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Richard Anderson apparently just doesn't know when to shut up

DieselDragRacer

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There has always been a symbolic price to be paid for active corporate citizenship in Georgia.

But on Thursday, members of the House are likely to put a solid dollar figure to it.

Contained in the $1 billion transportation bill set to be voted on in that chamber today is a new provision that would end a 10-year-old tax break on aviation fuel worth about $23 million a year, by today?s oil prices.

Delta Air Lines would suffer the lions share of that hit.

State Rep. Earl Ehrhart of Powder Springs, the Republican behind the push, insists that conservative policy is his only motivation. A tax exemption should not be permanent. And right now, Delta cant make a case to have an exemption, Ehrhart said, pointing to the airlines $2.8 billion profit in 2014.

Oh, but there?s so much more to this rarest of moves ? an overt assault on a state?s largest private employer. And much of it has to do with Delta?s recent history, under CEO Richard Anderson, of weighing in on public affairs on both a state and national level.

Every time he opens his mouth, he makes my job easy, Ehrhart contends.

Last year, Delta was one of the major corporate players that helped kill a pair of religious liberty bills, out of concern that they would result in discrimination against gays and lesbians. Delta opposes this years crop of liberty bills, too, though with the transportation bill in play, the companys profile has been lower.

When President Barack Obama announced his executive action on immigration last November, giving sanctuary to millions of border-crossers, Delta quickly issued a statement in support of immigration reform. In one interview, Anderson stressed the importance to business of having freedom to move across the border and to attract high-quality talent.

But it was a December gathering of the Metro Atlanta Chamber Anderson was chairman at the time that sticks in the craws of Ehrhart and many of his Republican compadres at the Capitol. The topic was the coming transportation funding bill ? the one that will be voted on today.

We cant get chicken about it. We have to step up, Anderson said. If that means raising taxes to fund our roads, it means raising taxes to fund our roads.

Note that Anderson said we. Ehrhart heard they.

Youve got a CEO thats out there, telling us that we need to man up, that were chicken, that we need to tax the grandparents in my district to fund a transportation bill, Ehrhart said.

But remember, this is about policy. If he had his way, Ehrhart said he would take the extra taxes levied on Delta and scatter the cash, as bait for federal grants, among Georgias 125 smaller airports.

And yet the GOP lawmaker grins at the delicious ironies of hoisting Anderson on the petard of his own transportation bill. Of using Deltas opposition to religious liberty legislation to gather support for his move against the airline.

Hes a private citizen. Hes welcome to chime in on anything. [The religious liberty bills] didnt drive me. But will I more than happily take advantage of those who are tired of him chiming in to pass a piece of legislation Absolutely, Ehrhart said.

Ehrhart, who was chairman of the House Rules Committee under a previous speaker, has a history of sharp-tongued rhetoric. Delta has a dozen lobbyists in the halls of the Capitol, and last month, Ehrhart publicly accused one of them of foul play.

?When you ooze along that rope out there, and you threaten members of this House to take their names off legislation by threatening service to their districts or other thuggish tactics that?s just going too far, Ehrhart said from the House well.

Delta denied making any threats, but this week unretired one of its former, long-serving lobbyists to help shift the conversation ? and perhaps take advantage of torn loyalties among Ehrhart?s GOP colleagues.

State Rep. Matt Ramsey represents Fayette County, a longtime residential base for Delta employees. It would be my strong preference that [the airlines tax breaks] be addressed separately in its own bill, Ramsey said. Im concerned this has been tacked on by a little bit of anger by statements that have been made. And I share that anger.

Delta has been careful not to snap back at Ehrhart. Rather, it has focused on appealing to Republican ideology. Georgia already is among the highest-taxing states in the nation when it comes to jet fuel, Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter said. For a state where aviation and air travel is a critical economic engine, it doesnt make sense to raise those taxes even further on every airline that serves the state.

But late Wednesday, Delta sent over a statement from Anderson that implicitly asked lawmakers to make allowances for his enthusiasm. In my role as chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, I have spoken strongly on issues such as traffic and transit planning, he said. These are important to the healthy growth of our communities. I still hope these issues can be addressed in a positive way.

