Georgia Lt. Governor chooses modest NRA discount over free enterprise

Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle

The state Senate Rules Committee just voted to strip the Delta jet fuel tax break out of the comprehensive tax overhaul. Prior to the NRA controversy, the bill had easily passed the House last week with the jet fuel exemption included.

Delta's decision to cut ties with the NRA came after the deadly Valentine's Day school shooting in Florida that left 17 dead.

A Democratic candidate for the Georgia governor's office says the state's lieutenant governor may have broken anti-corruption laws when he threatened to block a proposed airline tax cut after Delta Air Lines ended its travel discount program with the National Rifle Association.

Although Cagle's threat to kill the tax cut may win fans among GOP voters, it could also backfire when it comes to recruiting business - most notably Georgia's status as a finalist for Amazon's planned second US headquarters, said William Hatcher, an Augusta University professor who studies economic development.

A feud in Georgia - stemming from a gun-control conflict spurred by the recent mass shooting at a school in Florida - has led to bickering about tax credits and wooing new businesses.

Before the governor spoke Wednesday, Cagle defended his position on Fox News Channel, arguing that Delta had taken "punitive" action against defenders of the Second Amendment and was unfairly targeting "law-abiding gun owners".

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At a press conference Wednesday, Governor Nathan Deal called for an end to discord, adding, "We were not elected to give the late night talk show hosts further fodder for their monologues".

Based on what the lieutenant governor had to say Wednesday, it doesn't sound like he regrets his stand against Delta.

On "Fox & Friends" Wednesday, Cagle scoffed at the notion that Delta, which recently signed a 20-year lease extension with Atlanta's airport, would move to NY.

"I think most of us would have voted for it" before Delta crossed the NRA, GOP Sen.

Officials from Virginia, Washington, New York and OH have volunteered their states to headquarter Delta after the No. 2 US carrier faced some public outcry for ending its relationship with the NRA in the wake of the recent Florida school shooting. The airlines made the decision to stop business with the NRA on Saturday. Jen Jordan, an Atlanta Democrat.

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