December 1, 2011 11:53 PM

Two Winners on Deck to Join FCC

Yesterday, the Senate held confirmation hearings on the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel (testimony here), and Ajit Pai (testimony here) to fill two FCC seats--one of which is vacant, and another will become vacant upon the adjournment of the present Congress.  I have had the privilege to work with both nominees, and this is probably the last time I can respectfully refer to either by their first names (instead of "Commissioner").  I can't think of two better candidates, or more deserving people to serve on the Commission. Sometimes even Congress gets it right.

I worked with Ajit as a colleague at the Antitrust Division.  He's got a great sense of humor, and is a truly committed public servant.  Plus, he's a super-smart lawyer.  I like Ajit a lot, I've worked with him personally, and I'm very proud of him.  He'll do a wonderful job for the public and I really look forward to seeing him make a positive difference at the Commission.

As far as Jessica goes, I've known her for more than 10 years--though I've never "worked with" her in the sense that we both got paid by the same employer--I have worked with her in my capacity as an attorney representing competitive carriers.  Whether as a staff attorney, or a legal advisor to Commissioner Copps, Jessica was always fair, patient, and willing to hear you out.  

She made sure she understood your arguments, even if she didn't agree, and was never dismissive no matter how small the party or their issue of concern.  She is also a super-smart lawyer, and has exceptional political instincts, which will make her seem a lot more like a "veteran" commissioner than most people just stepping into the job.

Both candidates acquitted themselves well in the face of questioning by the Senate Commerce Committee.  Don't believe me?  Then watch it for yourself here.

Finally, Ajit--you did great, brother, and I mean that sincerely. But, on the "speaking truth to power", "keeping it real" front, there's no question that Jessica laid it down and picked it up. 

Check out the hearing at about the 1:08 point where both are asked the same question by Sen. Blunt (R-MO)--about whether the FCC staff or the Chairman released the "staff report and analysis" as part of the Wireless Telecommunication's Bureau order granting AT&T and DT's joint request to withdraw their license transfer applications. See previous blog for background.  Jessica could have hedged, but instead she laid down the stone cold truth.  I love that!

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