Commerce takes another stab a Majoras FTC nomination
Is the fix in? The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation is going to hold a mark-up session Wednesday, 9/22/04, in which it will consider the nominations of Deborah Majoras and Jon Leibowitz to be commissioners on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). An attempt to do this before Congress' August recess failed.
The consideration of Majoras would seem to be a moot. Majoras has garnered significant opposition from Democrats, particularly Ron Wyden (D-OR), who thinks she is too friendly with big oil companies. However, she was installed in office through the back door by President George W. Bush, who took advantage of the recess in much the same way as he has done to place a handful of judges on the bench. Majoras took office 8/16/04.
Surprisingly, consideration of Leibowitz appears to be moot as well. He's the Democrat who was to go onto the FTC at the same time as Majoras - - he most recently was VP/congressional affairs for the Motion Picture Association of America. And he is already listed as a Commissioner on the FTC website.
Committee chairman John McCain (R-AZ) may be making a point of making the Majoras nomination official. He seems to be a staunch opponent of gaming the system when traditional channels are open to achieve a desired outcome. For example, although he was against large portions of the FCC's 6/2/03 ownership ruling, McCain nevertheless opposed the Byron Dorgan (D-ND)/Trent Lott (R-MS) Resolution of Disapproval because the Commerce Committee had already properly dealt with many of the particulars of that ruling.
Of course, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has made sure that none of the Commerce Committee's measures have ever seen the light of day on the floor of the full Senate - - a fact that gives credence to Dorgan's attempt to get his way by any means possible.
And of course, there are occasions when McCain is perfectly content with a little gaming of the system - - when he wants to game it. Just ask Jonathan Adelstein, who's nomination (along with many others) was held hostage by McCain for most of the summer of 2002.