plight of West Virginia families.