Adelstein FCC bid his snag

Sep 16, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Democratic Senate aide Jonathan Adelstein’s bumpy flight toward the Federal Communications Commission appears to be headed for more major turbulence.
Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., warned reporters last week to expect more contentious nomination battles on Capitol Hill because Senate Democrats recently nuked another one of President Bush’s nominees to the federal judiciary.
“Agreements are going to be pretty hard to reach,” said Sen. Lott at a press conference. “It’s not just about me,” he continued. “There are other senators that are going to object to this.”
What’s got GOP leaders riled is that Senate Democrats refused to give the nod to Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, a Bush nominee to the federal bench.
Sen. Lott first announced his intent to block a confirmation for Mr. Adelstein in March, when Senate Democrats refused to confirm the nomination of one of Sen. Lott’s longtime friends, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Pickering, to the federal appeals court.
Under a subsequent deal between the White House and Senate leaders over the nominations process, it appeared that Mr. Adelstein would be confirmed in August, before the Senate left for its summer recess.
But sources said Sen. Lott blocked an effort to win Senate approval for Mr. Adelstein on the evening the Senate adjourned.
Mr. Adelstein is a particularly convenient target for Republicans because he’s an aide to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.
“I’ve made the point to Sen. Daschle that it [the rejection of Owens], once again makes it awfully hard for us to work together in a bipartisan way,” said Sen. Lott. “It’s an unfair miscarriage of justice.”
A source close to Mr. Adelstein, however, predicted that the Democratic aide would eventually land safely at the FCC because his Democratic backers can raise just as much of a ruckus as Republicans.
“It’s going to get done,” this source said. “I don’t know when.”