There were various snippets of story moving fuzzily in and out of the plastic 8-ball window that is the inside-the-Beltway, slightly-more-than-rumor mill Friday.
One was that Ajit Pai, former deputy general counsel and associate general counsel at the FCC, who left in April to join law firm Jenner & Block in Washington as a member of its communications practice, is rising to the top of candidates for the empty FCC seat vacated by Comcast-bound Meredith Attwell Baker. It could be a float from backers, but that was the buzz according to a couple of folks with their ears to the rails (Metro rails, of course).
Pai is said to be supported by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Top Senate and House Republicans have gotten to pick Republican FCC nominees in a tradition that began under President Bill Clinton. Baker, a Texan, was attributed to the patronage of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), ranking member of the Communications Subcommittee.
Under the “signs point to yes” answer in that 8-ball is the report that the House Communicatinos subcommittee is teeing up another hearing on spectrum, this one on repacking. Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) has promised a series of such hearings and this would be his third.
Under “cannot predict now,” There are rumblings that at least one Senator might put a hold on the Rockefeller spectrum auction bill over the issue of auctioning rather than allocating the D Block. Another issue could be how the Congressional Budget Office scores that bill, which means how much revenue it brings in, since DTV transition legislation that became law already assumed the D block would be auctioned and bring in $3 billion-sh for the treasury.
And will Anthony Weiner do a guest shot on Entourage. I don’t know, but I just shook the 8-ball and it said: “My sources say no.”