July 26, 2005

White House aide emerges as top FCC contender

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A White House aide, Michael Meece,
has emerged as a top contender for one of two Republican seats
on the Federal Communications Commission, sources familiar with
the matter said on Tuesday.

Meece is the deputy director of the White House public
liaison office and previously worked as deputy chief of staff
to Don Evans when he was U.S. Commerce Secretary during
President Bush's first term.

Among other names circulating as potential occupants of the
other seat are Deborah Tate, a director on the Tennessee
Regulatory Authority, and Suzanne Terrell, who unsuccessfully
tried to unseat Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in
2002, the sources said.

The sources declined to be identified because of the
sensitive nature of the selection process.

A White House spokeswoman was not immediately available for

Members of the agency, which regulates telecommunications,
broadcast, cable and pay television services, must be confirmed
by the U.S. Senate. The agency is split 3-2 in favor of the
political party that occupies the White House.

The commission has been tied with two Republicans and two
Democrats since March, when Michael Powell stepped down as
chairman. Republican FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy also
plans to leave the agency soon.