Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell ratcheted up the ongoing competition between Virginia and its neighbor to the north on Tuesday, blasting Montgomery County for a withdrawn council resolution asking Congress to spend less on wars that drew attention from Bethesda-based defense contracting giant Lockheed Martin.
The Montgomery County Council had reportedly been weighing a resolution asking Congress to spend less on defense and divert money into social programs, but it was tabled after a lobbyist from defense giant Lockheed Martin and state lawmakers weighed in against the resolution, according to The Washington Post.
“It’s a rather stunning statement by Montgomery County … that they were injecting sort of a political agenda into whether or not [they] were going to be welcoming in their county,” Mr. McDonnell said Tuesday on WTOP’s “Ask the Governor” program. “If states show that they don’t want businesses there because they’re hostile to defense contractors, or they’ve got a tough business environment like California with high taxes and high regulation, naturally, we’re going to recruit businesses like SAIC and Hilton and Northrop Grumman. … I am working on things as we speak.”
“People don’t want them in their state, I’m delighted to have them in [ours],” he said. “A little friendly competition between states to create the best environment for job creators is good.”
Virginia famously won out in a hotly-contested regional battle for the corporate headquarters of defense giant Northrop Grumman last year, beating out the District and Maryland, in part by offering the company at least $12 million in incentives. Mr. McDonnell helped cut the ribbon on the new corporate headquarters in Falls Church last month.