McCain holds up Adelstein nomination

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The nomination of potential Democratic Federal Communications Commission
member Jonathan Adelstein is being held up once again -- this time by Sen. John
McCain (R-Ariz.).

McCain has informed Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Senate
Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) that he will block all nominations until he
gets assurances from both that his choice to the Federal Election Commission --
Washington, D.C.-based attorney Ellen Weintraub -- will be confirmed by the
Senate before September.

McCain, the primary sponsor of campaign-finance reform, has been upset that
the FEC has been considering amendments to the new campaign-finance-reform law
that, in his view, would weaken the bill's intent to eliminate all unlimited
corporate contributions or 'soft money' from campaigns.

Daschle recommended Weintraub for the FEC slot, and she would fill the seat
now occupied by Democratic commissioner Karl Sandstrom. McCain has been unhappy
with Sandstrom because he has been voting with Republicans on the commission and
McCain has not supported some of those votes.

Sandstrom's term has expired, but he remains on the commission through the
end of this congressional session or until another commissioner is appointed in
his place -- whichever comes first. The session ends this
fall.

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