ear (2006-29)

Politics at TVA?

Mules Targeted?

Commmission Candidate

Gill Coming to Knox?

TVA Consulting

Check Credit Score

Bug in Our Ear

Politics at TVA?

Under the old structure, members of the three-person board were considered regular full-time TVA employees . Members of the new nine-member part-time board are classified as “special employees” and are thus not covered by the Hatch Act, which forbids political activity by federal employees. Democrats complained before confirmation hearings that most of President George W. Bush ’s choices for the new part-time TVA board had a history of Republican Party activism.

Federal employees are prohibited from political activities under the Hatch Act. The Office of Special Counsel website offers frequently asked questions including this one: “Can my name appear on invitations to a political fundraiser as a sponsor or point of contact?” The answer is: “No. An employee’s name may not be shown on an invitation to such a fundraiser as a sponsor or point of contact.”

Mules Targeted?

The New York Times reports that the Sweetwater Flea Market and the Mule Day parade in Columbia, Tenn. made the list alongside Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo in Alabama and the Amish Country Popcorn factory in Indiana. The inspector general released a report on the antiterrorism database for the Department of Homeland Security and questioned whether these sites are really the most critical terrorism targets.

The list is compiled to help determine who gets hundreds of millions of dollars in security grants. Indiana had the most sites at 8,591 compared to 5,687 for New York and 3,212 in California. The list also included entries like Nix’s Check Cashing, the Mall at Sears, ice cream parlors, tackle shops, donut shops and a “Bean Fest.”

Tennessee reported to the Department of Homeland Security its concern that Mule Day and the flea market might be terrorist targets in our state.

We’ve googled around but we have been unable to find the City County Building on the list.

Commmission Candidate

Democrat Cawood, who is allegedly term limited, is opposed by Republican school board member Chuck James .

Gill Coming to Knox?

The remainder of the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee will go on without Nashville super talker Gill. He is off the air for at least three months after being unable to reach a new contract with WTN, Super Talk 99.7. Gill is reportedly putting together a statewide syndication deal and has been in contact with Knoxville stations about buying airtime.

Gill’s morning drivetime show organized the horn honkers to besiege the state Capitol during the income tax fight in 2002, often broadcasting from the sidewalk in front of Legislative Plaza. He sponsored a debate earlier this year on the issue of taxes that featured the three candidates running in the Republican primary.

Over the years Gill has provided a forum for conservative candidates to communicate with the Republican rich “collar counties” around Nashville. Gill and the station could not agree to terms to renew his contract and he negotiated a three-month non-compete agreement before he left.

TVA Consulting

Former TVA chair Glenn McCullough has formed a consulting company down in his home state of Mississippi. McCullough joined two former chiefs of staff for Mississippi Gov. Kirk Fordice to form Ardillo, McCullough and Taggert.

The firm will specialize in “government relations.” McCullough is the former mayor of Tupelo. The other two principles are Nick Ardillo and Andy Taggert .

Former TVA board member Johnny Hayes has gone back into the consulting, lobbying and public relations business and is reportedly working for Southern Co., the largest private utility company in the Southeast.

Check Credit Score

A firm under contract to the FSA mistakenly released the information on 350,000 farmers that took part in the tobacco allotment buy-out program. Eight groups that had filed FOIA requests have been asked to return disks that hold the information and also asked to destroy any documents generated from them.


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