Atlanta, GA – Georgia’s lieutenant governor vowed to block tax legislation that would benefit Delta airline on Monday, unless the Atlanta-based company agreed to resume its contract with the National Rifle Association (NRA).
“I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA,” Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle said in a tweet. “Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.”
Cagle’s threat came on the heels of Delta’s Saturday announcement on the Delta News Hub, in which the company said they had “informed the [NRA] that the airline will end its contract for discounted fares for travel to the 2018 annual meeting.”
“The company requested that the NRA remove Delta’s information from its meeting website,” the statement read.
"I have been very clear with Delta that I wish they would take their boycott out and away from the NRA, but sadly enough, it doesn't sound like they're going to," said Cagle, who is also running for Georgia governor. "They chose to single out the NRA and their membership – law-abiding gun owners – and I don't think that's right."
Delta explained that it wanted to maintain a “neutral status in the current national debate over gun control,” and determined it was best to sever ties with the NRA “out of respect for our customers and employees on both sides,” according to the Delta News Hub statement.
“This is not the first time Delta has withdrawn support over a politically and emotionally charged issue,” the statement read. “Delta supports all of its customers but will not support organizations on any side of any highly charged political issue that divides our nation.”
The Georgia House of Representatives recently approved tax break legislation that could potentially save the airline $40 million, but the bill has not passed through the Senate yet, Cagle said on Wednesday, according to FOX News Insider.
“If corporate America wants to make a positive difference on gun violence, it should donate a portion of its profits to mental health treatments and school safety initiatives,” Cagle suggested in a tweet on Saturday. “They should put their money where their mouth is instead of engaging in viewpoint discrimination against conservatives and law-abiding gun owners.”
Delta was one of more than a dozen companies who have cut ties with the NRA in the wake of the Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“Let it be absolutely clear,” the NRA said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. “The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world.”
On Wednesday, Democratic candidate for governor Stacey Evans urged Attorney General Chris Carr to determine whether or not Cagle’s threat against Delta violated bribery and extortion laws, Politically Georgia reported.
“Mr. Cagle’s threats against a corporation that is one of Georgia’s largest private employers is a serious matter that demands a thorough investigation – and prosecution should a violation of law be found,” Evans said.
Cagle declined to comment regarding Evans’ request for an investigation, Politically Georgia reported.
Delta has said that only 13 people have ever used the NRA discount.
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