The Call - Fall 2013 - (Page 13)

G OV E R N M E N T A F FA I RS The Mysterious World of Confirmation Trey Forgety NENA Government Affairs Director As you've seen over the past few quarters, there are always many concurrent rulemakings and congressional inquiries to track in the government affairs space. This Fall, however, I'd like to give you an in-depth look at one of the most secretive and complex processes in Washington: confirmation. By the time you read this, it's likely we will already have a new chairman and a new Republican commissioner seated on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The process of getting them there has taken almost a year, and it represents a fascinating microcosm of how our politics play out on the national stage. Formally, the confirmation process begins with the announcement of a nomination by INSIDE THE ADMINISTRATION, SENIOR STAFFERS AND WELL-CONNECTED SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS BEGIN COMPILING LONG LISTS OF CANDIDATES, BROKEN DOWN BY DESIRABILITY AND POLITICAL ACHIEVABILITY. a president, following the resignation of an incumbent appointee, or sometimes with the announcement of a resignation contingent on the confirmation of a successor. Informally, the process starts much earlier, usually with rampant speculation about when or if an incumbent will step down. Long before a resignation letter is actually written, some hopefuls begin to jockey for position and visibility. This can take the form of fundraising for the president or the president's party, public appearances, op-ed pieces, congressional testimony, and even old-fashioned ground-game lobbying of influential representatives, senators, staffers, and appointees. Later in the game, this jockeying becomes more open as staffers and committee members on the Hill, along with advocacy groups like trade associations, begin to openly write letters or make statements that support specific policy positions their favored candidates have backed in the past, or even supporting the candidates by name. All of these machinations are watched closely by the White House. Inside the administration, senior staffers and well-connected subject matter experts begin compiling long lists of candidates, broken down by desirability and political achievability. Some candidates, for example, may align well with an administration's ideology but have political baggage that would make their confirmation in by the Senate an uphill battle. These lists are steadily winnowed until as many as 10 potential appointees are identified as possible candidates. After approaching these candidates through surrogates to confirm their interest, the next stage is an initial vetting. This process places the candidates under close scrutiny, intended to further weed-out any history that might disqualify them, such as crimes, scandals, or policy differences with the administration or the Congress. As detailed as this look is, it is nothing compared to what's to come. Once a resignation is formally announced, it is usually a very short period of time before the president announces a nomination and notifies the Senate leadership of his choice. At Read the digital edition at 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Call - Fall 2013

President’s Message
From the CEO
Government Affairs
Tech Trends
How “Well”thy is Your 9-1-1 Center?
Stress in the 9-1-1 Center
Don’t Stress Out — Reach Out
9-1-1’s Future
Index to Advertisers/

The Call - Fall 2013