NASHVILLE – Decorated Iraq war combat veteran James Mackler, a Democratic candidate for Tennessee’s open U.S. Senate seat, today offered follow-up questions that Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) nominees Beth Harwell and Brian Noland ought to address as part of their U.S. Senate confirmation hearings. The nominees met earlier this week with the U.S. Senate’s Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety.

“As I’ve traveled from Mountain City to Memphis, I’ve heard many more questions on folks’ minds that were not covered in this week’s hearing and I’m happy to relay them to both nominees,” said James. “Ratepayers are taxpayers, and it’s vitally important all Tennesseans know potential board members stances on critical issues of fairness and transparency.”

  • Considering TVA’s mission “to make life better for the people of the Tennessee Valley,” do you support TVA expanding beyond generating electricity and helping extend broadband internet access across the Tennessee Valley in a rapidly changing information economy?
  • Do you agree with TVA’s intent to outsource 108 information technology jobs to private contracting companies well known for offshoring operations during a pandemic that has already cost 38 million Americans their jobs? Will you insist TVA reconsider this plan as well as provide transparency as to why it was pursued in the first place?
  • Do you support the bipartisan Tennessee Valley Authority Transparency Act (H.R. 881) to “require certain meetings of the Tennessee Valley Authority to be transparent and open to the public?”
  • Do you agree with President Trump, who nominated you, that TVA Chief Executive Jeff Lyash’s $8.12 million compensation package is too generous?
  • Do you support making all TVA salary information publicly available?
  • What steps should TVA take to help the victims of the coal ash spill?
  • Do you agree with Jacobs Engineering, TVA’s prime contractor for cleaning up the 2008 coal ash disaster, that workers suing 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, TN, James has earned support from the DSCC, Tennessee Fire Fighters,Planned Parenthood Action Fund,NARAL, Vote Vets,Serve America, End Citizens United, Giffords PAC, Gov. Phil Bredesen, and thousands of Tennesseans in all 95 counties.

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.