McDowell Nomination Hearing Slated

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The Senate Commerce Committee Thursday will consider the nomination to the FCC of Robert McDowell.

McDowell was nominated Feb. 3 to fill the seat vacated by Republican Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy and give the Republican Chairman Kevin Martin the majority he has lacked since he took over the center seat last March.

McDowell is senior VP and general counsel of telecom association Comptel. Comptel is headed by Earl Comstock, himself a former leading contender for the FCC chairmanship and a pick of Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who heads the powerful Senate Commerce Committee and who also suggested McDowell's name to the White House.

Comptel was formed in 1981 to promote competition to AT&T and grew to include wireless companies and ISPs. McDowell is described as a good lawyer with strong Republican connections.

Like FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, he worked for the Bush Administration in Florida during the recount and was also on the advance team for the 2004 election.

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