What a difference a day makes…
Delta Air Lines has faced significant scrutiny for its support of a new voting law in Georgia which critics say restricts the right of minorities to vote. After defending the law for the last five days, Delta promptly reversed course and now condemns it.
Delta Air Lines Now Condemns The Voting Law It Strongly Supported
In a note to employees this morning shared on Delta’s website, CEO Ed Baistan–who praised the bill as late as yesterday–now minces no words.
Last week, the Georgia legislature passed a sweeping voting reform act that could make it harder for many Georgians, particularly those in our Black and Brown communities, to exercise their right to vote.
Since the bill’s inception, Delta joined other major Atlanta corporations to work closely with elected officials from both parties, to try and remove some of the most egregious measures from the bill. We had some success in eliminating the most suppressive tactics that some had proposed.
However, I need to make it crystal clear that the final bill is unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values.
The right to vote is sacred. It is fundamental to our democracy and those rights not only need to be protected, but easily facilitated in a safe and secure manner.
After having time to now fully understand all that is in the bill, coupled with discussions with leaders and employees in the Black community, it’s evident that the bill includes provisions that will make it harder for many underrepresented voters, particularly Black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives. That is wrong.
The entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections. This is simply not true. Unfortunately, that excuse is being used in states across the nation that are attempting to pass similar legislation to restrict voting rights.
So there is much work ahead, and many more opportunities to have an impact. I want the entire Delta family to know that we stand together in our commitment to protect and facilitate your precious right to vote.
Delta says it is has had “time to now fully understand all that is in the bill” and is horrified by it. Isn’t that the problem with so much of legislation these days: we have to pass it so we know what’s in it? Delta’s defense is disgusting and frankly indefensible.
Let me be clear. Delta had no business meddling with this law in the first place. And what are the results? Bastian looks like a flip-flopping, opportunistic, self-serving fool. Delta alienated left of center voters through its initial support of the bill and has now alienated right of center voters by strongly condemning the bill and rolling over to “cancel culture.”
Even if we are charitable and say Delta genuinely did not know what was in the bill, it speaks very poorly of Delta’s government liaison folks and legal team. I tend to think Delta knew exactly what was in the bill and simply never expected the sort of backlash this bill quickly encountered.
Delta walks away from this bill severely tarnished. The lesson is simple: stay away from controversial political issues only tangentially related to flying unless you want to alienate a lot of people.
Shouldn’t Delta figure out how to return service to premium cabins instead of flip flopping like Senators on political issues?
Does anyone actually read the legislation or do they just start screaming because someone told them it was racist or something?
Delta made the mistake of sticking their nose in this and now look like a bunch of idiots. They do this a lot – I remember they made some stupid comment about gun rights last year that obviously backfired. You are an airline, STFU and fly airplanes.
Surprise. Another gutless business bends the knee to the leftist outrage media/twitter mobs. Never bend the knee to the leftist outrage media/twitter mobs. Never try and pretend you have principles when you know you’ll drop them at the first hint of backlash from the intolerant, cancel-culture left. Then you’ve annoyed pretty much all sides. NEVER BOW TO THE CANCEL MOBS.
I agree with you but “cancel culture” should be in quotes.
“which CRITCS SAY restricts the right of minorities to vote”
More like which DOES and was INTENDED TO….
Wow quick with the “cancel culture” label.
So consumers are not allowed to vote with their pocketbook?
The so-called Marxists are using capitalist tactics to pressure businesses.
You should get your stereotypes straight.
Delta’s government affairs & PR folks should be fired. This is an appalling display of incompetence. Now they’ve got both sides pissed at them.
The best part is he offers no specific instances in the bill that supposedly makes it harder to vote. He says it does but doesn’t point to anything in it that does that.
Delta is usually on the left side of the political lane! So what were the thinking supporting fair,legal no cheating voting?? Remember Stacey Abrams found 7000,000 democrat voters and signed them up last year! I’m sure they were all legal LOL!!!
Of course Delta SHOULD speak out on critical public issues like this. It’s called being a good corporate citizen. It’s also good for business to respond to your customers’ concerns. Maybe they don’t get it right all the time, but the conversation is valid and necessary. I don’t understand why anyone would allow Corporate America to stick its head in the sand while the rest of society grapples with issues it needs to address.
I kinda find it hard to believe they didn’t understand or know prior what this bill actually contained, and what went to signature in its final form. They tout how involved they were in removing the egregious parts of the bill, meaning that there were even greater/worse language that what was acceptable.
At that point, shouldn’t their “corporate citizenship” have made a point to declare the bill is not something Delta as a corporation, that employs potentially thousands of employees that would likely be negatively impacted, be able to stand by/support?
It just smells like a lot of backtracking after realizing how bad of a PR nightmare it turned out to be. They bungled it, from both sides of the equation.
…because politics does not need to permeate every area of our lives, as it only tends to divide. Delta flies airplanes and this bill had nothing to do with flying airplanes.
So Delta’s defense is that their legal team is a bunch of nitwits who got this whole law thing backwards?
@dee – you are really stupid…really, really stupid. Go read about the massive multi-year New Georgia Project and you will learn all about the sweat equity put in to getting voters to turn out.
I’ll do the math for you…if only ~50-60% of eligible voters turn out in a standard election…there are a lot of people out there you can convince to come to the polls who don’t regularly do so.
