President Bush April 6 said he would nominate three persons to seats on the Federal Communications Commission. The commission currently has a 2-2 split among Democrats and Republicans, with the seat formerly held by Democrat William Kennard now vacant.
Bush said he would nominate Kevin J. Martin to a five-year term expiring on June 30, 2006. Martin, who served as legal adviser to retiring Commissioner Harold Furchgott-Roth from 1997 to 1999, currently serves as special assistant to the President for economic policy and was deputy general counsel of Bush's presidential campaign. Martin would fill the seat that had been held by Kennard.
Also named was Kathleen Q. Abernathy, who served as legal adviser to two commission members from 1992 to 1993. Abernathy then served as vice president of Air Touch Communications Inc. from 1993 and 1998 and since then has been vice president for public policy for BroadBand Office Communications Inc. Abernathy would fill out the rest of a term that expires on June 30, 2005, taking over from Furchgott-Roth, a Republican.
Finally, Bush said he would nominate Michael J. Copps, a former chief of staff to Democratic Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings of South Carolina, the ranking minority member on the Senate Commerce Committee, to the rest of a term expiring June 30, 2004. Copps served as assistant secretary of Commerce for trade development from 1998 to 2001, and as deputy assistant secretary of Commerce for basic industries from 1993 to 1998. Copps would take over the seat now held by Commissioner Susan Ness, a Democrat.
The nominations are subject to review by the Senate Commerce Committee and confirmation by the full Senate, but are not expected to be controversial. Another seat on the commission could open later this year if Commissioner Gloria Tristani, a Democrat, decides to run for public office in her home state of New Mexico.