OK, it is getting harder to believe FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is not running for office in his home state of North Carolina.
On a road trip to the state to speak to the chamber of commerce Thursday, which already sounded like a visibility-raiser, he stopped off at the Corning plant. Yes, I am told, FCC Chairman Michael Powell stopped off at the same plant on a similar trip to speak to the chamber when he was at the FCC.
But I’m told Martin made the point while he was there that when the telecom sector took a nosedive in 2000, Corning laid off a lot of people, but when the FCC took some deregulatory steps in 2003, deregulating fiber into the home, for example, Corning’s business recovered, more investment rolled in and it was able to hire all the people it had laid off.
That’s a real-world example of FCC policy in action, he pointed out. True enough, but it is also talking job-creation and economic development in his home state, which couldn’t hurt come some future election time.
According to an aide, Martin answered questions during the visit about the recent 700 mHz spectrum auction, the Universal Service Fund, municipal Wi-Fi and, oh, yes, was he interested in running for office in the state? His answer was, essentially, no, that he was interested in doing the best job he could at the FCC.