New York, Virginia, Ohio court Delta Air Lines following Georgia lawmaker’s threat

Following a threat by Georgia’a lieutenant governor to kill a proposed lucrative tax cut for Atlanta-based Delta over the carrier’s decision to end a discount fare program for National Rifle Association members, lawmakers in other states have been courting Delta to ditch the Peach state.

“I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA,” Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle tweeted Monday. “Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.”

The Associated PressFILE – In this Jan. 11, 2016, file photo, Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle speaks during a memorial ceremony on the first day of the legislative session at the state Capitol in Atlanta.

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Cagle’s threat prompted elected officials elsewhere to roll out the welcome mat to one of the world’s largest airlines.

“.@Delta, if Georgia politicians disagree with your stand against gun violence, we invite you to move your headquarters to New York,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted Tuesday.

New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul chimed in, “.@Delta, as one of your most frequent flyers, know that the NY LG admires your principled stance,” she tweeted Tuesday. “Let’s continue our great relationship. NY is open for business & [loves] Delta – move HQ to where you’re appreciated?”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam echoed his Northeast peers, tweeting Tuesday, “Hey @delta—Virginia is for lovers and airline hubs. You’re welcome here any time.”

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, suggested on Twitter that northeast Ohio would be an ideal location for Delta’s headquarters.

“Hey @Delta — Northeast Ohio would make a great HQ if you’re put off by Mr. Cagle’s authoritarian tendencies,” Ryan wrote. “Quality of life, infrastructure, and wonderful communities. I’d love to show you around!”

And Randall Woodfin, the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, tweeted Tuesday, “Hey @Delta . You know, in mathematics, Delta represents the change in something, e.g. HQ. Let’s chat. #BHM.”


Delta is not alone in cutting ties with the powerful lobbying group, though: United Airlines, Best Western, MetLife and Wyndham Hotels are among some of the companies that have announced in recent days that they are severing ties with the NRA.

The move to disassociate from the NRA follows the Feb. 14 shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, during which suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and faculty members.