Two other names have emerged as potential TVA board members, both with ties to board member Mike McWherter. If confirmed it will likely mean a new day for TVA governance.
Bill Stair was a deputy and principle policy adviser to Gov. Ned McWherter. Since that time he did a stint at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and now has a lobbying firm.
Gina Lodge has been a prodigious fund-raiser for prominent Democrats, from former U.S. Sen. Jim Sasser to Vice President Al Gore to Gov. Phil Bredesen. She was a commissioner in the Bredesen administration. She is married to Dick Lodge, a major player as a Capitol Hill lobbyist and a former chairman of the state Democratic Party.
They join former Speaker of the House Jimmy Naifeh as a slate of three candidates for the TVA board likely to be recommended by Mike McWherter next month. McWherter and the three prominent Democrats and one other board member would give the group a majority on the board and the ability to ask questions and make policy for the giant utility.
It is possible that the state’s two Democratic Congressmen, Jim Cooper and Steve Cohen, will weigh in with their own candidates, with the final decision being made by the White House.