A young state senator from the east slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains upbraided the administration of Gov. Mills E. Godwin today for throwing what he characterized as a lavish bash for Southern governors last year during a period of budget austerity.
Sen. Virgil H. Goode (D-Rocky Mount) produced expense records showing that the $58,000 in state money spent to hold the Southern Governor's Conference in Williamsburg last summer included a state dinner for 455 that cost $17,725.62. Of that amount, $6,071.65, was spent for alcoholic drinks, including $1,182.75 donated by Philip Morris Inc. for after-dinner cordials.
Goode asked the Senate to reappropriate for community colleges almost $12,000 still left in the conference fund and other money in the budget for the state's share of the next National Governor's Conference. His motion was overwhelmingly defeated by voice vote.
The expense statements he placed on the desks of fellow senators included such items as $4,908.86 for custom made portfolios silk-screened in blue and gold for conference participants, $2,995 for flower arrangements for the state dinner, $2,166.47 for gifts to governors, their wives and persons who contributed to the conference, $386 for brochures telling participants what weather to expect in Williamsburg and what to wear, $35 for tuning the harpsichord at the colonial Governor's Palace before a reception, and $23.95 to provide a long slip and black ties to conference participants who forgot to bring the same.