Adelstein joins FCC at long last


The Federal Communications Commission finally has a full compliment of

Jonathan Adelstein was sworn in Tuesday, filling a seat vacant since Gloria
Tristani departed for her unsuccessful bid to oust New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici
in September 2001.

His appointment is expected to break free some decisions currently stalled
for lack of a three-vote majority, including the FCC's revised rules for cable
carriage of digital-TV stations and the affiliates' complaint against network
programming practices.

Adelstein's nomination languished for 10 months due to a beef between his
former boss, Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), the Senate's top Democrat, and Republican leader Trent
Lott (R-Miss.).

Adelstein served for 15 years as a Senate staffer, the past seven with

Previously, he served Sens. David Pryor (D-Ark.) and Donald Reigle (D-Mich.).

Adelstein, 40, hails from Rapid City, S.D. He and wife Karen have a toddler

His appointment makes the commission a little less predictable.

If Adelstein establishes a voting bloc on controversial issues with fellow
Democrat Michael Copps, he would empower junior Republicans Kathleen Abernathy
and Kevin Martin if either chooses to play the swing vote on issues they decide
important enough to extract concessions from chairman Powell.