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General conflict

Super Republican Colin Powell is on AOL's board of directors, appointed in 1998. And Michael Powell, his son, is an FCC commissioner charged with reviewing AOL's merger with Time Warner. An aide to Powell the younger says he has twice gone to the FCC's General Counsel for advice on handling the delicate relationship-once when Dad was first appointed to the board and again when AOL decided to merge with Time Warner. Both times, word came back that there are no ethics problems "because there are no direct or implied financial ties to the company," says Powell's FCC staffer. Bottom line: Michael will stay on the case and Colin will stay on the board.