The Republican-led Georgia House of Representatives is retaliating against the Delta Airlines CEO after he lobbed unfounded criticisms against the state’s recent election integrity bill. Georgia’s GOP voted to strip Delta Airlines of a tax break on jet fuel purchases in an attempt to fight back against the Chief Executive.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian released a memo earlier this week claiming Georgia’s election bill “is unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values.”
He added, “The entire rationale of the bill was based on the idea there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 election. That is a lie.”
“Unfortunately, that excuse is being used in states across the nation that are attempting to pass similar legislation to restrict voting rights.”
Later on Wednesday, the Georgia state House passed a bill repealing a tax break for jet fuel, which House Speaker David Ralston appeared to acknowledge as retaliation for the memo in a press conference on Thursday.
Bastian wrote in the memo, “Last week, the Georgia legislature passed a sweeping voting reform act that could make it harder for many Georgians, particularly those in our Black and Brown communities, to exercise their right to vote. 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.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp criticized the memo in a statement saying that airlines did not express these specific concerns until after the bill was written and passed.
“Today’s statement by Delta CEO Ed Bastian stands in stark contrast to our conversations with the company, ignores the content of the new law, and unfortunately continues to spread the same false attacks being repeated by partisan activists,” he said.
Other major Georgia-based companies have come out against the election bill, including soft drink giant Coca-Cola, whose chief executive James Quincey described the bill as a “step backwards.”