What began as a one-hour town hall meeting on the statewide Metro News Radio Network quickly took an interesting turn. Governor Justice was taking questions about his budget, and “tweets” from his chief critic, Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns. Justice said Ferns was like a “barking poodle” chasing a “grizzly bear” named Jim Justice through the woods.
“Basically at some point in time, if I’m the poodle (Sen. Ferns), I’m concerned that the grizzly bear (Gov. Justice), at some point in time is just going to get tired of all the tweeting and the little crap that’s going on and turn around and eat your ass,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (D) West Virginia.
“Well I am embarrassed for the Governor. You know, he’s had to resort to empty threats and name calling because he’s showing a lack of leadership and doesn’t have anything of substance to say,” said Sen. Ryan Ferns, (R) Majority Leader.
Despite the dust up, but men later pledged to cooperate.
“Of course we can work together and it’s not getting personal with me at all,” said Gov. Justice.
“If he comes forth with real ideas and is up front with those ideas, I am happy to work with him,” said Sen. Ferns.
Meantime, Governor Justice spent most of the show talking about his budget plans, and tax increases, mostly to rebuild the state’s roads, highways and bridges.
“Be able to bond the roads and let the roads. It creates 48 thousand new jobs,” said Governor Justice.
That would be financed with a ten cents a gallon increase in the gas tax, plus increased DMV fees. Right now, many Republicans are resisting any new taxes.
“My thoughts are that I don’t want to raise the taxes on everyday West Virginians. They are struggling to make ends met and we need to help them,” said State Sen. Patricia Rucker, (R) Jefferson.
By law, the budget must be balanced.
“Despite all the barbs and back-and-forth colorful language, the two sides agree on one thing. They have to get serious about the state’s 500 million dollar budget deficit,” said 7News Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis.