The Georgia House voted late Wednesday to strip Delta of its state tax breaks after the airline’s CEO blasted the state’s new voter laws as “unacceptable.”
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, whose company is based in Georgia, put the new spate of voter laws on blast Wednesday, saying the new regulations "wrong" and "based on a lie." The new regulations, signed into law by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp this week, mandate voters show a photo I.D. at the polls before being allowed to vote, and take aim at electioneering by making it illegal to give away free stuff – including food and drinks – to voters waiting in line. True to form, leftists have mislabeled the common-sense rules as “racist,” saying they’ll disproportionately target minority communities and discourage black people from voting.
In an official statement to Delta employees, Bastian slammed the bill as “unacceptable,” saying it does not match the airline company’s values.
"I need to make it crystal clear that the final bill is unacceptable and does not match Delta's values," Bastian said. "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."
Bastian went on to claim that “The entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections,” saying, “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," he said.
Bastian’s statement comes after Delta had first expressed at least some support for the bill, saying it had been "improved considerably during the legislative process." The CEO's one-eighty follows an intense public backlash against the bill from leftists in Capitol Hill and in Hollywood, along with the heads of other Georgia-based companies like Coca-Cola.
In response to the airline Bastian’s very public about-face, the GOP-controlled state house voted to revoke Delta’s tax breaks, worth tens of millions a year. The House passed a provision to a tax bill late Wednesday to start collecting levies on jet fuel July 1, CNN reports.
"They like our public policy when we're doing things that benefit them," Georgia House Speaker David Ralston said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "You don't feed a dog that bites your hand."
The bill will now head to the Republican-controlled state Senate where, if passed, it will be funneled along to Kemp’s desk for signing.