The Daily Pulse:

Update: TVA Chairman Behind New GOP PAC

This week it was announced that Mike Duncan, now chairman of the board of TVA, is behind American Crossroads, a GOP political action committee pledging to raise $50 million for Republican candidates across the country.

Duncan is a former chair of the Republican National Committee, and when he was elected to chair the TVA board he pledged that he was "more than just a partisan animal." But apparently he's unwilling to give up that partisan role, which is what former Chairman Bill Sansom worried about when this decision was made. That he would now head up a GOP effort to raise money for its candidates while employed by a pseudo-federal agency whose board is still appointed by President Obama is a fairly brazen partisan act.

Here's TVA's official response (via spokesman Jim Allen):

The political activities of federal employees, including TVA employees, are governed by the Hatch Act which specifies prohibited and permitted political activities of federal employees, including members of the TVA Board. Because the "part-time" TVA Board members are deemed to be working on an irregular or occasional basis as "special government employees," under the Hatch Act, they are permitted to engage in the following activities while off TVA duty, even though those activities would be totally prohibited at all times for other TVA employees:
         -soliciting, accepting or receiving political contributions; and
         -being a candidate in a partisan election.

So Duncan isn't doing anything prohibited. That doesn't mean it's a good idea, because he's still politicizing TVA at a time when the agency is already under heavy national scrutiny from the coal ash spill -- something which Sansom and other board members feared when he was elected chairman.

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