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Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle Grassroots Hero And Smart Politician

Atlanta-based Delta and its competitor United Airlines over the weekend said they would no longer offer discounts for travel to the NRA annual meeting in May. The airlines joined a list of other companies, including Avis Budget Group, Hertz Global Holdings and Metlife, that announced they would end their relationship with the Nation’s oldest shooting sports organization after 17 people were killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14.

Casey CagleThe problem for Delta is that it was at the same time asking for a $50 million tax break from Georgia’s Second Amendment-friendly legislature, and legislators were in no mood to give tax breaks to virtue-signaling Leftwing corporate giants.

Following Delta Air Lines' announcement that was ending the promotional fare for the National Rifle Association annual meeting, the Georgia Senate voted to block legislation that would have given the airline the $50 million sales tax exemption on jet fuel it was seeking.

Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said before the vote that he'd kill any tax break legislation for the Atlanta-based company unless it reinstated its relationship with the NRA. He tweeted, "corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back."

After the airline’s top lobbyist in Georgia, David Werner, issued a completely disingenuous statement claiming the company’s announcement “merely confirmed its neutral status” in a politically charged debate Cagle doubled down on his opposition to the tax break.

“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 said, according to reporting by AJC.com.

Cagle, the leading candidate to replace retiring Republican Governor Nathan Deal, was joined by several other high-profile Georgia candidates and elected officials.

CNBC reports candidate for lieutenant governor and former state senator Rick Jeffares tweeted that he is "leading the charge to let Delta know their attack on the NRA and our 2nd Amendment is unacceptable."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that within hours, several other Republican candidates for high-profile seats also publicly opposed the measure.

Jason Shepherd, the Cobb GOP chairman, questioned why lawmakers are considering a tax break if “Delta does not respect the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” The Atlanta Tea Party sent members a plea to “stand up for the Second Amendment” and call Gov. Nathan Deal’s office.

AJC.com also reported that State Sen. Michael Williams, a Republican candidate for governor, seemed sure to step up his calls for the Senate to block the Delta break.

His campaign sent a statement on Friday – before the NRA unrest – urging his GOP colleagues to uncouple the Delta provision from the rest of the tax-cut package. Over the weekend, he said Deal’s support of the measure was proof lawmakers “do the bidding of lobbyists.”

“Delta isn’t even worried about insulting a huge portion of voters who belong to the NRA,” he said on social media. “They have their backroom deal in place & know the politicians can’t survive without their donations.”

Two other Republican candidates for governor have also made clear this debate won’t soon come to a crashing halt, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Greg Bluestein reported.

Clay Tippins, a businessman running as an outsider, said he doesn’t want the airline to use “our tax dollars to further their left-wing agenda.”

And Secretary of State Brian Kemp said he opposes the tax break because "it puts the special interests – not hardworking Georgians – first."

With about 30,000 employees Delta is one of Georgia’s largest private employers. However, the jet fuel tax break was controversial even before Delta took sides against the NRA and gun owners. After nearly sinking during the Obama years, Delta rebounded to post record-breaking profits, and opponents of the break cast it as a special-interest tax giveaway.

And there’s another good reason for Casey Cagle and other Georgia candidates and elected officials to oppose tax breaks for Leftwing corporate giants like Delta; the sheer number of voters in Georgia who exercise their Second Amendment rights.

While there are around 30,000 Delta employees in the Peach State, there are 395,219 people with hunting licenses in Georgia and 979,006 concealed carry permit holders in the state – and those numbers don’t include gun owners who own a gun for home defense or to participate in shooting sports where no license is required.

While not all of those gun owners will be NRA members, most will implicitly understand that an attack on the Nation’s largest and oldest shooting sports organization is an attack on them.

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s vow to kill the $50 million Delta tax break was not only good tax policy, a principled defense of the Second Amendment, and a well-deserved thumb in the eye to Delta’s virtue signaling Leftwing corporate oligarchs, based on the numbers it was also good politics.

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