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Kansas lawmaker wants Delta Airlines to relocate to Sunflower State

06 March, 2018, 03:15 | Author: Shawna Walton
  • JAN. 21 2010

"I have tremendous respect and admiration for [Georgia] Governor Nathan Deal, and thank him for the work he has done on the jet fuel tax exemption", Bastian added.

"I'm exhausted of conservatives being kicked around on our values and it's time that we stand up and fight and show corporations that conservative values are important", Cagle said Monday afternoon.

Since announcing its decision to cease its relationship with the NRA, Delta has faced calls for a boycott from members of the powerful gun rights group.

By killing a proposed tax break on jet fuel, pro-gun Republicans won a political victory that could pay off in the short term, but other companies won't soon forget that Georgia allied itself with the NRA over one of its largest private employers, with 33,000 workers statewide.

The airline ended a discount for the NRA after the school shooting in Florida. FedEx is now the only major company to still offer perks to NRA members. That is not the case. "Our objective in removing any implied affiliation with the NRA was to remove Delta from this debate", he wrote.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian addressed the Georgia legislature's decision in an email to company employees on Friday. In a memo posted on the airline's website Friday, the company's CEO said "Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale".

According to the Associated Press, governors from Virginia, New York and CT have made pitches to Delta.

After Delta's decision, Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said he would "kill" any legislation benefitting Delta.

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. Offered recently for NRA members flying to the group's 2018 convention in Dallas, only 13 discounted tickets had been sold, Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter said. A congressman from OH and the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, also have reached out to Delta in recent days. A few hours after the vote, Georgia Congressman John Lewis tweeted simply "I stand with Delta".

Critics of the GOP effort to retaliate against Delta have warned it could backfire by harming Georgia's ability to lure businesses - including Amazon, which recently named Atlanta a finalist in its search for a second headquarters.

The Georgia legislature passed a tax reform bill on Thursday which excluded a provision that allowed airlines to re-fuel at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport without paying the state's sales tax.

"He is a great friend to Delta", Mr. Bastian wrote.

"Please understand that this is not at all motivated from the position of the NRA", Cagle said. The bill includes $5 billion in tax cuts for Georgians.


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