Unconfirmed Head of the Government Printing Office: Who is William Boarman?

Sunday, December 12, 2010
President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the Government Printing Office (GPO) is William J. Boarman, a longtime labor union executive who began his career in the printing business and who has represented organized printers. He was nominated on April 16, 2010, but ran into a stumbling block when it was revealed that he had received $3,700 in improper payments from the GPO over a six-year period. The Senate Rules and Administration Committee unanimously endorsed Boarman in July, but he has still not been given a full Senate vote. It is thought that his union affiliations have caused some Republicans to try to derail his confirmation.
Boarman graduated from Northwestern High School in College Park, Maryland, in 1964. He completed a four-year apprenticeship at McArdle Printing in Washington, DC, in 1971, before becoming a journeyman printer. He was active in unions from the beginning, moving up in the ranks as a local officer and then elected president of Local 101-12, Columbia Typographical, at age 30.
In 1974, he took a position as a printer with the GPO. His stint lasted only three years, as Boarman accepted the first of what would become several elected posts in the International Typographical Union (ITU). He helped organize the merger between ITU and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in 1987 while serving as president of ITU.
He eventually rose to become president of the Printing, Publishing & Media Workers Sector of CWA, as well as senior vice president of the union.
His other labor duties have included serving as chairman of the CWA/ITU Negotiated Pension Plan, a multi-employer defined benefit pension plan with assets of $1 billion; president of the International Allied Printing Trades Association; and president of the Union Printers Home, a 122-bed skilled nursing facility in Colorado Springs, CO.
His other associations have involved serving three terms as co-chair of the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) and as the first-ever public member of the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities.
Boarman was married for 31 years to the late Mary F. Boarman. The couple had a son, Christopher, and a daughter, Lauren.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Nomination of William J. Boarman to be the Public Printer (Senate Committee on Rules and Administration (pdf)


Christopher Chase 13 years ago
It it unlikely that there are any issues concerning the nominee's general fitness to serve as head of the GPO. The applicant's resume, laid out in detail in the article, not only details full training in the mechanics and apprenticeship model, but extensive leadership and management experience in the area, both domestically and internationally over many decades.
ed zelinsky 13 years ago
This article states: It is thought that his union affiliations have caused some Republicans to try to derail his confirmation. It is far more likely that the Senate confirmation process has led to issues concerning the nominee's fitness to serve as Public Printer. Union affiliations have nothing to do with one's fitness to serve as Public Printer. If Boarman's confirmation has been put on hold because of fitness to serve issues, he should demand a hearing to address any such issues and be given an up-or-down vote. Fairness demands no less. The Senate policy that allows one Senator to put a nominee's confirmation on hold is ludicrous. All nominees subject to Senate confirmation should be given an up-or-down vote in the Senate in timely fashion.

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