CHARLESTON, WV (WCHS) — Governor Jim Justice’s theatrical news conference to veto the budget bill by unveiling a pile of cow manure has everyone talking and the story even making international headlines.
The press conference won’t soon be forgotten but not because the state still doesn’t have a budget but by the big cow patty that was sitting in the middle of the Capitol Rotunda to let the state know how the governor felt about what was proposed to him.
“What we have is a nothing more than a bunch of political bull you know what,” Justice said as he unveiled the manure that was sitting atop of the proposed budget.
It’s no secret Justice isn’t shy about using props to make a point and he defends his decision.
“I think the people of West Virginia deserve someone who will talk to them with straight talk. I mean, just straight, down home talk,” Justice said in an interview with Eyewitness News.
Justice didn’t mince words, taking shots at both sides.
“But it conveys the message of exactly what’s going on. You’ve got a bunch of people that think they’re the circus and they love it, they just feed on this politics thing. Democrats and Republicans alike,” Justice said. “And we’re worried about me bringing in a cow pie? Are you serious?”
Some though, aren’t too pleased with the show. Thousands weighed in on social media. One man wrote that he was ashamed to be a West Virginian and urged the governor to act like one and not a “circus ring master.”
Others, think he proved his point.
Wayne Riffel wrote that it got their attention and the opposing party was made accountable.
“I think he’s trying to make a point. Kind of a stinky, messy point but I think that’s what his opinion of the budget was,” Clendenin resident Preston Fitzwater said.
“Well, that was wrong, he didn’t do it in the right way. I was really embarrassed, to tell you the truth,” Bennett Hines said.
“You know, we’ve got roads that are just terrible. We’ve got people suffering from the flood. You know, I don’t see either branch doing a whole lot right now. They need to quit trying to score points with each other and get something done,” Fitzwater said.
Justice has urged lawmakers to stop the immature antics. So whether this was a mixed message or a strong one, depends on who you ask.
“This is not a game. This is serious stuff,” Justice said.