D.C. NOTES

Geez, what a week of winners, losers and schmoozers.

A three-judge panel in Philadelphia overturned the Internet indecency ban in the new telecommunications law, a big victory for free speech advocates and wireless carriers that carry information services. Next stop: the Supreme Court.

Marge Schott, Cincinnati Reds owner, wasn’t so lucky. Gag rule is in effect.

… Trent Lott pummeled fellow GOP Mississippian Thad Cochran for the Senate majority leader post. A sigh of relief from broadcasters as Bob Dole (TV auction extraordinaire) leaves. For now, anyway. He could show up elsewhere.

… Gerry McGowan, wireless attorney and FOB, and his wife joined Ireland President Mary Robinson, the Clintons and prominent Irish folk from Hollywood to Wall Street Thursday at the White House for a night of bluster and blarney. Guinness, anyone?

… FCC Chairman Reed Hundt says Federal Communications Commission staff calls work on the ’96 Telecom Act “an all-day sucker and all-night block party.”

… Scott Schelle, APC exec, on Montgomery County, Md.’s 92 cents/month wireless service tax: “Oops, the budget didn’t balance. Let’s tax `the rich’ again.”

… USTR Charlene Barshefsky tries to do deal with China to avoid trade war on intellectual property rights, cellular phones, etc.

… Citizen Haller starts new consulting firm, Fox Ridge Communications Inc. at (703) 276-1450.

… Cellular bioeffect lawsuits in Chicago are on hold pending action on petition for rehearing challenging Illinois ruling that states are pre-empted from legal radio frequency issues because Food and Drug Administration regulates products, such as cellular phones, that emit radiation and have public health implications.

… Carlos Moorhead (R-Calif.), chair of House Judiciary panel on intellectual property, pulled plug on digital copyright bill for now.

… Larry Irving, chief of National Telecommunications Industry Association, named by President Clinton to five-member National Commission on the Restructuring of the Internal Revenue Service.

… The wife of Larry Pressler, GOP chair of Senate Commerce Committee, owns a computer stock fund and electronics stock portfolio, according to financial disclosure statement. Pressler, the lawmaker, received expense-paid trip from the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative. Ernest Hollings, ranking South Carolina minority member of Pressler panel, got travel reimbursement from MCI Corp. and others.

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