Tennessee Editorial Roundup

News Sentinel, August 28, 2012 | Go to article overview

Tennessee Editorial Roundup


Recent editorials from Tennessee newspapers:

Aug. 27

The Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel on the TVA board:

The recent announced departure of Tom Kilgore as president and chief executive officer of the Tennessee Valley Authority highlights a problem with the agency's board of directors that needs to be addressed before the end of the year.

The TVA board, expanded to nine members a few years ago, has three positions unfilled. Two directors are serving beyond the expiration of their terms but only until the current session of Congress ends later this year.

If there is no change by the end of the year, the federal utility will enter 2013 with a four-member board -- only one more than the three called for in the original TVA Act. To his credit, Kilgore said he would remain until a successor is hired.

Five members constitute a quorum, and that could be achieved if - - a monumental "if" in an election year -- the Senate confirms President Barack Obama's nomination last February of C. Peter Mahurin, whose nomination is before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Mahurin of Bowling Green, Ky., would seem to satisfy, in part, Sen. Bob Corker's, R-Tenn., call for more corporate experience on the utility's board of directors. A graduate of Western Kentucky University, Mahurin has been chairman of Hilliard Lyons Financial Services since 2008. He also serves on a number of corporate boards and the board of the Governors Scholars of Kentucky.

Certainly a more business-oriented board is what former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist had in mind when he sponsored legislation during the administration of President George W. Bush to expand the TVA board from three to nine members with an appointed CEO and president. ...

Indeed, corporate experience should be a major part of the board. But TVA is not a private power company. It has a responsibility for navigation of the meandering Tennessee River system, flood control and economic development. And someone on the board must be an advocate for the 9 million people in the seven-state TVA region. ...

The concept behind the nine-member board remains a valid one. Given TVA's massive responsibilities, the corporate structure is preferable to the original three-member board. However, an understaffed board that is short on corporate experience is not only a disservice to the people of the Valley; it is a risk to the economic future of the entire region. And that situation needs to be corrected as quickly as possible.

Online:

http://www.knoxnews.com

___

Aug. 27

The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn., on U.S. Afghanistan policy:

While the Republican Party platform committee was endorsing sexual abstinence education recently, the Pentagon was announcing that the 1,972nd U.S. soldier had died in Afghanistan.

The party has been curiously reticent, even silent, on a war that will enter its 12th year on Oct. 7. There are still 80,000 American troops fighting there alongside our uncertain Afghan allies. One by one, the other nations in the NATO coalition are beginning to drift away.

Polls show 60 percent to 66 percent of voters are opposed to the war and in favor of getting out. The one prominent Republican who is unequivocal on the issue is Rep. Ron Paul, who says the war is illegal because Congress never declared it and we should get out now.

The extent of the platform committee's musings on Afghanistan was to denounce President Barack Obama for allegedly leaking classified information about the death of Osama bin Laden to enhance his image. …

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