As the Georgia Legislature shoves a foot down their throat by considering blocking a tax break for Delta Air Lines, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine says Florida is waiting with open arms if the company wants a fresh start.
It’s the latest in a series of friendly invitations to Delta Air Lines CEO Edward Bastian, after the Georgia Senate threatened a jet-fuel tax break
earlier this weekend following the airline’s decision to halt a discount-fare program
with the National Rifle Association. Following the massacre in Parkland on Feb. 14, the Atlanta-based airline company joined the ranks of several other corporations in their decision to withdraw from offering discounts, among other things, to the NRA.
Levine – a Democratic hopeful in the 2018 Florida governor’s race and former Miami Beach mayor – wrote in a letter to Bastian, “I believe this is a unique opportunity to send a loud message as a corporate citizen that you will not stand to be bullied by politicians who will not do the right thing.”
Levine continued: “This is a moment in time where you could relocate your airline hub to the Sunshine State, as Florida offers a diverse and deep pool of talent, great weather, a portal to the rest of the world and an economy that is ready to take off under the right leadership.”
On Saturday, officials with Delta said they were pulling out of an agreement to provide discounted travel for NRA members attending the firearms organization’s annual conference.
Getting his feathers ruffled over someone taking a swipe at his beloved NRA, Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, a Republican candidate in the state’s upcoming gubernatorial race, fired back at Delta via Twitter:
In his attempt at wooing the airline, Levine joins the ranks of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, both of whom have sent their own messages
to Bastian in an effort to charm Delta Air Lines to their respective states.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer also released a statement on Thursday about the airlines: "The City of Orlando is a great place to do business and we think that the City Beautiful has so much to offer as a headquarters location, and we'd welcome Delta here in Orlando. Our inclusive, vibrant community helps make Orlando a wonderful place to live and do business, and our quality of life is second to none."
Delta Air Lines is the largest employer in Atlanta, with 30,000 employees.