Georgia House Republicans voted to strip Delta Airlines of a fuel tax break worth millions, following a memo from their CEO slamming the state’s election integrity efforts as racist.
Last week, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law sweeping new election integrity reforms, including requiring new identification measures for mail-in voting, blocking the use of mobile voting vans, restricts the use of drop boxes for absentee ballots, and allows electors to challenge the results of an unlimited number of ballots, and strips the authority of the Secretary of State, reducing him to a nonvoting member of the State Election Board.
However, the move for tougher reforms was lambasted by a number of corporations who reside in Georgia, including Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola. In a memo, Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian slammed the election integrity bill as “unacceptable,” that it doesn’t “reflect Delta’s values,” and claiming 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.”
Bastian noted that Delta and other major corporations had been “working closely with elected officials from both parties to try and remove some of the most suppressive tactics” in the bill, and would continue to exert their influence, doing “everything in their power” to “expand voting rights nationwide,” both at the state level and in Congress.
He claimed that the “entire rational” for the bill was “based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections,” saying that this is “simply not true” and is just being used as an excuse “in states across the nation that are attempting to pass similar legislation to restrict voting rights.” National File reported on various strong allegations of voter fraud in Georgia during the 2020 elections, including audio that purportedly shows Georgia vote counter Ruby Freeman is seen with her daughter and supervisor Shaye Moss, discussing potential vote stealing with Fulton County Registration Chief Ralph Jones Sr.
As a result of the condemnation by Delta, Republicans in the Georgia House struck back against Delta. Led by House Speaker David Ralston, they overwhelmingly voted to end a “lucrative tax break on jet fuel” for the airline late Wednesday evening. “They like our public policy when we’re doing things that benefit them,” Ralston said. “You don’t feed a dog that bites your hand. You got to keep that in mind sometimes.” However, the Senate refused to hear the vote, disappointing many.
Ralston purposely drank from a can of Pepsi in front of the press after the end of the legislative session on Thursday, “something that many lifelong Georgians would never do publicly” according to the Atlanta Journal, so prominent is Coca-Cola in the lives of many in the state. The move was seen as a potential warning shot to Coca-Cola.
The move has received praise from a number of America First commentators. “The Right must begin to understand that using your political power can get you the results you want in this culture war,” said Lauren Witzke, the former Republican Senate candidate for Delaware. “The Democrats use and abuse theirs, and it’s time we do the same. We have the majority in most state Legislatures.” Scott Greer, the highly respected Daily Caller alum, slammed the criticism of the move by Republicans as an “evil power play,” but simply “basic politics.”
Senator Marco Rubio also slammed Delta as being “woke corporate hypocrites,” pointing out that they are “business partners” with the Chinese Communist Party. “When can we expect your letter saying that their ongoing genocide in Xinjiang is ‘unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values?’” Others further highlighted Delta’s hypocrisy, including pointing out that Delta requires ID to fly, but condemned the election integrity bill that requires it to vote.