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Clyburn Presumed Next Dem at FCC

President Barack Obama at last has named a candidate to fill one of three vacancies at the FCC.

Making good on rumor, Obama said Wednesday he will nominate Mignon Clyburn as a Democratic commissioner.

Ms. Clyburn is the eldest daughter of House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., who was considered a key Obama ally during last year’s presidential campaign. But Ms. Clyburn’s qualifications seem to extend beyond family connections – she sits on the Washington Action Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners (NARUC), has served on South Carolina’s utilities board for the past 10 years and was head of the Charleston weekly newspaper for 15 years.

Michael Copps, the FCC’s acting chairman, issued a statement calling Ms. Clyburn “an excellent choice.” NARUC officials said much the same, praising Obama for choosing someone who brings “a crucial state perspective and … experience on telecommunications and infrastructure issues to the commission.”

Ms. Clyburn now awaits Senate confirmation, as does Julius Genachowski, Obama’s pick as permanent FCC chairman. But that still leaves two vacant commissioners’ seats. Democrat Jonathan Adelstein is leaving the FCC to oversee the Rural Utilities Service and Republicans must cast their pick for someone to fill Debi Tate’s empty chair.


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