Campus Notebook: Panel Approves Boarman’s Nomination for Public Printer

Posted July 20, 2010 at 6:32pm

The Senate Rules and Administration Committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of William J. Boarman, vice president of the Communication Workers of America, to run the Government Printing Office.

President Barack Obama nominated the telecommunications union leader in April to replace Bob Tapella, whom the Senate confirmed in October 2007. The nomination now moves to the Senate floor for confirmation, though committee staff gave no indication of when the final vote will take place.

Rules and Administration Chairman Charles Schumer gaveled the vote to favorably report Boarman and gained approval from ranking member Bob Bennett (R-Utah), who during the nomination hearings in May quizzed Boarman about a $250 contribution that he made to Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter that wasn’t mentioned in materials that the nominee gave the committee.

Halter was at the time locked in a primary runoff with Sen. Blanche Lincoln for the state’s Democratic Senate nomination, which he ultimately lost.

Boarman said during the hearings that he made the contribution quickly online and had forgotten until he saw it mentioned in an article, so he immediately wrote the panel a letter about it. As a member of the union, he has made regular political contributions. “Most of us contribute to our union program,” he said at the time. “They take an amount of money out of our check every two weeks, and it goes to the political action committee.”

Bennett also asked whether Boarman would impose prevailing union wages on private printers who get GPO contracts.

“I have no plans to change the current system,” he replied. “I think it would be unlawful to impose union conditions for printing.”

Boarman began his career at McArdle Printing in the 1960s and worked stints at the GPO and International Typographical Union. He has testified before Senate panels and served as an adviser to past public printers.

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