Watchdog: Members Must Disclose Delta Perks

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Washington, D.C.—Public Campaign Action Fund sent letters to 20 members of Congress today requesting full disclosure of any benefits they’ve received from Delta Air Lines as Congress considers the long-term Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization legislation.  Delta Air Lines has continued to lobby Republican leadership to include an unrelated  controversial union-busting provision in the legislation to benefit the company.

All 20 have received campaign contributions from Delta’s political action committee (PAC) or employees during their time in Congress.

According to the letter:

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported over the summer that many Georgia state lawmakers were given “elite” flying status, and later “state lawmakers extended a fuel tax break for Delta that will save the company $30 million over two years,” according to the story. It’s been estimated that “elite status” can be worth up to $15,000 in perks and savings, according to an expert estimate. And last month Delta confirmed in a Roll Call reported article how members of Congress and their staff are able to bypass normal booking procedures by using a “VIP hotline” when scheduling travel.

Given that you’ve received campaign contributions from Delta’s political action committee (PAC) and employees, we believe your constituents have a right to know:

Have you taken any other corporate benefits from the airline, such as used their VIP hotline or received special elite status?

The letters are being sent to Congressional offices of the members today. Delta has been the only airline lobbying on the anti-union National Mediation Board Provision and has been pouring campaign contributions into members’ campaign coffers.

Members receiving the letter today include: Reps. John Barrow (D-GA), Rob Bishop (R-UT), Dave Camp (R-MI), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Chip Cravaack (R-MN), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Johnny Duncan (R-TN), Peter King (R-NY), John Kline (R-MN), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Thad McCotter (R-MI), Candace Mller (R-MI), Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).

Individual letters are available upon request by emailing Adam Smith at asmith@publicampaign.org. You can download the letter to Sen. McConnell as an example.

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