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Tags: georgia | gop | delta airlines | voting | bill

Georgia GOP Hits Delta Over CEO's Criticism of Voting Bill

david ralston speaks to press
Georgia Speaker of the House Rep. David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, makes remarks after SB 202 passed the House Chambers in a legislative session at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta, Thursday, March 25, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

By    |   Thursday, 01 April 2021 01:25 PM EDT

Georgia’s Republican-controlled state House on Wednesday repealed a tax break on jet fuel in an apparent act of retaliation against Delta Airlines after the company’s chief executive criticized the state’s recent voting bill.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian wrote in a memo released on Wednesday that although the airline joined with other corporations based in Atlanta "to try and remove some of the most egregious measures from the bill ... the final bill is unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values."

He added, "The entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections," Bastian added. "This is simply not true. Unfortunately, that excuse is being used in states across the nation that are attempting to pass similar legislation to restrict voting rights."

Later on Wednesday, the Georgia state House passed a bill repealing a tax break for jet fuel, which House Speaker David Ralston appeared to acknowledge as retaliation for the memo in a press conference on Thursday.

"They like our public policy when we’re doing things that benefit them, and they reap the rewards of those benefits and then turn around and do this," Ralston said, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting. "As all of you know, I can’t resist a country boy line or two, you don’t feed a dog that bites your hand. You’ve got to keep that in mind."

Bastian wrote in the memo, "Last week, the Georgia legislature passed a sweeping voting reform act that could make it harder for many Georgians, particularly those in our Black and Brown communities, to exercise their right to vote. After having time to now fully understand all that is in the bill, coupled with discussions with leaders and employees in the Black community, it’s evident that the bill includes provisions that will make it harder for many underrepresented voters, particularly Black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives. That is wrong." 

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp criticized the memo in a statement saying that airlines did not express these specific concerns until after the bill was written and passed.

"Today’s statement by Delta CEO Ed Bastian stands in stark contrast to our conversations with the company, ignores the content of the new law, and unfortunately continues to spread the same false attacks being repeated by partisan activists," he said.

Other major Georgia-based companies have come out against the election bill, including soft drink giant Coca-Cola, whose chief executive James Quincey described the bill as a "step backwards," in an interview on CNBC.

"We have always opposed this legislation," Quincey told "Power Lunch" on Wednesday. "We have a long track record of working in Georgia, with alliances, on our own account, with legislators, with stakeholders, to improve legislation, and we were doing so again this time, but the result of this legislation in an area that’s particularly sensitive and important for Georgia, has not resulted in something that is acceptable, we believe, for the citizens of Georgia, so we’re coming out even more clearly, saying that this is wrong and it needs to change."

Theodore Bunker

Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Georgia's Republican-controlled state House on Wednesday repealed a tax break on jet fuel in an apparent act of retaliation against Delta Airlines after the company's chief executive criticized the state's recent voting bill...
georgia, gop, delta airlines, voting, bill
Thursday, 01 April 2021 01:25 PM
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