Today: three more negative stories about WV’s Teflon governor
From today’s Wheeling Intelligencer:
Justice, Son Are Served in Civil Suit
The subheading tells us:
Company Seeks Almost $89,000 In Civil Suit
And from the top-of-the-front-page of today’s Charleston Gazette-Mail:
Judge: Justice firm owes retirees
As the article explains:
A federal court has ruled Gov. Jim Justice’s family coal companies are liable for nearly six years of unpaid premiums under a union retiree health benefit plan.
It’s the latest in a long history of court rulings that Justice’s coal business empire has failed to meet its obligations.
Three companies controlled by the Justice family are liable to a United Mine Workers of America benefit plan for unpaid premiums accrued since July 2017, with interest and liquidated damages totaling 20% of the principal, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia found in a ruling Thursday.
And from Wheeling’s WTRF:
Does any of this matter to the voters of West Virginia’s Trump Party?
Accounting for Justice’s popularity
These stories are not the first stories that portray Justice and his businesses negatively. However, I don't see them making any difference in next year’s primary. Clearly, Justice has been very successful portraying himself as a likeable, good-old-boy who cares about West Virginians:
(Never mind that most of the tax cuts will not be going to “hardworking West Virginians.”)
And he’s religious, too:
And I don’t think we should discount Justice’s dog, Babydoll:
And then there is Alex Mooney’s "campaign"
Mooney is emphasizing Washington D.C. politics:
Government spending and immigration are not Mooney issues; they're shared by most Republicans and there is nothing special about Alex Mooney's support for them. Finally, what’s with Mooney writing about himself in the third person? Can he get any more pretentious? That can’t play well anywhere, let alone in West Virginia.
We are still a year away from the West Virginia primary, but Alex Mooney hasn’t yet found an issue. It also doesn’t appear that Jim Justice’s negative news stories are making any difference to the average West Virginia Republican. So, barring a Trump endorsement of Mooney which got him into the winner’s column in 2020, it’s clearly Justice’s race to lose.