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Industry Insight

Boarman nomination as Public Printer still on hold

Despite being sent out of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee on July 20th for a vote on the Senate floor,

By Cary Sherburne
Published: September 20, 2010

Despite being sent out of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee on July 20th for a vote on the Senate floor, the nomination of William Boarman to serve as the next U.S. Public Printer has still not made its way through the confirmation process.  Although Boarman is not alone—the latest Senate Executive Calendar reflects more than 50 pending nominations ranging from Homeland Security positions to Department of Commerce appointments—the delay may have more to do with concerns about the nominee than with partisan politics at this point.

According to an article by Stacey Skotzko published today in CQ WEEKLY – VANTAGE POINT (a Congressional Quarterly publication), “Democratic leadership aides say that when they asked around to see if any senator would object to one handful of nominees advancing as a block, at least one Republican objected. It’s not quite clear which name on the list drew the anonymous ‘hold.’”

The Senate has a process in place called “hotlining”.  According to an earlier CQ Weekly article, “Senate leaders use hotlining to pass most of their routine legislation and nominations — usually bundled together near the close of a day’s session.” A senator can object anonymously to legislation or nominations, in effect denying the unanimous consent agreements that make hotlining possible. This is likely what has occurred with the Boarman nomination and/or another name included in the block of nominations.  Perhaps Republicans are simply waiting to see what happens in the November elections; or perhaps there are valid concerns on the part of one or more senators that continue to hold the up the process.  As we have noted previously in this blog, there are several potential ethics issues that may be holding up the Boarman confirmation specifically. 

We will continue to follow this confirmation process and update as new information becomes available.

Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

Please offer your feedback to Cary. She can be reached at cary@whattheythink.com.

 

Discussion

By George E. Lord on Sep 21, 2010

I am one employee at the Government Printing Office that firmly believes that Mr. Boarman would make an excellent Public Printer. I have worked with Mr. Boarman for over twenty-eight years on issues that impact the employees at the GPO and the American Taxpayer. He is one of the most qualified nominees that I have seen during my tenure as Chairman of the Joint Council of Unions.
The Public Printer must have the ability to manage one of the largest manufacturing businesses in this industry. He will brings many years of experience dealing with the Congress and their processes and knows, inside and out, the many products that they demand from the GPO.
His experience as a labor leader should be viewed as a plus instead of a minus. He understands and supports the collective bargaining process and knows how to strike a compromise that is fair to the employees and in the best interests of the American taxpayer which is something that the current administration (Public Printer) which is the standard that is stated in 44 USC 305.
Although the issue of overpayments to Mr. Boarman while on a leave of absence should be a concern and looked into, the investigation that the current Inspector General conducted found no criminal or unethical conduct on the nominee's part, the current administration continues to violate some of the GPO's regulations in an effort to perpetuate its own selfish reasons in order to keep their jobs. The IG spent an excessive amount of time and money to investigate and gather facts that should have been at their ready access. The GPO had two senior level executives that exceeded the statutory limit of pay because of abuses this administration continues to do what it damn well pleases. Where was the IG on these unlawful decisions? Where was the leeks to the press? Where was the concern from the Senator who put a hold on Mr. Boarman?
The entire employee population at GPO knows the answers to these questions but evidently no one else does.

 

By Lisa Gebbia on Sep 22, 2010

I think your constant supposition about ethics violations holding up Mr. Boarman's confirmation is ridiculous. This Senate has been blocking everything from Day One.

 

By Jennifer Valentine on Sep 23, 2010

So, we have a union boss at GPO supporting a national union boss to run one of the largest printers in America? This sounds like the fox guarding the hen house when it comes to our tax dollars!

I don't think there are any printers in America that could remain competitive if they had to pay the outrageously high wages that the government pays. Unskilled labor at GPO make more that $25 per hour! How is that in the best interest of taxpayer? or the printing industry?

Mr. Boarman's qualifications are that he once worked in a printing plant 30 years ago and ever since then has had a desk job at the Communication Workers of America union, but apparently has been on leave without pay from the government for the past thirty years. Does that mean he'll get a sweetheart pension deal?

Has he ever managed a large staff? Has he ever had to hire and fire people? Has he ever had direct P&L responsibility? Does he understand that the future of our industry is not about big labor and heavy iron?

