Senate Commerce Committee OKs McDowell Nomination
March 17, 2006 at 6:25 AM (PT)
The SENATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE, by a voice vote, sent the nomination of ROBERT MCDOWELL for the FCC to the full SENATE. The THURSDAY vote recommended confirmation of the COMPTEL Assistant General Counsel to take the open fifth seat on the Commission, giving Chairman KEVIN MARTIN a 3-2 Republican majority once again.
After the vote, Sen. BYRON DORGAN (D-ND), joined by Sens. TRENT LOTT (R-MS). JOHN KERRY (D-MA), KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R-TX), MARIA CANTWELL (D-WA), and OLYMPIA SNOWE (R-ME), sent a letter to MARTIN calling for the Commission to ensure the rulemaking process for new media ownership rules is "open and transparent" and involves the public.
“The rules governing media ownership have a significant impact on the diversity of voices and ownership in our communities,” DORGAN said. “Unfortunately, the FCC does not have a good record when it comes to keeping its deliberations open to the public. We don’t want to repeat the mistakes the Commission made in the past, when it shut the public out of the decision-making process. The American people have a big stake in the outcome of this debate and must be included.”