AP NEWS
ADVERTISEMENT

Casey Cagle threatens Delta for cutting NRA ties

February 27, 2018 GMT

In the battle between two Georgia institutions gun rights and Delta Air Lines the state’s lieutenant governor is siding with the NRA.

And his warning has already cost the airline $40 million.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said Monday that Delta can forget about tax breaks from the state because it had, under pressure from gun-control advocates, canceled its travel partnership with the National Rifle Association.

“I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA,” Mr. Cagle, a Republican who is running for governor this year, wrote on Twitter.

ADVERTISEMENT

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

Delta has used Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as its principal hub for decades. Over that time, Delta grew from a Southern-centered airline to one of the biggest global players and Hartsfield perennially became the world’s busiest airport.

But after the Florida school shooting, Delta became one of several companies to cease offering discounts to NRA members and partnerships with the gun-rights group.

“Delta is reaching out to the National Rifle Association to let it know we will be ending its contract for discounted rates through our group travel program,” the airline said said in a statement. “We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from its website.”

That’s a no-no, Mr. Cagle said and tied his point to an increasingly popular criticism of big business on the right that corporations are taking political sides.

“Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back,” he said.

Cheers came from other conservatives on that point.

“FINALLY, Republicans who fight back. Go, Casey!” tweeted columnist Ann Coulter.

FINALLY, Republicans who fight back. Go, Casey! https://t.co/XBKbJl2m6Q Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) February 26, 2018

According to Business Insider, a broad tax bill making its way through the state legislature has a provision that exempts jet-fuel purchases from the state sales tax.

The Georgia Senate, of which Mr. Cagle is president and effectively the leader, blocked the tax break Monday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

It was a break worth $50 million to all airlines but, reflecting Delta’s dominance in the state, the vast majority would have gone to Delta.

The AJC reported that “other Georgia GOP lawmakers suggested they would not support the tax change until Delta reversed its decision.”