President Carter's nomination of Donald L. Tucker, a controversial Florida politician, to be a member of the Civil Aeronautics Board may be headed for some trouble in the Senate.
Taking note of "allegations of misconduct" by Tucker during this terms as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, Sen. Howard W. Cannon (D-Nev.), chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee, said yesterday he had reviewed the FBI background report on Tucker and wanted to raise some "questions" about the nomination with the full Commerce Committee in a closed meeting.
The questions he wants to raise are said to involve Tuckers financial statement and a record of complicated real estate and other business transactions by Tucker, a member of the Florida legislature since 1966 and its current presiding officer. Cannon is expected to ask the committee to conduct its own investigation of questions about the propriety of some of Tucker's transactions.
Cannon's request for a closed executive session was backed by immediately by Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) at yesterday's open committee session, and a meeting was scheduled for Thursday.
Tucker, an early Carter backer whose endorsement Carter forces considered an important factor in Carter winning the key Florida primary, would be designated vice chairman of the board if confirmed by the Senate, the President has said.
The committe's investigation of Tucker is not expected to delay the confirmation of Elizabeth E. Bailey, the President's more recent nomination to the board. Bailey, who would bt the first woman on the CAB in its nearly 40-year life, is head of the Economics Research Department of Bell Laboratories. She would be the second economist named to the board by Carter, in addition to its new chairman, Alfred E. Kahn.
Last week, Kahn said he couldn't give Tucker his "unqualified endorsement" and told this to the White House when they initially told reporters the opposite. The White House later retracted the initial statement, calling it a "mistake."