Justice denounces climate change initiative, talks GOP feud, education reform

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Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail

In a news conference called Monday to denounce former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $500 million pledge to an initiative to fight climate change, Gov. Jim Justice went off on multiple tangents, including his feud with West Virginia Senate Republicans, his thoughts on education reform and legal issues involving his private businesses.

In his first public comments since Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, ran campaign ads in local newspapers calling Justice “an embarrassment to our state,” and calling for his resignation, Justice said, “Craig Blair is a bully. That’s all there is to it.”

The governor said Blair’s call for his resignation is “ridiculous” and said of Senate GOP leaders, “I think they’ve dug themselves a hole, and I’m not going to help them dig.”


Justice criticized Senate leaders for blindsiding him with introduction of the failed omnibus education bill during the regular session and for introducing an education savings accounts bill in special session, after indicating to him it was off the table.