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Bush reveals FCC picks

Republicans Kevin Martin and Kathleen Abernathy and Democrat Mike Copps are President George W. Bush's choices to fill three open seats at the FCC.

The fourth seat remains Gloria Tristani's, but last week House Democratic leadership backed Andy Levin, counsel to Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), for the post when Tristani departs.

The White House announced its intent Friday. The nominations will not be sent to the Senate for confirmation until the FBI clears all three names.

Martin comes right from the FCC's ranks as a former aide to Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth. Martin also led the White House's FCC search, giving him the opportunity to put his own name at the top of the list. Abernathy is currently a lobbyist for the Broadband Office and a former law partner at the Washington law firm of Wilkinson, Barker, Knauer. As a former aide to former FCC Chairman James Quello, she also is no stranger to the FCC.

Copps is a former staffer for Senate Commerce Committee ranking member Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) and more recently, former assistant secretary of commerce in charge of trade.
Tristani hasn't said when she plans to leave the commission, but forces are lining up to replace her. Last week, House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt and House Minority Whip David Bonior (D-Mich.) put their weight behind Levin. Dingell, who wields power both as ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House's longest-serving member, strongly supports Levin.

"Andy is widely viewed, both on and off Capitol Hill, as a superb candidate to address those challenges as an FCC Commissioner," they wrote in a letter to Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.). "That is why we ask the Senate Democratic Leadership to join us in recommending him for the second Democratic seat." - Paige Albiniak
Levin also has the support of key Commerce Committee members Reps. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.).