West Virginia has been a strong state for Donald Trump with a 20 percentage point lead. Still, the state’s farmers have been hit hard by the president’s tariff war with China. Many multi-generational family farms are tettering on the edge of bankruptcy. With that looming over the voters, their governor made a huge mistake.
The Associated Press released an exclusive. West Virginia’s billionaire Governor Jim Justice (R) is a big Trump fan. The president authorized $1.5 billion n emergency stabilization funds to bail out the West Virginia farmers. Unfortunately, Justice decided to dip into those funds and nicked a healthy $125,000 for his own family farms.
‘EXCLUSIVE: West Virginia billionaire Governor Jim Justice’s family farms received $125,000 from federal subsidy program meant to help farmers through the U.S. trade war with China.’
Justice has not been popular with his voters, and he certainly was not in need of emergency funds himself. He owned more than 50 companies, including a series of coal mines and the Republican-friendly Greenbriar luxury resort.
The Department of Agriculture appropriated $16 billion dollars thus far. Yet, the Environmental Working Group reported that the “top one-tenth” of farms, corporate entities took in 54 percent of the funds:
‘[There were] 82 farmers receiving over $500,000 and several recipients actually living in large cities. The bottom 80 percent of farmers received less than $5,000 each, and farmers of color received almost nothing.’
Another powerful political ally of Trump, Senator Check Grassley (R-IA) applied to these bailouts numerous times. West Virginia Senator Ron Stollings (D) and Secretary of Commerce Woody Thrasher (D) have been campaigning for the governor’s job.
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