The Reagan administration has decided to resubmit the controversial nomination of F. Keith Adkinson for a seat on the Federal Trade Commission despite the prospect of a bitter political fight, according to sources.
The White House decision was communicated to Adkinson and key members of the Senate Commerce Committee late last week. The committee will study the nomination before holding a confirmation vote, which is unlikely before late this month, a Senate official said.
Adkinson, a Washington attorney who served as executive director of Democrats for Reagan in the 1980 campaign, has been attacked by the ranking minority member of that committee, Sen. Howard Cannon (D-Nev.), on charges that he lied in earlier testimony about activities when Adkinson was a member of the Senate permanent investigations subcommittee.
Sources say the eight Democrats on the 17-member committee were prepared to vote against the nomination and at least one Republican was set to join them.
Last year Adkinson was nominated for a Democratic seat on the FTC, a term that ends in eight months. An FBI report raised questions about the propriety of his signing a book contract with a subcommittee witness. That report prompted a broader staff probe, which led to Cannon's allegations that Adkinson misrepresented his role in the book contract and a separate movie deal that was to have been based on subcommittee matters.
Adkinson, in papers filed with the committee, denied those allegations, charging Cannon with a "gross abuse of his public office," and asked for an apology.