By Sara Jerome - 12/16/10 07:12 PM EST
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) announced Thursday on Twitter that he will chair the House Commerce Committee's Communications subcommittee — using what appears to be Morse code.
The tweet from @repgregwalden: .-- .. .-.. .-.. / -.-. .... .- .. .-. / -.-. --- -- -- / .- -. -.. / - . -.-. .... / ... ..- -... / --... ...-- ... / .-- --... . --.- ..
Using a handy (in some very rare instances) online Morse code translator, that equates to this: "WILL CHAIR COMM AND TECH SUB 73S W7EQI."
The Hill needed help on the last part, and a Walden aide came to the rescue:
"73s means 'best regards' or a similar sign-off. W7eqi is his [amateur radio call sign]," he said. Walden has a long history in the radio business where he picked up the lingo.
The Hill confirmed on Wednesday that Walden will chair the subcommittee.
Meanwhile, Rep. Cliff Stearns, the ranking member of the telecom subcommittee, will lead the Commerce Committee's Oversight subpanel in the next Congress, according to industry sources.
Stearns (R-Fla.) had his hopes set on chairing the telecom panel. Walden has had his eye on the position after years in the broadcasting business.
Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) will chair the environment subpanel.
Both Shimkus and Stearns challenged Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) for the full Commerce Committee's gavel.