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Georgia lieutenant governor threatens to kill Delta state tax breaks over NRA stance

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The lieutenant governor of Georgia on Monday threatened to block legislation that includes lucrative tax benefits for Delta Air Lines Inc because the Atlanta-based airline dropped a partnership with the National Rifle Association after a public backlash in the wake of the recent Florida school shooting.

“I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA,” Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, a Republican, wrote on Twitter. “Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.”

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The Feb. 14 massacre of 17 students and educators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, by a gunman with a legally purchased semiautomatic rifle reignited the nation’s long-running debate over gun rights.

Several U.S. companies are cutting ties with the NRA and gun manufacturers in the wake of the shooting.

On Saturday, Delta and United Airlines Inc [UALCO.UL] said they were no longer offering NRA members discounted rates and they would ask the NRA to remove their information from its website.

Delta said its decision reflected a neutral stance in the heated gun control debate. It said it continues to support the Second Amendment, which grants Americans the right to bear arms.

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Delta officials could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday. The airline is one of the largest employers in Georgia.

Cagle’s tweet follows a wave of threats to boycott the carrier after Delta’s Saturday announcement.

Neither Cagle’s office nor the NRA were immediately available for comment.

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The Georgia legislature is considering a proposed jet fuel tax exemption designed to benefit Delta, but as of Monday, several state Republicans have threatened to withdraw their support for the provision.

Emory University School of Law Professor Robert Schapiro said that the state has broad discretion in deciding which entities to tax or not tax.

“In terms of legality, the legislature has a broad ability to grant tax exemptions or not grant tax exemptions,” Schapiro said. “So it doesn’t violate any constitutional principle” to pull support over the NRA debate.

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Cagle is running for governor of the state in the 2018 race.

(Reporting by Alana WiseEditing by Matthew Lewis)


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West Virginia’s billionaire GOP governor busted for Trump-like business corruption while in office

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This article was produced in partnership between the Charleston Gazette-Mail and ProPublica. By Ken Ward, Jr.

Last fall, Gov. Jim Justice called reporters to his office in the West Virginia Capitol for a hastily arranged news conference.

Sitting behind a table and flanked by GOP lawmakers, the governor touted the latest budget surplus and announced a proposed pay raise for teachers and a plan to fix the state’s underfunded public employee health care plan.

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Trump may ‘undo his presidency’ — with Republicans backing impeachment: CNN’s conservative anchor

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President Donald Trump's presidency is in peril as Republican lawmakers condemn the administration for green-lighting Turkey's ethnic cleansing of Kurds in northern Syria.

"President Trump this week set fire to the emoluments clause by announcing his own resort would host the G-7 summit. His Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, set fire to his boss’s innocence admitting on camera to the very thing Trump is being investigated for and possibly impeached over," CNN's S.E. Cupp said.

"Donald Trump has put the Republican Party through a lot. Most have gone willingly along with him -- kids in cages, a trade war, protecting Putin, honoring Kim Jong-Un, breaking the law, the lies, the insults, the fake news, the rape allegations. Defending the president over the indefensible has become something of a cottage industry for Republican lawmakers, few of whom have ever dared to call him out," she noted.

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Boris Johnson said he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than delay Brexit — but just asked to extend deadline

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to write to Brussels seeking a Brexit deadline extension after MPs voted Saturday to demand he delay Britain's October 31 departure date.

In a phonecall with European Council President Donald Tusk after the vote, Johnson said he would send the letter mandated by MPs to seek more time, a EU source told AFP.

"The PM confirmed that the letter would be sent to Tusk today," the source said.

"Tusk will on that basis start consulting EU leaders on how to react. This may take a few days," he added.

Tusk said on Twitter that he was "waiting for the letter".

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