Keeping-up with the Justice/Mooney primary battle
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:
A lawsuit has been filed today against West Virginia Governor Jim Justice for refusing to release his work schedule— WTRF 7News (@WTRF7News) May 23, 2023
MORE HERE- https://t.co/ahpOHdWIuh pic.twitter.com/SKgwQhTKEj
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:
I led the effort to pass the largest income tax cut in state history.— Jim Justice (@JimJusticeWV) May 22, 2023
Hardworking West Virginians deserve to keep more of their money. Babydog agrees too!
I've signed the @TaxReformer Taxpayer Protection Pledge to oppose tax increases if elected to the U.S. Senate. #WVSen pic.twitter.com/MbAOdmIQLt
(Never mind that most of the tax cuts will not be going to “hardworking West Virginians.”)
And he’s religious, too:
May 21, 2023And I don’t think we should discount Justice’s dog, Babydoll:
Babydog is truly a joy to be around and adores everyone. She has a heart full of love for people (and chicken nuggets) — we're incredibly grateful to have her in our family. pic.twitter.com/FfXnRKvYzG— Governor Jim Justice (@WVGovernor) May 22, 2023
We can’t win back the Senate without winning West Virginia. This will take a team effort by all of West Virginia! Join Team Justice today >>https://t.co/wV7GvPT6Qk pic.twitter.com/XI5lrNQhxG— Jim Justice (@JimJusticeWV) May 20, 2023
And then there is Alex Mooney’s "campaign"
Mooney is emphasizing Washington D.C. politics:
While Biden was playing politics, Alex Mooney supported legislation to responsibly raise the debt limit. Meanwhile, liberal @JimJusticeWV has spent his entire career increasing government spending!— Alex Mooney (@MooneyforWV) May 22, 2023
More than 6.6 million illegal immigrants have crossed the border since @JoeBiden took office. Alex Mooney will fight to secure our border in the U.S. Senate!https://t.co/Z2uLrHwmbG— Alex Mooney (@MooneyforWV) May 22, 2023
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.