The New Reason for Companies to Rethink Virtue Signaling -- Georgia Considers Yanking Tax Breaks from Companies Opposing the New Voting Laws

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Delta Airlines Could Pay Heavily for CEO Condemning the New State Election Law

The list of prominent names getting the Georgia election reform law incorrect is continuing to expand, following Joe Biden’s lead. The President has been ardently claiming the effort to clean up the voting rolls and stem fraud is the new Jim Crow legislation. He is doing everything from encouraging Major League Baseball to pull its all-star game from the state to claiming the law is making drinking water at polling precincts illegal.


Today, James Quincy, the CEO of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, came out to decry the elements of the new law as he got them incorrect. And, in a move that seems compulsory for those lodging these complaints, the company is found to be guilty of the very practice it is condemning. 

Quincy follows the misguided lead of Delta CEO Ed Bastian, who yesterday came out with his company-wide memo that slammed the new election legislation. His screed did not go unaddressed, as Governor Brian Kemp responded in kind, pointing out the errors of his logic, reminding him the company was contacted prior by Kemp’s office, and that Delta itself requires ID in order to fly.

Today Bastian feels an even bigger sting. The state House in Georgia also decided to respond to the corporate complaint. That body passed a bill today proposing that Delta be denied a significant revenue rebate it has been receiving.


The chief executives of Delta and Coca-Cola pivoted from earlier, more equivocal statements and called the law “unacceptable,” opening an unusual rift with Republican leaders who championed the legislation and typically enjoy a cozy relationship with the state’s business community. But lawmakers indicated they’re not backing down. Republicans in the Georgia House of Representatives voted late Wednesday to strip Delta of a tax break worth tens of millions of dollars annually.

This is regarded right now as a mostly symbolic move. The state Senate has not taken up the bill before it adjourned its annual session. It still stands as a cagey political move, as the bill is left in the balance in the meantime, and it can hang as a conversation motivator between sides. It can also serve as a warning example for other significant corporations in the state. 

Major companies like Home Depot and United Parcel Service have yet to make their views known, and if a monetary reprisal from the legislature is a possibility it could squelch any future corporate opinions from coming forward. At the least, it could encourage more backroom discussions to take place, as opposed to those rushing before the TV cameras to do some verbal virtue signaling.


While some voices out of Hollywood have expressed their grousing opinions, declaring this law would have an impact on the still vibrant film and television production industry in Georgia, those are looked at with more of a shrug. These same activist minds had similar complaints when the state passed a tougher abortion law years ago.


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