NLPC Co-Founder Ken Boehm Passes Away

NLPC Chairman Emeritus Ken Boehm passed away early Friday morning after an eight-year battle with cancer. Funeral arrangements appear at the end of this post.

Ken co-founded the National Legal and Policy Center in 1991 with Peter Flaherty. From 1994 to until March of this year, he served as full-time Chairman. A 2013 front-page Sunday New York Times profile of NLPC described Ken as:

“…a master of poring over court records and other public filings to find questionable links between politicians and their patrons. “

Ken’s ability to “connect the dots” of political corruption was on display in 2004 when he singlehandedly exposed the Boeing Tanker Deal Scandal.

Ken went online and found that an Air Force official named Darleen Druyun sold her home to a Boeing lawyer with whom she was negotiating a multibillion dollar contract. He also found that Boeing hired Druyun’s daughter at the same time it was laying off thousands. NLPC filed a Complaint with the Pentagon Inspector General, an event the Wall Street Journal put on its front page.

As a result, the Boeing CEO resigned, Druyun and the Boeing CFO went to prison, and taxpayers saved billions.

Ken maintained relationships with journalists of varying ideological stripes, and successfully collaborated with some of the nation’s top investigative journalists.

His research was the basis for three front-page Wall Street Journal stories by the late John Wilke exposing then-Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV), who resigned from the Ethics Committee and would later lose re-election. For these articles, Wilke won the National Press Foundation award for “distinguished reporting of Congress.”

In 1997, Ken authored the Burton Amendment, which became law. It requires the Legal Services Corporation and its grantees for the first time to disclose the identities of the parties they sue.

Ken was born in 1949 and grew up in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. The second of four children, he graduated from Upper Moreland High School in 1967 and Penn State in 1971 with a degree in political science. He graduated from Delaware Law School in 1976, and was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar the same year.

Ken served as national Vice Chairman of Young Americans for Freedom and on the group’s board of directors from 1973 to 1981.

Ken served as Chester County (PA) Assistant District Attorney from 1976 to 1977. From 1975 to 1980, Ken hosted “The Ken Boehm Show” on WWDB-FM in Philadelphia.

In 1978, Ken ran for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 8th district, withdrawing from the Republican primary in favor of Jim Coyne who went on to defeat incumbent Peter Kostmayer. Ken explained, “Coyne had more money, and much better looks.”

In 1976, he was a Reagan delegate from Pennsylvania. Reagan delegates were being picked off one by one by the Ford forces with various inducements, including appointment to high-level government positions. Ken never wavered even after being personally lobbied by President Ford.

In 1980, Ken served as Treasurer of the Fund for a Conservative Majority. From 1981 to 1984, he was Administrative Assistant to Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ). From 1984 to 1988 Ken served as Chairman of Citizens for Reagan, the grass roots lobbying group. Ken served in senior positions at the Legal Services Corporation from 1989 to 1994, including Counsel to the Board of Directors.

Ken was a skilled chess player. In 1970, Ken was Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Chess Champion. In 1968, he defeated International Grand Master Bent Larson, ranked 4th in the world, in an exhibition match. His roommate and best friend at Penn State was Dan Heisman, author and chess National Master.

He is survived by his daughter, Christine Boehm, her husband and their two children, his sister Janice Boehm, his sister, Linda Weller, and her husband, Craig Weller, and his brother, Martin Boehm, and his wife, Manizheh Boehm.


Ken Boehm Wake

Tuesday evening, April 17, 2018


Advent Funeral Home

7211 Lee Highway

Falls Church, VA 22046



Ken Boehm Funeral

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Advent Funeral Home

7211 Lee Highway

Falls Church, VA 22046


Lunch following at Ireland’s Four Provinces

105 W. Broad Street, Falls Church, VA 22046

(SW corner of 29 & 7)

Private burial.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial gifts be made to the National Legal and Policy Center, 107 Park Washington Court, Falls Church, VA 22046, or a charity of your choice.