Thursday, February 12, 2009

TVA Just Became Even More Republican

According to, the former chair of Republican National Committee was just voted the current chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Early indications are that it puts us farther up the creek:
Director Dennis Bottorff of Nashville urged the board to delay the vote, saying he worried that [Mike] Duncan would be a partisan "lightning rod" with a Democratic administration in Washington, D.C.

Duncan, who lives outside the TVA region, said "I am more than a partisan animal" and said he looks forward to leading the nation's largest public utility.
Now the megautility is not only a secretive and destructive megautility, it is a thoroughly Republican secretive and destructive megautility at odds with reform and change. Sounds like we're going to have the energy industry's equivalent of a perfect storm coming down on our heads with Senators Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, and Mitch McConnell throwing the lightning bolts on behalf of their GOP buddy.

UPDATE: How Mike Duncan lost the RNC Chair after being appointed 2 years earlier by George W. Bush.

McClatchy reveals that Mike Duncan was a symbol of GOP status quo:
There was a time when GOP operatives called Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan "Mr. Inside" and meant it as a compliment.

After all, the Kentucky native's reputation as a behind-the-scenes workhorse with deep ties to the GOP's kingmakers helped him rise to the party's top leadership ranks. Now, with the party in disarray after weathering two cycles of bruising election-year losses, Duncan finds himself struggling to keep his position ....

"If you were a ship trying to see the Republican message you couldn't see it in the fog," said Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer, who's also considering running for the national post. "Duncan has served the party as a manager with great distinction. But there is a difference between an effective manager and an effective leader. We need a leader."

Duncan is in an awkward position as his party's leaders seek to further distance themselves from President George W. Bush's policies on the economy and the Iraq war and the surging national debt ....

Yet it's those very connections to the old Republican guard that have made Duncan a target. Critics say Duncan represents the GOP status quo at a time when the base is demanding change.
Oh, man; exactly what faulty-ash-storage TVA needs, a guardian of the status quo with deep connections to the anti-regulation Bush wing of the GOP.

UPDATE: The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is not happy about the Duncan win:
“The selection of former RNC Chair Mike Duncan is an overly partisan and tone deaf move. It shows a real lack of understanding of the changing political and policy dynamics at TVA and in the nation. While I have nothing personally against Mr. Duncan, this move sends all wrong signals at the wrong time,” said Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

“TVA faces serious challenges on multiple fronts, over $500-$800 million to clean up the massive Kingston spill, aging infrastructure, and a serious economic slow down all happening with a new Congress and administration. It is not the time for partisanship in leadership at TVA.”

1 comment:

  1. From the Memory Hole:

    Bill Frist, 2008:

    “Over time, I think the board should be more nonpartisan and we can get away from using that position as political patronage but having people who are extremely well qualified. The intent was to get politics out of the system, and I think that has been achieved.”