Marvin S. Cohen, a Tucson attorney nominated by President Carter to the Civil Aeronautics Board, said yesterday he doesn't mind at all taking a job at an agency those current mission is to put itself out of business.
Current board members have supported legislation to reduce their regulation of the airline industry and increase reliance on the marketplace, and have taken actions in that direction on their own as well.
I'm not looking for job security," Cohen told the Senate Commerce Committee during confirmation hearings yesterday. "I'm intrigued by [being] part of an effort to self-destruct a regulatory body . . ." he said.
Cohen indicated that he came to the job committed to the deregulation movement in the airline industry based on his past work in utility regulation, both as an attorney for the regulated - large industrial clients - and on behalf of those doing the regulating in his home state of Arizona.
"I think I have learned first hand that the marketplace is probably a better place to regulate the economy than any board of three of five members," Cohen said.
"Admittedly, I know very little about the details of airline regulation," he told the committee. "But I think my work in public utilities makes me familar with the processes of regualtion. It gives me a frame of reference."
If confirmed, as expected, Cohen would success G. Joseph Minetti's term, which runs to the end of 1979. Minetti served for nearly a year past the mandatory retirement age of 70 with several presidential waivers.
Cohen said yesterday that White House had not made a commitment to reappoint him to a full term after that, nor has he committed himself to accept reappointment. "I like the idea of no firm commitments," he said yesterday. "It lets me decide whether I want to stay, and it will let the White House decide whether they want me to."
Cohen, 46, has been a lawyer with the Tucson firm of Bilby, Shoenhair Warnock & Dolph since 1963. At the start of his legal career, he was a clerk for the law firm of Morris K. Udall, now a U.S. representative from Arizona, who appeared at yesterday's Concini (D-Ariz.) to support Cohen's nomination. The two legislators, and Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.), in a letter, praised Cohen and applauded President Carter for naming a westerner to the CAB.
A Democrat, Cohen has been active in party affairs since 1956. In 1976, he was chairman of the Pima County Carter for President Committee.