National

Governor uses a plate of real ‘bull-you-know-what’ as a prop while vetoing budget

By Brian Murphy

bmurphy@mcclatchy.com

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice made sure everyone got the point Thursday.

Justice, a Democrat, vetoed the state budget passed by lawmakers — and brought a plate full of bull feces with him to show exactly what he thought of the budget before him.

“We don’t have a nothing burger today and we don’t have a mayonnaise sandwich today. We all should take ownership for this, but what we have is nothing more than a bunch of political bull-you-know-what,” he said, showing platters with a burger, a sandwich and, finally, a pile of bull-you-know-what.

The crowd clapped after Justice showed the platters. The bull feces was atop what appeared to be the budget.

“For that very reason, I’m signing my veto on the budget bill. I hope and pray that the silliness will stop and we’ll all do the right thing for these people that are here, for this great state and we’ll stop the bullcrap,” Justice said.

[Congressman tells angry constituents the idea that they pay his salary is ‘bullcrap’]

The $4.102 billion budget passed the Senate 22-12 on April 8. The House concurred 63-37 on April 9. Justice vetoed the bill later that day. Justice had initially proposed a $4.5 billion budget, then reduced it to $4.394 billion, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

House Speaker Tim Armstead, a Republican, did not appreciate Justice’s theatrics — or the veto. “It’s insulting to the people of West Virginia. They sent us here to do a job. They sent us here to protect their wallets,” Armstead told the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Justice, a first-term governor, brought an axe and a fishing tackle box to his inauguration. He bought them from a woman who was selling everything she had just to get by, according to Metro News.

Justice defeated Republican Bill Cole by less than 48,000 votes in November’s election. Justice received 49.1 percent of the vote with Cole earning 42.3 percent. Three other candidates combined for 8.6 percent. Republican Donald Trump dominated the presidential contest in West Virginia, winning 67.9 percent of the vote.

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