Delta CEO: Ending NRA discount was attempt to be neutral

JAN. 21 2010

After Georgia Republicans threatened to remove the tax break, the governors of NY and Virginia invited Delta to move its headquarters to their states.

Delta, along with other companies, has cut ties with the gun-advocacy group following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead.

Delta did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

The NRA did not return a request for comment on these developments. Lawmakers threatened to remove a jet-fuel tax break, which had an estimated $40 million benefit for Delta, from a larger tax package unless the carrier reversed course.

"Corporations can not attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back", he added. "You're welcome here any time", tweeted Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat.

Deal didn't hold a news conference or bill-signing ceremony in what amounted to an anti-climactic end to legislation that roiled the statehouse - and became part of the national debate on gun violence - throughout the week.

He told us he is proud of his lifelong membership in the NRA. The House and Senate now have to agree on a final bill before it is sent to the governor.

Republican candidate for governor Sen. The version that passed removed a provision that would have exempted jet fuel from sales tax.

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"Delta was playing the national game, and the politicians were playing the local game", said Gary Leff, a travel expert and author of the blog View from the Wing.

Implementing a policy for a certain goal can be a form of expression, and if the Georgia government took adverse action against Delta for its expression, it would be "a distinctive sort of First Amendment violation", said Gregory Magarian, a professor at George Washington University in St. Louis specializing in constitutional and First Amendment law.

Atlanta-based Delta's move to end group discounts for NRA members may not have had Georgia politics in mind. And we are supporters of the 2nd Amendment, just as we embrace the entire Constitution of the United States.

But I don't see in Bastian's memo anything other than courageous leadership and determination to do the right thing. He then took the opportunity to urge Bastian to consider his state as the new location for Delta's headquarters.

The company said it has never donated to the NRA. "But will it be the dominant factor?" "I think it does not enhance our chances to get Amazon".

Kirk said that's because of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport's location in Atlanta.

Deal has been critical of Republicans' handling of the debate but has agreed to sign the bill anyway because it creates a reduction in personal and corporate tax rates.

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