James Mackler Comments on Firing of TVA Chief

James Mackler Comments on Firing of TVA Chief

For Immediate Release: August 4, 2020

NASHVILLE — Decorated Iraq War veteran James Mackler, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, today released the following statement in response to President Trump’s move to fire Skip Thompson, Chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). 

Outsourcing jobs to private contracting companies well known for offshoring operations, during a pandemic that has already taken more than 50 million American jobs, is wrong and undermines the mission of TVA to ‘make life better for the people of the Tennessee Valley.’ I support the president’s decision to do something about it. 

“In the Senate, I’ll seek to serve on the Environment & Public Works Committee, which oversees TVA, as it’s critical Tennesseans have a voice in all discussions about an agency that is and has been so essential to our state.”

James has been outspoken on the need for better oversight and transparency at TVA, especially with regards to salaries, open meetings, and concerns last year about excessive per diem spending by executives. In May, during the confirmation hearings of newly nominated TVA Board members Beth Harwell and Brian Noland, James offered a number of additional questions for the nominees that have yet to be answered, asking about TVA’s plans to outsource jobs, what steps should TVA take to help the victims of the 2008 coal ash spill, and if they agreed with Jacobs Engineering that workers suring that company for inadequate protective materials and being misled about the toxicity of the disaster, themselves pay for failed attempts at mediation. 

Since launching his campaign at a closed rural hospital in McKenzie, Tennessee, James has earned support from the DSCC, Tennessee AFL-CIO, Tennessee Fire Fighters, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL, Vote Vets, Serve America, Let America Vote, End Citizens United, Giffords PAC, Gov. Phil Bredesen, Minority Leader Karen Camper, and thousands of Tennesseans in all 95 counties.  James is currently airing television ads statewide asking Tennesseans to let him serve again in a new crisis.

James Mackler joined the U.S. Army after 9/11 to do more and serve in a time of crisis, serving in Iraq as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot as a Screaming Eagle in the 101st Airborne Division. He later protected sexual assault survivors and prosecuted criminals as a U.S. Army JAG attorney. James is running for U.S. Senate for the same reasons he joined the army — to do more and serve all Tennesseans in a time of crisis.