Praise for the late Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) continued to
flow in Tuesday and again Wednesday from industry groups and others. Stevens
died in the crash of a private plane owned by Alaskan telecommunications
"Senator Stevens was a life-long champion of the power of
communications and a critical force in ensuring that all Americans,
particularly those in Alaska, benefit from the technological opportunities of
our digital age," said FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker.
"I was shocked and saddened to learn about the plane crash that
took the life of Senator Ted Stevens and other passengers in Dillingham,
Alaska," Commissioner Michael Copps said. "Senator Stevens and I
enjoyed a friendship of many years, first meeting shortly after I began working
in the U.S. Senate in 1970. He and my former boss, Senator Fritz Hollings,
enjoyed a wonderfully close and lively friendship through the years, and I will
always treasure memories of that relationship. 'Colorful' doesn't even begin to
describe it. After I joined
the FCC in 2001, I got to know Senator (and Chairman) Stevens better, and I
valued his friendship and counsel immensely. His oversight of the Commission was
always fair, he made himself available for discussions, and his legendary
candor was always in evidence. I saw him just a few weeks ago and was happy to find
him looking so well and feeling so happy and relaxed. We have lost a hero in
war, a patriot in the Senate, and someone I was proud to know."
Stevens was still a presence in Washington. In fact, one of his
last communications-related appearances came just last month at a farewell
party for top Disney lobbyist Preston Padden at the Motion Picture Association
of America, according to a communications attorney in attendance.
"Although I never had the privilege of working with Senator
Stevens, I applaud him for his renowned leadership on universal service
policies and his ardent support of public radio and television
broadcasting," said Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. "I also want to
express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the others who lost
their lives in this tragic accident."
The Consumer Electronics Association of America hailed Stevens as
"a fighter pilot in WWII, as the champion of Alaskan statehood and as an
advocate for innovation, free enterprise and entrepreneurship," calling
him "a true force of nature."
"I wish to recognize Sen. Stevens for always being a good
friend to the independent cable community and who will be remembered for his
willingness to look out for small business as tenaciously as he did his beloved
Alaska homefront," said American Cable Association President Matt Polka. ACA
was also in mourning for a GCI executive and her daughter, who also died in the
""Our prayers at ACA go out to the entire GCI family on the loss of
longtime senior vice president Dana Tindall and her daughter [Corey] and for
all the loss from this terrible accident," said Polka.
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