March 20, 2013
Reactions to McDowell's Departure from the FCC
By Amy Maclean
With Republican FCC commish Robert McDowell announcing Wed that he’ll depart the agency in a few weeks, the goodbyes are pouring in. Here’s a sampling:
NCTA pres/CEO Michael Powell:
“We extend our gratitude to Commissioner McDowell for his excellent service to the Federal Communications Commission and American public. During his time at the FCC, Commissioner McDowell has been a thoughtful and fair public servant who has always promoted the ideal that competitive marketplaces are best suited to meet consumer demand for vital communication services. We wish Commissioner McDowell all the best in his future endeavors.”
“Although we often disagreed, working with Commissioner McDowell was a pleasure. His willingness to hear opposing views, the intellectual rigor in his analysis, and his leadership at the WCIT made him someone we enjoyed working with. Commissioner McDowell deserves enormous credit for defending TV white spaces in its darkest hour and pushing back against House Republicans who saw no value in preserving unlicensed spectrum.”
ACA pres/CEO Matt Polka:
“ACA always regarded Commissioner McDowell as an honest broker who searched for the right answer based on the law, the facts and the public interest. Commissioner McDowell was a model public servant noted for his sharp mind, quick wit, and generous spirit.”
House Communications Subcmte Chmn Greg Walden (R-OR):
“For more than a half decade, Robert McDowell has embodied the consummate FCC commissioner. He has kept a steadfast eye on how to foster a vibrant communications marketplace for the American people and the American economy. He has always stood up to protect the freedom of the Internet for all, and at every turn he has made sure to respect good process, good policy, and the rule of law. The country is all the better for his service. With much gratitude, we wish him all the best wherever his path may take him."
Comcast EVP David Cohen:
"Commissioner McDowell has been an exemplary public servant. His wisdom, practicality and hard work all contribute to the widespread respect that everyone has for him. Commissioner McDowell’s tireless efforts to promote a free and unregulated Internet, reform Universal Service and keep the U.S. at the forefront of International telecommunications policy are just a few of his many notable accomplishments."
Free Press Pres/CEO Craig Aaron:
“We congratulate Commissioner McDowell on his decision to leave the FCC. As he considers his next move, we hope he will reject the revolving door and resist becoming another FCC leader who exploits his public service to cash in at the companies he was supposed to regulate. We urge the President to nominate a Republican successor who is not simply another cheerleader for the biggest businesses and media monopolists, but who recognizes the free market cannot work if companies are allowed to amass and abuse market power. Competition, diversity and the fostering of local voices shouldn't be partisan issues. These principles—not refereeing between or advocating on behalf of the largest players—are the agency's mission and should guide its work."
Verizon svp, public policy and govt affairs Craig Silliman:
“Commissioner McDowell has been a consistent advocate and a strong voice in supporting and promoting market-based policies and keeping the global Internet free from over-regulation. His tenure has been defined by his insistence that the FCC base its decisions on sound policies that are well-grounded in the law. McDowell’s vision and judgment have been invaluable during a remarkable period of transformation, innovation and investment.”
NAB pres/CEO Gordon Smith:
"Robert McDowell has been a remarkably gifted public servant during his seven-year tenure at the FCC. His good humor and grace have been matched only by his ardent support for fair media ownership rules and full-throated support for a vibrant First Amendment. Commissioner McDowell will succeed in whatever path he chooses, and NAB wishes him well."
Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce Committee:
“Rob McDowell has spent the last seven years diligently fighting to promote free markets and the free expression of ideas, and I thank him for his service. As we have seen with his recent leadership on efforts to prevent foreign government intervention in the operation and use of the Internet, Rob has been a consistent voice cautioning against unnecessary governmental regulations. I hope the president’s nominee to replace him will approach the job with the same passion and energy that Rob exhibited and will be similarly committed to finding market-based solutions to our nation’s communications challenges whenever possible.”
Parents Television Council pres Tim Winter:
“We commend Commissioner McDowell for his service to the FCC for the past six years. His voice and expertise have been invaluable on a number of key issues before the Commission, particularly the FCC’s lethargic pace of enforcement of broadcast decency law. The American people are fed up with the do-nothing nature of the FCC when it comes to the backlog of hundreds of thousands of broadcast indecency complaints. We urge the Obama Administration to name a replacement who is committed to the consistent, sound enforcement of broadcast decency law.”