Thursday, May 2, 2013

President Obama Taps Former Lobbyist to Lead FCC

Seal of the United States Federal Communicatio...
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President Barack Obama yesterday nominated a 67-year-old former lobbyist for the wireless and cable tv industries to lead the Federal Communications Commission.

Tom Wheeler, a venture capitalist and managing director of the Washington, D.C.-based Core Capital Partners, is the President's choice to replace Julius Genachowski, who resigned in March after four years as chair of the five-member Commission. In the interim, before Wheeler faces a Senate confirmation vote, President Obama appointed FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn acting chair.

Wheeler is the author of Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War (2008) and maintains a personal blog, Mobile Musings ("TUOL" is delighted to see a blogger make something of himself). According to reports in the New York Times, and The Wall St. Journal (the first media outlet to report the Wheeler nomination), the former trade association lobbyist will face a number of key votes if approved to helm the FCC, including media consolidation, net neutrality and wireless spectrum revisions.

The Times reported that 37 Senate Democrats sent President Obama a letter throwing their support behind FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, in hopes the President would appoint a woman to lead the FCC for the first time ever. noted in its post that Wheeler was a major contributor and volunteered in both of Obama's presidential campaigns, for those intractable believers in coincidence.
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