Gov. Jim Justice waited a day to publicly respond to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) filing a lawsuit demanding his work schedule and calendar from 2017 to the present.
The DSCC filed the lawsuit in Kanawha County Circuit Court saying Justice has failed to comply with a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request to release his official schedule and calendar.
David Bergstein, the DSCC communications director, said there are key reasons the U.S. Senate candidate cannot hide his work schedule, or lack thereof, from West Virginians.
“This has been an ongoing pattern with Justice, where there’s been media reporting about his lack of availability, how hard he’s working, whether he’s actually doing the job,” Bernstein said. “We believe that he needs to disclose these schedules and calendars.”
In his Wednesday, online media briefing, Justice, a U.S. Senate candidate, said he “doesn’t keep a calendar,” that he’s “worked more hours than any other governor for the people of West Virginia” and his progress isn’t measured by a clock.
“I don’t keep gold stars for perfect attendance,” Justice said. “I give gold stars not for effort but for accomplishment. You can’t accomplish anything if you don’t have real passion and you’re not working all the time. I don’t go on vacation. I don’t do that. I work all the time.”
Justice said the Democrats’ actions show they are “running scared” because they have a strong opposing candidate to Sen. Joe Manchin, a candidate who could help Republicans gain a U.S. Senate majority.
“Senate Democrats are scared to death that there’s finally somebody who’s going to take Manchin’s spot, whether Manchin runs or not, and Republicans are going to take control of the Senate,” he said.
Justice said he has not yet seen the lawsuit and will address it once he has.