Sen. Tom Bakk Invites Delta Air Lines to Minnesota Amid Gun Debate

Bakk to Delta Air Lines: You can always come home

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Senate DFL Caucus Leader Tom Bakk is encouraging Delta Air Lines to move its corporate headquarters to Minnesota.  Delta absorbed Minnesota grown airline Northwest in 2008 and consolidated operations in Atlanta, Georgia.  This invitation comes on the heals of a threat Georgia lawmakers made to Delta to vote down a $50 million sales tax exemption on jet fuel, which could be worth up to $38 million to the company.

The threat was a response to a tweet Delta posted saying, “Delta is reaching out to the NRA to let them know we will be ending their contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website.”

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who leads the Georgia State Senate tweeted, “I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA.”

Cagle is a crowd favorite among Republicans in his state’s upcoming gubernatorial race.  According to an article The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, last year he received campaign contributions from Delta and associated lobbying groups worth more than $25,000.  But that may be a drop in the bucket compared to the $2.2 million raised in his name by the Georgia Conservatives Fund, which collects contributions from lobbyists, businesses, and associations.

Delta is one of several major brands that severed relationships and business dealings with the NRA since Parkland, Florida students began the “Never Again” movement to end gun violence in schools.  A central theme of the movement involves calling out politicians who accept campaign contributions from the NRA.  The student movement also includes boycotting companies with business ties to the organization.

Minnesota State Senator Tom Bakk said in a press release, “In 2013, Minnesota passed jet fuel tax reforms that would benefit Delta.”  His statement comes the same day his state was named the #2 Best State in the Nation by U.S. News and World Report.

“There are considerable savings waiting for you here in the #2 Best State in the Nation,” Bakk said. “As the former home of Northwest Airlines, Minnesota would welcome your return.”

Politicians from Washington, New York, and Virginia have also invited Delta to do business in their state.

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