The FCC announced yesterday that Commissioner Gloria Tristani, a Democratic Clinton appointee, will be leaving the Commission on Sept. 7. This gives Bush the rare opportunity to completely rework the FCC, appointing all 5 commissioners, two of whom must be Democrats. Which is also why it is unfortunate, since under the direction of Chair Michael Powell, the commission is on a rampage towards immense additional deregulation, of an entirely shortsighted and stupid sort. Although Bush has to appoint a Democrat, I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t make pains to appoint the most free-market-friendly, center-right, telecomm-industry-lovin’ Dem he can find. Unfortunately, they’re not in short supply.
Although I’ve disagreed with many of her positions–especially on the regulation of content–Tristani has nonetheless been the strongest voice against industry consolidation on the FCC, and the loss will be felt by everyone, whether we like it or not.