On Monday Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, the leading republican contender to be Georgia’s next governor, blasted Delta for its decision to end a partnership with the National Rifle Association that gave its members discounted pricing.
In a tweet, Cagle suggested that in retaliation for its decision, he would, as governor, veto any bill that gave the company preferred tax treatment.
Let’s set aside for a second the idea that Georgia Republicans think it is good policy to put their thumb on the scale of free markets and give certain businesses preferred tax treatment over others.
The idea that a private company’s First Amendment rights can be so publicly, easily and blatantly trampled on is truly Orwellian stuff.
Then, not to be outdone in the Land of Oz, another candidate in the governors race, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, suggested that in response to a deadly shooting that killed 17 teachers and teenagers, the 4th of July should be a tax free holiday for guns and ammunition in the state.
This, after yet another candidate, State Sen. Michael Williams, gave away a bump stock in response to the Las Vegas shooting that killed 59 people last October.
I support the Second Amendment and recognize its importance to our democracy, but the actions of these men do nothing but harden the beliefs of protectionists and give responsible gun owners a bad name.
After the Sandy Hook shooting I had a knot in my stomach for weeks. We sent our thoughts and prayers to the victims of the shootings in Columbine, Aurora, Charleston, Virginia Tech and many others. But I thought that after the massacre of 20 first graders at Sandy Hook, things would be different. They had to be. If that didn’t move the needle towards policies that make our children safer, what would?
The answer, it seems, may be in the voices of the teenage survivors of the Parkland shooting that has the NRA shaking in its boots and rock-solid gun protectionists admitting it might be time to take a serious look at common sense reform.
But not in Georgia. No, in my home state the want-to-be leaders of our government turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to children screaming for change.
One company paying close attention is the great white whale of any state economic developer’s dream - Amazon.
By most accounts, Atlanta is at least a top 5 contender, if not the favorite, to land the company’s second headquarters and the 50,000 shiny new jobs that come with it.
Or perhaps, it was. After Georgia legislators pushed through a controversial bill to allow private adoption agencies to ban gay couples from adopting children, this move by Cagle may be the nail in the coffin of any aspirations we had to once and for all put Atlanta on the map as a leading mega city for international trade.
Amazon owes Atlanta nothing. So in one inexplicable tweet, Cagle reminded Amazon that for everything Atlanta has to offer, we’ve still got a long way to go.
Jeff Bezos is somewhere in Seattle shaking his head and taking a look at plan B.