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 was never given a full Senate vote. It is thought that his union affiliations have caused some Republicans to try to derail his confirmation. On December 29, 2010, Obama gave Boarman a one-year recess appointment.
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.