The Virginia General Assembly today gave final approval to plans for a $125 million bond referendum this fall, but not until House Majority Leader James M. Thomson (D-Alexandria) delivered a stinging attack on Gov. Mills E. Godwin for turning "an absolutely cold shoulder" to Northern Virginia.
"The hatred that Mills Godwin has shown to Northern Virginia is typified by this bond issue," Thomson claimed in a bitter House speech that preceded overwhelming approval of the bond package that Godwin sent the legislature on Monday.
Although Thomson promised to vote for the issue, he said the lack of projects for Northern Virginia indicates that many voters in the region will have difficulty supporting the issue in the fall.
Citing Godwin's refusal early this morning to agree to any changes in the bond package, Thompson verbally attacked the Republican governor, warning him that "sooner or later that dog (Norther Virginia) is going to turn" and harm the state.
While Thomson has been frequently at odds with the governor and has criticized him publiciy on many occasions, his speech today was one of the sharpest attacks he has ever made on Godwin and prompted fears among some legislators that his speech might eventually place the entire bond issue in jeopardy.
Immediately after Thomson's speech Del. A. L. Philpott (D-Henry), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, worried aloud in another floor speech that Thomson's remarks might "jeopardize to a good degree the reception" that the bonds will receive in the November election.