You can argue whether it is delicious or not, but theres no doubting the strangeness of the situation: By inserting a Richard Anderson piata into H.B. 170, Republicans may have improved the chances of passage for a $1 billion transportation bill most of which the Delta CEO heartily supports.
 
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PCL_128

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Anderson should threaten to move the HQ up to Minneapolis. They'll fall in line pretty quickly. Ehrhart sounds like a petty little weasel.
 

BILL LUMBERG

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The guy moves all the Minneapolis employees here post merger and this elected lapdog for the third airport is just grinding his axe...

I hope RA keeps it going.....this posts title is a joke
 

Flopgut

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Meanwhile in Dallas, Gary Kelly is thinking "hmmm another legacy hating local politician with a big mouth and a LGBT agenda... Quick! Get the Golden Army off the Golden Corral buffet!! Maybe we can score another sweetheart deal!!!"
 

Flopgut

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Well, one can post as I did, and still very much about Delta and RA. He's a harsh critic of SWA and of the overall negative sentiment that exists against legacy airlines.

Anyone remember the exchange RA had with Trent Lott over airline service in Mississippi? "SWA goes to one state airport, we [NWA at the time] fly to 5 cities" (paraphrased only slightly). RA shut Lott down.

SWA didn't do much in ATL (compared to the chest pounding predictions), but with the weirdo behavior this elharrt shows, they'll be sniffing around for an angle.
 

400ADude

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Looks like Anderson should worry about his planes going off the runways.
 

Nindiri

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heh heh :laugh: Anderson will bluster and threaten, but he isn't going to move Delta anywhere. It's amusing watching him push for taxes on everyone else, but whine when he has to play by the same rules as everyone else.
 

400ADude

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Looks like your dad shoulda pulled out.
Everyone has bad days, eh chuck yogurt?

Well better than not knowing who your dad was? Considering a basketball team has 12 members Scoot gets a 1 in 12 chance of guessing correctly.

Now go whine to the moderators like you always do.
 
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SWA Bubba

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The guy moves all the Minneapolis employees here post merger and this elected lapdog for the third airport is just grinding his axe...

I hope RA keeps it going.....this posts title is a joke

Not a joke, but an opinion. And an opinion that is shared by others. Although to be sure, many CEOs have been known to say things they wish they could take back. Here's a recent RA gaffe:

http://skift.com/2015/02/16/delta-c...iers-with-911-terrorists-in-open-skies-fight/

And the response to his "apology":

http://news.yahoo.com/emirates-rejects-delta-apology-over-chiefs-9-11-134751826.html

While I think RA is a good CEO, and is doing a great job leading Delta to record profitability, he seems to have missed the memo about taking public political positions with his company's name. All you do is end up pissing off some part of your constituency. Recent examples include statements about immigration, LGBT issues, taxes, and of course international relations. This is a good example that all CEOs of for-profit companies should take note of.

Bubba
 

Scoot 11

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Well better than not knowing who your dad was? Considering a basketball team has 12 members Scoot gets a 1 in 12 chance of guessing correctly.

Now go whine to the moderators like you always do.
Don't worry 400ahole. I $hit bigger than you!
And I was easy on your mom last night.
Its that group mexican farmers that would have me concerned if I were you.
I didn't know who she was until I kept hearing was "ahole, ahole," so I knew she had to be related to you!
 
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400ADude

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Don't worry 400ahole. I $hit bigger than you!
And I was easy on your mom last night.
Its that group mexican farmers that would have me concerned if I were you.
I didn't know who she was until I kept hearing was "ahole, ahole," so I knew she had to be related to you!

You might $hit bigger but that's because you can't hold your poop in anymore. Wonder why that is?

Speaking of Mexican farmers..does Delta recruit their pilots from this particular labor group?
 

Scoot 11

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You might $hit bigger but that's because you can't hold your poop in anymore. Wonder why that is?
You mom giving me her "tossed salads" most likely!

Speaking of Mexican farmers..does Delta recruit their pilots from this particular labor group?
I'm not sure. Next time the Mexican Farm group arrives at the 400ahole trailer, ask em!;)
 

jmreii

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Looks like a thread for investors and stockholders, as long as I am making money who cares!
 
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