Delta Air Lines Threatened By Lieutenant Governor of Georgia Over NRA Stance
The controversy pertaining to Delta Air Lines and the National Rifle Association has snowballed exponentially — and the race for the election of the governor of the state of Georgia is now deeply involved in the fray.
Delta Air Lines Threatened By Lieutenant Governor of Georgia Over NRA Stance
Legislation in the form of a bill called House Bill 821 calls for the amendment of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, which — if passed — will essentially eliminate the sales and use taxes levied on jet fuel for all airlines which purchase fuel in the state of Georgia; and Delta Air Lines stands to benefit the most from this legislation to the tune of tens of millions of dollars…
…but in a bizarre twist over the stance of the airline with regard to the National Rifle Association — or NRA — the Republican lieutenant governor of the state of Georgia has threatened to “kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA. Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.”
I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA. Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.
— Casey Cagle (@CaseyCagle) February 26, 2018
Casey Cagle is the current frontrunner for the election of governor in the state of Georgia later this year; and although he has his supporters, the statement has backfired with significant backlash by voters to call for an ethics investigation — and even vote him out of office.
This is called extortion. It’s also called a felony.
Have at it, bigshot.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) February 26, 2018
This might be one of the dumbest things I have heard anybody or anything say this entire year and it came from a GOP politician. This is far from surprising.
— Ryan J. Kaz (@RyanJKaz) February 26, 2018
He’s literally showing that this is what he’s been doing with the authority of his office and should under Go an ethics investigation immediately this is crazy
— JG (@18major) February 26, 2018
Vote him out!
— AlejCot (@AlejCot) February 26, 2018
How This All Started
In the wake of the mass murders of 17 innocent people which resulted from the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, a major rift of factions who are sharply divided on the issue of gun control has widened significantly; and many travel companies had taken the stance of denouncing the National Rifle Association on its official position and subsequently cut the discounts and benefits of their products and services for members of that organization. Delta Air Lines was amongst those companies…
Delta is reaching out to the NRA to let them know we will be ending their contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website.
— Delta (@Delta) February 24, 2018
…but after public opposition supposedly outweighed support for the company pertaining to the National Rifle Association…
Just to let you know I will be ending my relationship with Delta for any future business OR pleasure travel plans #HopeULoseMillions from folks like me!!!
— Gary T (@GTHOMSE) February 24, 2018
My family will now take another airline or drive. Hope you still feel virtuous in a few months after employees lose their jobs due to loss of revenue.
— LadyHorn91 (@LadyHorn91) February 25, 2018
…Delta Air Lines amended its position with this official updated statement, which was released yesterday, Saturday, February 24, 2018…
Delta informed the National Rifle Association Saturday that the airline will end its contract for discounted fares for travel to the association’s 2018 annual meeting. The company requested that the NRA remove Delta’s information from its meeting website.
Delta’s decision reflects the airline’s neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings. Out of respect for our customers and employees on both sides, Delta has taken this action to refrain from entering this debate and focus on its business. Delta continues to support the 2nd Amendment.
This is not the first time Delta has withdrawn support over a politically and emotionally charged issue. Last year, Delta withdrew its sponsorship of a theater that staged a graphic interpretation of “Julius Caesar” depicting the assassination of President Trump. Delta supports all of its customers but will not support organizations on any side of any highly charged political issue that divides our nation.
…which seemed to only provoke more outrage as the overall response — including that of Casey Cagle; and his opponents for the election of governor of the state of Georgia later this year have wasted no time in taken this opportunity to pounce on him and denounce his policies with relation to this controversy:
I oppose the proposed tax break because it puts special interests – not hardworking Georgians – 1st. Even after spending countless $$$ on lobbying & campaign contributions, the jet fuel tax exemption remains a raw deal for GA taxpayers. https://t.co/qFTrAKHI62 #gafirst #gapol
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) February 26, 2018
I am proud to be the only candidate for #GAGov on either side of the aisle who served in the legislature & never received a stamp of approval from the #NRA. When elected, I will continue to listen to our community’s cry that we champion gun violence prevention efforts. #gapol 4/4
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) February 26, 2018
.@Delta has been given MILLIONS in tax breaks for years from the state and wants even more this year. With Delta dropping the @NRA, it's clear they are using our tax dollars to further their left-wing agenda. #gapol
— Clay Tippins (@ClayTippins) February 24, 2018
— Michael Williams (@williamsforga) February 26, 2018
Do not be the least bit surprised if all of this public posturing by Delta Air Lines was more of a marketing move than a moral stance — after all, the airline cleverly attempted to turn a protest of the elimination of jet fuel taxes by students at its world headquarters into a potentially golden marketing opportunity…
Politics and business have always and will always continue to exploit tragedy. That’s why war makes money. Why cancel it privately they are clearly proud (as I would be) to remove myself from an organisation like the the NRA.
— Chris Knowles (@knowlsey1993) February 25, 2018
…and also, do not be the least bit surprised if all of this public posturing by Casey Cagle was more of garnering political favor amongst voters and fellow politicians than a moral stance. Regardless of whether or not what he is threatening to do to Delta Air Lines is illegal or considered immoral, the constituency of the state in which he serves as lieutenant governor is staunchly conservative.
Anyone in the United States is free to pronounce his or her opinion on issues in many forms — including protest, as I wrote in this article back on September 12, 2016 pertaining to the controversial stance by football player Colin Kaepernick — as that right is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States…
…but when a corporation takes a controversial stance — such as Chick-fil-A did with same-sex marriage back in 2012 — it runs the risk of offending current and future customers and tarnishing its brand.
I do not believe that will be the case with Delta Air Lines, as it will eventually rebound from its current public relations controversy, as it did when it recovered from meltdowns due to a fire which shut down its hub airport in Atlanta for 12 hours on December 17, 2017 and the colossal failure of its operations throughout its entire system in August of 2016 which lasted several days. Also, I highly doubt that Delta Air Lines would move its headquarters and hub from Atlanta to somewhere else should it still be required to continue paying the sales and use taxes levied on jet fuel if the legislation does not pass.
In the meantime, this controversy keeps growing out of control. As a member of a flight crew would say, fasten your seat belts due to turbulence — or rough air — ahead…
Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen.