Senate President says he’s fed up with Gov. Jim Justice
Mitch Carmichael, one of Gov. Jim Justice’s best allies in Charleston now fed up with the Governor. Gov. Justice in a press release where he stated “Based on how poorly the Legislature did this past year, the taxpayers shouldn’t pay them for a new outhouse— much less a new luxury bathroom”
“It’s ridiculous. The man’s lost his mind,” Carmichael, R-Jackson said this morning on MetroNews’ “Talkline” in response to the governor’s news release.
Justice Tweeted the statement around 10 a.m. and was labeled “Justice calls bullsnot on politicians for spending money on private Capitol bathrooms.”
Carmichael explained the project is meant to upgrade multiple, bathrooms to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The total anticipated cost is $860,000. Senate leaders said the restrooms are public, rather than private as the governor described.
The money for the renovations has been set aside since the work was approved in 2009 by then-Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin. The plans for the upgrades have been vetted and approved by the Capitol Building Commission to ensure the changes reflect the integrity of the original architecture of the building.
Carmichael objected to the substance of the governor’s statement, as well as the tone, alluding to Justice’s use of a tray of actual bovine feces to illustrate his vetoing of the budget the Legislature passed at the end of the regular session.
“Here’s a governor who had the indignity and the disrespect to bring cow feces into the state Capitol and unveil it, and now he’s going to criticize the state Senate for upgrading the restroom facilities that are now almost 85 years old,” Carmichael said. “These public restroom facilities are non-ADA compliant.
“He talks about gold-plated this and that. This is ridiculous. this press release needs to be flushed down the toilet.”
Carmichael added, “I don’t understand this guy’s fixation with restrooms and everything related to, I don’t know.”
Carmichael has been one of Justice’s political allies in the Legislature. Although the governor is a Democrat and the Senate president is a Republican, Carmichael has been generally supportive of the governor’s goals, such as his road-funding bills. The two collaborated on a revenue proposal that would have raised sales taxes but then decreased personal income taxes a few months later.
Carmichael tended to laugh it off when the governor called legislators names such as “blockheads.”
Now Carmichael says that’s over. He said he withheld criticism over the outstanding taxes owed by the coal companies owned by Justice’s families. No more, Carmichael said on “Talkline.”
“I’m going to now,” he said. When you’re talking about making the people’s house ADA compliant and this guy shows cow feces and owes the state $4.5 million, I mean, come on.”
Referring to Justice’s comment that the money being used to upgrade the restrooms could instead be used to pay for drug treatment, Carmichael added: “Pay your taxes — $4.5 million in taxes for drug treatment.”
Justice’s news release had suggested the Senate should use the allocated bathroom money to fund drug treatment centers.