Delta should have stayed out of politics. All public corporations should. Rights of minority shareholders get violated when management makes decisions for political causes or charitable contributions.
Still, Delta was right the first time. Anyone opposing voter ID wants fraud to happen. They want legitimate voters to be disenfranchised. I agree democracy is just tyranny of the majority. We should all separate and have our own countries where we can be free from tyranny of others. I admit that. People who oppose voter ID don’t. They pretend they support democracy when they support fraudulent mail in ballots that go against one person one vote democracy.
We need ID to get a library card, to buy beer, or to check into a hotel. If you can’t produce ID to vote, you shouldn’t be voting. No voter ID required is ripe for abuse. Thousands of dead people vote in each state and mail in ballots are filled out for people who are in a coma or in nursing homes who never had the intention of voting. Enough is enough. I wish reps had spines and said they don’t recognize any election results with no ID required. They control 80% of the counties. They should be using our numbers and mobilize us. They always cower instead.
@Jackson Waterson I agree with voter ID but the law in Georgia goes much much further than that. I wish people would not stop at the voter ID portion of this law and really delve deep into it. This law at it’s very core it is about voter suppression, and not just about requiring voters to present ID, But if Georgia Republicans can keep people focused on voter ID alone the real problems with the law will never come to light until election time at which point its to late. As a person of color I’m not opposed to voter ID I think every American should be required to show ID whether they vote in person or by mail but the law does not end with voter ID, voter ID is only the beginning and it is after the voter ID part where the problems with this law begin.
Delta really should have stayed out of this and once it became clear this law was more than voter ID Delta should have changed its stance instead they dug their heels in. It wasn’t until boycott Delta gained traction and people began speaking out that Delta decided it is in their best interest to change their stance. In my opinion it is to little to late. Delta does not believe in the statement they put out today they believe in the statements and the stance they took in support of this law. This statement is only meant to put an end to boycott Delta which in this political environment has gain quite a bit of traction. I hope boycott Delta continues because their stance on this issues really needs to cost them some money.
Delta had to get involved. They set a precedent when they, and Coca-Cola and lots of others, spoke out against the anti-gay law that Republicans tried to pass, leading the governor to veto it. It was not they because wanted to get involved in social issues, but because they feared a boycott would hurt their business. (Even Walmart spoke out against an anti-gay law in Arkansas.)
So now reasonable people everywhere will expect them to speak out when Republicans target transgender teens, pass draconian anti-abortion laws, expand “gun rights” or make it harder to vote. That is the price of doing business in a red state.
It was a boneheaded decision to support it to begin with. Of all people, Bastian knows of discrimination.
As long as they vocally and in writing oppose the restriction of voting in Georgia there is no sense in boycotting them. However if they flop again delete the Big D from your travel plans.
Delta’s virtue signalling aside, requiring identification to vote is hardly voter suppression. The law even requires expanding availability if there are long lines. It is patently clear that Democrats do not want secure voting. Why should they? They don’t want a secure country.
@JProschwitz: There are 10-11 Blue states that have similar or more restrictive voting laws than the new Georgia law – shorter voting windows, ID’s, restrictions on absentee voting, etc. Since you are so adamant that the new Georgia law is voter suppression period, then I assume you will also be calling out those Blue-run states with worse laws?
Does this mean that, according to Delta’s values, I won’t have to show ID when I fly Delta, and when the security lines get too long, Delta will provide me with shorter lines?
I’ve reviewed the law, and fail to find an area where it targets a specific group of people. I also fail to see where it’s purposely suppressive.
If one is referring to the “Food and Drink” Section 33 sub(a) and (e) electors can in fact access such through election officials and not just any random person.
If one is referring to the “Voter Registration Challenge” Section 15 Code Section 21-2-229 the burden of proof lies solely upon the elector making the challenge.
Outside of those 2 points being bandied about, please show us where in SB-202 the suppression resides. It’s far too easy to make a claim, it should be just as easy to prove…if one has the evidence.
Just my $0.02
There was NO SIGNIFICANT voter fraud in GA — even the state elected Republican officials had to admit that. The ONLY reason Georgia suddenly needs to address “voter security” (to tighten existing laws WRITTEN BY REPUBLICANS)… is because they lost two Senate seats and Trump threw a tantrum. DO YOU THINK THIS LAW WOULD MATTER TO REPUBLICANS IF THEY HAD WON THE ELECTION???
I’m going to second Matt’s primary point that this blog, and businesses, should stick to core matters and not become political forums. Can we all come together and appreciate that we want nice drinks and upgrades on planes whatever political party we vote for? 🙂 I was chuckling about someone critiquing Matt for global warming for his flight to nowhere on American. If you’re going to be a cabin-dwelling hipster, what are you doing on a flight blog? 🙂
But I can’t resist this observation: Delta requires ID to fly.
Another observation: Delta meddling in politics is going to cost them:
I personally don’t like corporate welfare so that’s ok with me.
For the record: I’m for election security AND inclusivity: Issue free passport cards to all US citizens and provide a block-chain system for remote voting that all the states can use. Done.
So then I shouldn’t have to show ID to fly Delta.
So then I shouldn’t have to show ID to fly Delta. Don’t be wishy washy Delta. You cannot ask for ID to fly if people don’t have to show it to vote.