Tristani to Leave FCC Sept. 7

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Democratic Federal Communications Commission member Gloria Tristani announced
Monday that she is leaving the agency Sept. 7 to return home to New Mexico.

Tristani, who joined the FCC in 1997 as an appointee of President Clinton,
has said repeatedly that she is considering a run for the U.S. Senate next year
against six-term Republican incumbent Pete Domenici, who doesn't have an
announced opponent.

In a statement that didn't mention the Senate campaign, Tristani said, 'It
was time for me to move on,' noting her efforts at the agency to wire schools to
the Internet and to extend telecommunications services to underserved
communities.

In July, Tristani gave a speech endorsing the view that local governments
should be able to claim 10 percent of cable bandwidth for public, educational
and governmental purposes.

Tristani, who served on the New Mexico State Corporation Commission before
joining the FCC, is the granddaughter of late U.S. Sen. Dennis Chavez
(D-N.M.).

President Bush traveled to New Mexico Aug. 15 to headline a fund-raiser that
reportedly took in $400,000 for Domenici's re-election campaign.

Tristani's departure will leave the FCC with four members -- three
Republicans and one Democrat. Bush is entitled to nominate a Democrat to replace
Tristani.

Earlier in the year, Andy Levin, an aide to Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), was
a front-runner for the FCC, but he was edged out by Michael Copps, a former aide
to Senate Commerce Committee chairman Ernest 'Fritz' Hollings
(D-S.C.).

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