Nice Guy Finishes First

What was behind the TVA board vote that ousted chair Bill Sansom and installed former Republican National Committee chair Mike Duncan? The board has been criticized for putting an RNC guy in as chair when new President Barack Obama is a Democrat and Democrats control both houses of Congress.

Sansom is known to be prickly at times and there were four members of the board who would absolutely not vote for him. Among those four only Duncan could get all four; the others were split. Duncan is also a personable guy. Since there are only seven members of the board currently, Duncan had a lock.

Sansom's term is up in May and the chair defeat may doom his chances for reappointment unless Tennessee's Republican senators can perform a miracle. Sansom was a commissioner in the gubernatorial administration of now-U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and has his strong support.