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Feb 27 2018

Partnerships

If you can remember waaay back to Valentine’s Day you’ll recall I mumbled something about meeting with our corporate sponsors.

Well, what that meant is that we had “partnerships” with them. They’d kick in some trivial amount of money from their Promotional/Advertising budget to the National Organization and slap together a package of products that looked like a good deal but usually wasn’t which we were supposed to pitch as a “membership benefit” to our people.

In the Nutmeg State we do scams, we don’t buy them.

We, like a lot of other Clubs, had a long term relationship with the NRA that revolved around promoting “Youth Gun Safety”. The concept was that since we were a local civic organization we could hook up with Schools and Churches and stuff and crack open a door for a trained NRA propagandist to come in and brainwash the kidlings that guns were cool and exciting and safe.

In a way it was/is (I have no idea if they still do this anymore) like having someone from R.J. Reynolds train children to smoke.

I suppose I’m a bad person for not getting all outraged but I had plenty of higher priority outrage (I was generally considered a troublemaker, because I was) and it wasn’t really a big deal in Connecticut. It was highly incentivized by the National Awards Program for Locals but most of ours didn’t give a rat’s ass about National Awards and the few that did mostly faked the paperwork without actually doing anything. There were a handful that actually thought it was a good idea for various reasons (there are excuses to make), I ignored it and let them do what they wanted to.

Georgia Republicans are stuck in a philosophical crisis on taxes amid the battle between Delta and the NRA
by Bob Bryan, Business Insider
2/27/18

Republicans in Georgia have become entrenched in a ideological intraparty battle, debating over free market ideals and gun rights with Delta Airlines and the National Rifle Association in the middle.

It has come as Delta dropped a discount program for the NRA and seen their tax benefits in the state come into question. Republicans have been left to decide whether to back the long-standing conservative ideal of easing the tax burden on businesses or appearing stronger on gun rights. The debate has become inextricably linked to the state’s upcoming midterm elections.

Last weekend, Delta scrapped a program for NRA members that provided discounted flights to members who planned to travel to Atlanta for one of the gun group’s major conferences.

Delta attempted to paint the move as an apolitical one and an attempt to stay above the fray in the gun debate, which has been reignited after this month’s shooting at a high school in Florida.

But several Republicans said in response they would not back a provision in a larger tax bill that would give Delta a significant tax break — it would exempt from state sales taxes some jet fuel purchased at the Atlanta-Hartsfield Jackson Airport. Though the break would benefit several airlines, an estimated $40 million of the $50 million in savings would go to Atlanta-based Delta.

The Republican push reached a fever pitch when Lt. Gov. Chris Cagle, a candidate for governor in the upcoming GOP primary, said he would block a broader tax bill that included the measure.

“I’m tired of conservatives being kicked around on our values,” Cagle said Monday. “It’s time we stand up and fight and show corporations that conservative values are important, not just to Georgia but to the entire nation.”

On the other side of the argument is the more establishment-minded GOP’s desire for lower taxes on businesses, particularly the state’s largest employer.

While current Gov. Nathan Deal has so far been mum on the fight, he previously touted the jet fuel exemption as a way to keep the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport competitive and drive business growth for airlines there.

“Georgia and our businesses are global competitors; we need direct air travel to provide our companies with immediate access worldwide,” Deal said in a statement on February 6. “By removing the sales tax on jet fuel, we can level the playing field for our airports and airlines to compete.”

According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Deal attempted to assuage the concerns of conservative Georgia Senate members on Monday, but was unsuccessful.

Even some Democrats blasted statements from Cagle and others, saying it shows Republicans prioritize the NRA over Georgia’s economy. Priyanka Mantha, a spokesperson for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, said it proved Cagle was “in the pocket of the gun lobby.”

“@CaseyCagle would sacrifice thousands of jobs, endanger our state’s economy, & stick a finger in the eye of a huge employer in our state just to satisfy his buddies at the NRA,” Mantha tweeted.

Ah, what would we do without the electric twit machine?

I was at another National Conference (We had like half a dozen a year because the State Organization is going to pay, isn’t it? Attendance is mandatory and I was an eligible Officer for a long time.) not the same one I talked about on the 14th, and the NRA brought in their traveling road show.

They set up a live, jive BB Gun Range at one end of the entrance to the main Conference Hall and you could just pick up a piece and crank off 10 or 20 rounds except, of course, the lines were enormous. What do you do while you’re standing around waiting? You hold your buddy’s place in line and send him off to pick up a drink or six. Even at the time I recall thinking- “This is GREAT! Two, Three Hundred Liquored Up and Sleep Deprived people shooting off Guns in a Hotel!”

“What could possibly go wrong?”