CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Delegate Jim Butler bought a 1,335-pound steer named “George VI” and charged it as a campaign expense.
Alas, just days later, the steer met its fate at the K & L meat processing plant in New Haven.
“We just billed it as an expense, just like any other expense,” said Butler, R-Mason, who’s seeking reelection. “It’s just like buying hamburger for a campaign cookout. This is just another kind of hamburger I guess you might say.”
In August, livestock judges at the Mason County Fair named George VI the “grand-champion” steer. A Mason County girl had raised the steer for market. So George VI was herded to the fair’s “Junior Livestock Sale,” a public auction that raises money for 4-H and other youth programs.
Butler said he and Delegate Scott Cadle, R-Mason, agreed to bid on the black steer. The GOP House members won the auction, bidding $5 a pound, or $6,675. Public announcements and photo opportunities with the grand champion followed.
“The benefit for me is it’s advertising,” said Butler, who represents the House 14th District. “They announce your name at the fair that you bought the grand-champion steer. You get a lot of publicity.”
Butler had his picture taken with George VI. He posted the photos on his campaign website and Facebook page.
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