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Georgia Lawmakers Punish Delta for Breaking Ties with NRA

by Countable | 3.2.18

UPDATE: March 3. 2018: Republican lawmakers in Georgia made good on their threat to kill a tax break for the Atlanta-based Delta airlines after the company announced it was ending a discount program for NRA members.

  • Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, a Republican and stanch NRA supporter, said: "Businesses have every legal right to make their own decisions, but the Republican majority in our state legislature also has every right to govern guided by our principles."

  • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, tweeted:

Read Countable's original story below.


What’s the story?

Atlanta is the primary hub for Delta Airlines, and the airline is the state’s largest private employer. So, a dust up between the airline and Georgia lawmakers has potentially significant implications for the state’s economy. And in this case, it also affects the national conversation about gun control.

The airline has been pursuing state legislation involving a $50 million sales tax exemption on jet fuel, of which Delta would be the primary beneficiary. Until a week ago GOP lawmakers in the state were publicly supportive of the bill.

Then Delta joined dozens of corporations in ending their discount program for NRA members in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, FL.

Monday morning, Georgia’s lieutenant governor Casey Cagle, who also heads the state senate, took to Twitter to proclaim that he would block the tax break legislation until Delta reversed their position on the NRA discount program.

State Senator Rick Jeffares then joined Cagle’s efforts to block the bill.

Conservatives had previously lauded the airline when they pulled out of sponsorship of a New York Public Theater Production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which portrayed a Trump-like Roman statesman being assassinated.

The tax break legislation had cleared the Georgia House of Representatives on Thursday, and now must pass the Senate before moving to the governor’s desk. GOP Governor Nathan Deal has not made a statement about Cagle’s stance or any changes to his support of the legislation.

What do you think?

Do you support Georgia lawmakers holding Delta’s feet to the fire over their NRA position? Do you think they’re going too far? Should lawmakers be able to control access to resources for companies based on their support of political groups those lawmakers are endorsed by? Is this new in politics or the way it’s always been?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker and Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Creative Commons)

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