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Clyburn To FCC, But Still Waiting on Genachowski Confirmation

Seats on the Federal Communications Commission are slowly being filled. Yesterday President Obama named Mignon Clyburn, of the South Carolina Public Service Commission, to an empty Democratic slot.

That leaves just one Republican position left to be filled in the five-seat agency that has been charged to come up with a plan this year to bring broadband Internet to every home in the nation. The administration has pushed through their pick to head the commission, Julius Genachowski, for confirmation in the Senate. But the Senate hasn't announced hearing date for Genachowski's confirmation.

Industry insiders and staffers on Capitol Hill say Republican senators are in disagreement over a pick for the remaning minority slot.

Names that have emerged include Meredith Baker, former acting secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, who has faced scrutiny over the troubled digital television transition. Others mentioned: former FCC general counsel Ajit Pai and Lee Carosi Dunn, a staffer to Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Mignon is a relative outsider to Washington's FCC and policy circles, coming from South Carolina where she served as a commissioner of the state public utilities board for the last decade. She also served as the publisher and general manager of The Coastal Times weekly newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina for 14 years.

But she does have one major tie to Washington: She's the daughter of House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, one of the most powerful African-American members of Congress.

By Cecilia Kang  |  April 30, 2009; 2:54 PM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
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At Sprint Nextel, we believe that Mignon Clyburn would bring experience, deep policy understanding and the perspective of a state utility commissioner to the FCC. We have worked with her in South Carolina where she has served on that state’s Public Service Commission and we look forward to working with her again on any number of issues including restoring competition to the failed special access markets that are stifling broadband deployment in our country.

John Taylor
Public Affairs
Sprint Nextel Corp.

Posted by: John_Taylor | April 30, 2009 4:54 PM

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