Publicado: Sáb, Marcha 03, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Georgia Legislature Punishes Delta for Cutting Ties With the NRA

Georgia Legislature Punishes Delta for Cutting Ties With the NRA

Delta revealed Friday that the NRA discount that triggered the showdown had barely been used.

Bastian cited the NRA's "controversial statements" in the wake of the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 students and staff members dead.

Instead, Bastian said "some elected officials in Georgia tied our decision to a pending jet fuel tax exemption, threatening to eliminate it unless we reversed course".

He added: "And we are supporters of the 2nd Amendment, just as we embrace the entire Constitution of the United States". But GOP lawmakers' willingness to use public money to try to intimidate corporations could damage Georgia's ability to attract new industry - including Amazon, which recently named metro Atlanta a finalist for its coveted second headquarters. The tax break would have totaled $50 million for all airlines, of which $40 million would have gone to Delta.

It was unclear whether Delta is seriously considering any of the pitches.

Cagle wrote: "We can not continue to allow large companies to treat conservatives differently than other customers". The House may take it up as well, giving it final approval and sending it to Gov. Nathan Deal, who has promised to sign it.

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"Ours is a welcoming state-the epitome of 'Southern Hospitality, '" said Deal, who will leave office early next year because of term limits. After lawmakers passed the bill Thursday, Cagle celebrated by calling it the "largest tax cut in Georgia history". The prime beneficiary would have been Atlanta-based Delta, which angered lawmakers with its decision to end fare discounts to NRA members. Before the NRA controversy, he said, many GOP lawmakers defended the jet fuel tax break as necessary to protect jobs.

The CEO of Delta Air Lines says "we are not taking sides" in the national debate over guns despite the company's decision to cut ties with the National Rifle Association following the school massacre in Florida. "Our objective in removing any implied affiliation with the NRA was to remove Delta from this debate". Michael Williams, another candidate for governor.

Contacted Thursday, Whipple said he's serious and would work to facilitate any Delta presence, up to and including moving its headquarters from Atlanta.

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal criticized the Delta controversy as an "unbecoming squabble" but said he would sign the broader tax measure in whatever form it passed. It happened five days after the airline said it would end discounted fares to NRA members in the wake of the February 14 school massacre in Florida.

The airline had been under attack from gun-rights activists since Saturday, when it abruptly discontinued flight discounts to the NRA's annual convention and asked the gun-rights group to remove the information about the perk from the convention material. GOP Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle vowed to fight back.

Republicans have controlled the governor's mansion in Georgia since 2003, a deep red streak that makes this year's GOP gubernatorial nominee a likely favorite in November.

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