This appointment by President Obama is simply a payback to big labor!

 

By Chuck on Sep 24, 2010

The government doesn't manufacture its own trucks, boats and aircraft, why should it manufacture print? We aren't living in the 1940s.

A recommendation for Boarman from someone with the title "Chairman of the Joint Council of Unions" just makes me believe even more that he is the wrong guy for this post, someone who will perpetuate the status quo, and keep long-unnecessary government unions from sucking more money out of the taxpayer's pocket.

I believe that most of the printing industry is now non-union. It seems to me that most remaining "union shops" are providing printing to political candidates who garner major financial support from the unions!

Why should "one of the largest manufacturing businesses in this industry" be a union shop, and run by a "labor leader"?

The mentality of the importance of this political bureaucracy is a great example of government waste. This should be outsourced and non-union employees should manage that outsourcing.

 

By Cary Sherburne on Sep 24, 2010

Further to Jennifer's comment, it is my understanding that if Mr. Boarman serves three years as the Public Printer (at $180K per year), he will indeed get a sweetheart pension deal. Plus I am sure he has a good pension from all of those years with the union. Wish my 401K was that healthy.

 

By George E. Lord on Sep 24, 2010

Wow! Now I understand why I got into this line of work. It is because people like her. Obviously, she has built-up hostility issues about unions. No one knows with any certainty except the workers at the GPO what the unions have done in order to allow this agency to survive. We have like almost every union, both private and public sectors, have made huge concessions to allow this agency to be financially sound. When we do these things, it goes unnoticed and later abused by management. Just do some research and look at the the huge concessions that union workers accross this land has made and continue to make. If any group of people that ought to be not relevent, it should be Wall Street. My members are not going to apologize to anyone for being fortunate enough to have a job with good pay and benefits. Union labor has moved with the times by embracing and mastering the changing technology within our industry. Just look around. Do not just pretend to know the facts. Your terms like sucking more from the taxpayer proves to me and I am sure the readers that prejudice or maybe jealousy is your motivation. Why is it some people that do not have a pension hate people that do?

 

By Cary Sherburne on Sep 24, 2010

No built up hostility about unions, only about the condition of my 401K, which has nothing to do with unions or Mr. Boarman.

 

By Chuck on Sep 25, 2010

Hey George, instead of attacking the motives of people on this forum, who under the constitution have every right to be speaking out against unions, the GPO, and the guy you want to be your boss, why don't you explain to us why we should have a GPO? And then tell us why the government should also run the car companies, farms and everything else?

Jealousy and prejudice aren't the reasons why people are fed up with government waste and government employees having large salaries, out-of-line unfunded pensions, and job security even if they aren't doing a good job. That's the Union way, as far as I can see.

And by the way, Unions usually block new technology, they don't create it, embrace it or master it. I know a company in California that bought a highly automated full size sheetfed press that could be run by 2 well trained people. The old press it replaced had four union employees. The union demanded that the new press be staffed by 6 people because it was "complicated"!!

Please take a look in the mirror, and own what you and your employee are about, instead of making excuses.

 

By Donald Smithers on Sep 25, 2010

George E. Lord is looking out for his own.

I do think that history will be repeated.

the following links show what has happened in the past
wasting taxpayers money over trivial union wants.

http://www.flra.gov/decisions/v29/29-098-3.html
http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/juris/j1200_28.sgml

 

By George E. Lord on Sep 27, 2010

The workers have nothing to do with your 401k but I understand its our fault and no one here is advocating that the government should run farms and auto plants either but my question is what should we have done after the collapse of Wall Street? I dont know but everyone should be offering ideas rather than complaining and laying the blame on government employees because people went out and purchased a 500K home and received approval from banks and motgage companies they could not afford.
As far as government workers that are below standard in their performance, it seems once again, you should be talking to management. I believe it is the role of the agency's management to hire, fire and assign not the unions. I have heard so many times that one cannot fire a government employee. That simply is not true. Management can and do fire employees that work for the government but they do not fire every employee which it is what you want.
Once again, the GPO has changed with the times and the unions have embraced and mastered the new technology but when it comes to this point you want to talk about California which I cannot because I was not there but then again... you werent either....

 

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