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Bush to tap telecoms lawyer for FCC vacancy

Robert McDowell has been a vice president for Comptel, an organization that lobbies for smaller telecommunications companies.

President Bush announced on Friday that telecommunications lawyer Robert McDowell is his intended pick for the vacant fifth seat on the Federal Communications Commission. McDowell, 42, has served since February 1999 as a senior vice president for Comptel, a trade association that lobbies primarily for communications companies that compete against the "big Bell" companies.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, McDowell would tip the commission to a Republican majority--composed of two Democrats and three Republicans--and would assume a term lasting until June 30, 2009. Last month, the Senate , also a Republican, to another vacant commission post.