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Eyes on Delta and the NRA: Who gave the most $$$ to our politicians?

Calls by Georgia politicians to quash a proposed Delta tax break have people wondering who has deeper pockets when it comes to political contributions.

ATLANTA -- Viewers asked us who won the bidding war to buy politicians: The National Rifle Association (NRA) or Delta Air Lines? So, we looked into it and this is what we found.

Overall, when you look at the numbers between Delta and the NRA, Delta has given more money to Georgia candidates and political committees.

Since the 1990s, the NRA has given $219,000 to Georgia candidates and $136,000 to political committees.

Delta has given almost double that amount to candidates – just about $437,000 and $448,000 to political committees.

A lot of people are still taking to social media about Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and his strong stance on the issue – and his decision to pull support for a proposed Delta tax break.

Along with that attention has also come questions about how much money he may have received from either company.

It turns out he has received money from both since 2000 when he was a senator. At that time, he received $19,000 from Delta and about $4,500 from the NRA. So, the motivation for his comments don’t appear to be financially driven.

11Alive spoke to a former state representative and Georgia State political science professor, Doug Teper, who said Cagle’s comments may be rooted more in trying to get his next job.

“Politics is obviously pushing it, you’ve got people running for governor and they’re appealing to a certain constituency,” he said. “In this case, the people who support the NRA. And he’s willing to push over all the people who work for Delta Air Lines so that he can be seen among the people who support the NRA as being their champion.”

11Alive asked the NRA to find out how many members they have in Georgia. They couldn’t provide a number in time for this story, but according to a 2015 study, 31.6 percent of Georgians owned a gun.