Jonathan Adelstein was sworn in December 3 as a member of the Federal Communications Commission, the first time in 15 months that the commission has had its full complement of five members.
Adelstein has served for the past seven years as the senior legislative aide to Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-SD. In that role, Adelstein has been a strong supporter of the E-rate program. Consideration of Adelstein's nomination was held up by the Senate Republican leadership in response to the failure of the Senate Judiciary Committee, then under Democratic control, to move on some of President Bush's judicial nominees during the past year. With the Republicans regaining control of the Senate in this year's elections, that logjam was broken, and the Adelstein nomination was allowed to move forward.
The commission now includes two Republicans, including its chairman Michael Powell, two Democrats and one Independent, Kathleen Q. Abernathy, who commission observers say has tended to side with the Republicans on disputed issues. Adelstein will fill the seat previously held by Gloria Tristani, who resigned to run, ultimately unsuccessfully, for the U.S. Senate from New Mexico. The term expires on June 30, 2003.