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Radio News: Clyburn announces retirement from FCC

Apr 17, 2018 10:50 pm
Ars Technica reports that, after nine years, Democrat Mignon Clyburn is leaving the Federal Communications Commission. Clyburn was known for her votes for consumer-protection regulations over the objections of Internet service providers, championing net neutrality and other issues. Her term expired in June 2017, but FCC rules let her to stay until the end of 2018. But she decided to leave early and not seek another five-year term. Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler frequently called Clyburn "the conscience of the commission." Other Democrats had more praise. "Mignon Clyburn will go down in history as one of the best FCC commissioners of all time," former FCC official and consumer advocate Gigi Sohn said. "For nearly nine years, she has been a vocal and passionate advocate for the public interest and defender of the most vulnerable in our society." If President Donald Trump follows protocol, he will appoint a Democrat recommended by the Senate's Democratic leadership, and the Senate will then vote to confirm the new commissioner. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said last month that FCC official Geoffrey Starks, an assistant chief in the agency's enforcement bureau, would be the nominee. An enforcement official will hardly be a replacement for a public advocate like Clyburn.