President selects FCC lobbyist

February 13, 2006

President Bush has nominated Republican lobbyist Robert McDowell for the remaining vacancy on the FCC. If confirmed by the Senate, McDowell would restore a 3-2 Republican majority to the commission and allow chairman Kevin Martin to pursue a more partisan agenda.

McDowell was nominated to fill the seat of Kathleen Abernathy, who vacated her position last year. The term for the seat expires June 30, 2009.

The National Journal said McDowell is a frequent critic of the regional Bell telecommunications companies and a staunch ally of their competitors. He is senior vice president and assistant general counsel at COMPTEL, a telecom association that represents many Bell competitors.

Earl Comstock, COMPTEL’s president, is a former top aide to Senate Commerce Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK), who recommended McDowell to the White House. He was previously executive vice president for America’s Carriers Telecommunications Association, which merged with COMPTEL.

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