Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said he would prefer to support
Andy Levin, telecommunications counsel to Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), for the
remaining seat on the Federal Communications Commission.
Last week, Lott said he would block the nomination of Jonathan Adelstein,
legislative counsel to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).
Lott said he felt that Adelstein did not have enough experience for the job
and was too young, although the candidate is older than chairman Michael Powell
and commissioner Kevin Martin.
Lott's decision to block Adelstein came one day after the Senate Judiciary
Committee voted against the nomination of Judge Charles Pickering Sr., to the
U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Observers believe Lott is blocking
Adelstein in retaliation for the Pickering vote, and not because of Adelstein's
age or experience.
Levin had been the favorite for the seat until Senate Commerce Committee
chairman Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) refused to support him.
Levin's boss, Dingell, is one of the authors of a bill that would deregulate
incumbent regional phone companies so that they could offer high-speed-data
service -- a bill Hollings steadfastly opposes.