FCC inches closer to full strength
The FCC moved closer to its full complement of five commissioners as the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a confirmation hearing on the nomination of Jonathan S. Adelstein July 16. A Democrat, Adelstein has been tapped by the White House to serve out the remaining term of former FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani, which expires next June 30.
In recent times, the term of a seat on the commission seldom has corresponded with the time commissioners spend in office. Commissioners often take office well after the terms for their seats have begun. Even without confirmation by the Senate for additional terms, they often continue to serve after their terms expire, under provisions of federal law and presidential recess appointments.
Following the hearing, Adelstein’s nomination was sent on to the full Senate, but no vote has been set.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has attempted to forestall Senate votes on presidential nominees pending a recess appointment of a Democrat to the Federal Election Commission, but Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-S.D.) has brought some to a vote with successful cloture petitions.
President George W. Bush announced his intention to name Adelstein in February, but the nomination subsequently became embroiled in political wrangling, with some Senate Republicans vowing to block the nomination. Adelstein was a longtime aide to Daschle, who recommended Adelstein for the job and introduced him at the confirmation hearing. FCC appointments traditionally are divided along party lines, with the party holding the White House getting three of the five seats.
Adelstein, 39, is from Rapid City, S.D. Before joining Daschle’s staff, Adelstein served on the staffs of senators David Pryor and Donald Riegle. According to a White House statement, Adelstein has been a teaching fellow in Harvard College’s Department of History and a communications consultant to Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Adelstein holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University. He’s also completed graduate-level work in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
(American Radio Relay League Bulletin, with additional staff reporting)