Common Cause Statement on Tom Wheeler’s Selection as FCC Chairman

Michael Copps, former Federal Communications Commission commissioner and special adviser to Common Cause’s Media and Democracy Reform Initiative, released this statement in response to the White House announcement that Tom Wheeler will be nominated as chairman of the FCC:

“I congratulate Tom Wheeler on his selection as chairman of the FCC. Tom is a man of many talents and wide industry experience with whom I enjoyed working when I was commissioner and acting chair of the FCC. We did not always agree on the issues, but I appreciated his candor, knowledge, and ability to listen as well as to talk. Tom now has the opportunity to expand on his experience as an industry lobbyist to make policy that benefits all consumers and citizens.

“If confirmed, Tom will have the most critical role in government in responding to the many daunting challenges facing our nation’s communications ecosystem. Consumers deserve a leader who will put the brakes on media monopolization, make competitive high-speed telecommunications a reality for every American, ensure the long-term freedom and openness of the Internet, and require sponsorship disclosure of political ads. These are ambitious but necessary reforms. Their time is now. I look forward to working with Tom to achieve these goals. It will take innovative thought and regulatory courage to make them happen. The late Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, was fond of the saying that ‘We are the leaders we have been waiting for.’ Let’s prove him right.

“I also commend the President for his designation of Commissioner Mignon Clyburn as acting chairwoman of the FCC. I was privileged to be her colleague and to work in concert with her across a broad gamut of issues. Her commitment to expanding diversity across our communications platforms to reflect the wondrous diversity of our nation has been especially remarkable, and having her at the helm encourages my hopes for needed progress in this critically-important area.”