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Jane Maria Swift


In office
April 10, 2001 – January 2, 2003
Preceded by Paul Cellucci (resigned)
Succeeded by Mitt Romney (elected)

In office
1999 – 2003
Governor Paul Cellucci
Preceded by Paul Cellucci (1997)
Succeeded by Kerry Healey (2003)

Born February 24, 1965 ( 1965-02-24) (age 44)
North Adams, Massachusetts
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Chuck Hunt
Residence Williamstown, Massachusetts
Profession Politician
Religion Roman Catholic

Jane Maria Swift (born February 24, 1965) is an American politician and the former Republican Governor of Massachusetts. [1] She is the only woman to hold that position, serving from April 2001 to January 2003. At the time she became acting governor, Swift was the youngest person in the country to hold the position of governor or acting governor.[2] In 1990, at the age of 25, she was the youngest woman ever elected to the Massachusetts Senate. She currently resides in Williamstown, Massachusetts.[3]

Contents

Early life

Descended from an Irish-Italian political family in North Adams, Massachusetts, Swift learned politics from her father who was active in the Massachusetts Republican Party. In 1987, she graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut with a degree in American studies and political science. During her college years, Swift was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.[3]

Massachusetts Acting Governor

Swift was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in 1998 and became Acting Governor in 2001 when Governor Argeo Paul Cellucci resigned to become the United States Ambassador to Canada.

Swift was the first sitting Governor in United States history to give birth when her twin daughters were born one month into her term of office. She continued to exercise executive authority during her maternity leave, including chairing a meeting of the Massachusetts Governor's Council by teleconference from her hospital bed. [2]

Swift's tenure as governor was largely dominated by responding to the attacks of September 11, 2001, and managing the fiscal crisis that followed in Massachusetts. Swift insisted that polls remain open for a special congressional election scheduled for that day, and led a comprehensive, statewide response to prevent terrorism. In addition, Swift led 45 governors in urging Congress to create the Department of Homeland Security. The Boston Herald summarized her response to the crisis as, “Acting Gov. Jane Swift has had her finest hour during this crisis…she has been steady, stable, calming, decisive.”[4]

Faced with a widening budget deficit as a result of the terrorist attacks, Swift cut nearly $300 million in programs and vetoed nearly $600 million in proposed spending.[5] She received high praise for her response to the budget crisis without resulting to massive tax increases. [6]

She declined to run in the 2002 gubernatorial primary making way for Mitt Romney, who went on to win the Republican nomination and the election.

Massachusetts politics

Prior to her tenure as lieutenant governor and governor, Swift served as a state senator; an executive with the Massachusetts Port Authority; and as the commonwealth's consumer affairs secretary. As a member of the Massachusetts State Senate, Swift was active in education reform issues[7] and was instrumental in the passage of the Education Reform Act of 1993.[8] This legislation created the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System which has been instrumental in quantifying academic performance statewide. [9]

As a senator, Swift was considered to be a “policy wonk.” (citation needed) According to Governor William Weld’s chief of staff, “She was among the best, if not the best of senators.”[2] It was in this capacity that she developed her political themes of increased accountability, down-sizing government, reducing taxes, and reforming education and social services. [10]

In 1996 she was a Republican candidate for United States Congress in Massachusetts's 1st congressional district.

Controversies

Marriage license

When Swift and husband Chuck Hunt married in 1994, their marriage license stated that Hunt had been married only once before. In fact, it was Hunt's fourth marriage. The marriage license had been signed, under penalty of perjury, by both Swift and Hunt. When the controversy emerged in 2001, Swift responded by saying that "Chuck had a desire to keep his private life private", while admitting that the decision to put false information on the license had been "misguided". Although the misdemeanor perjury offense was by that time no longer prosecutable under its statute of limitations, Swift and Hunt both agreed to pay the $100 maximum fine for the offense and to amend the marriage license retroactively.[11][12] It also emerged that Hunt had married his second wife before the divorce from his first wife had become final.[11] This information came to light after Swift's stepson Brian Hunt contacted the Boston Globe to complain about her record on gay and lesbian issues. Swift subsequently announced that she would extend some benefits to same-sex partners of state employees.[11]

Use of state employees for personal purposes

While serving as Lieutenant Governor, Swift used her staffers to serve as unpaid chilcare for her infant daughter Elizabeth, and also to help her family move house.[11]

The Gerald Amirault Case

Governor Swift drew widespread criticism in February 2002 for her refusal to to commute the thirty-to-forty-year sentence of Gerald Amirault, who was convicted in the notorious 1986 Fells Acre Day School child sex abuse case and who had already served sixteen years in prison. Her decision, which went against the unanimous recommendation of the state parole board, came at the urging of Martha Coakley, then Middlesex district attorney and subsequently State Attorney General. Both Coakley's and Swift's motives in denying Amirault clemency have been impugned as politically inspired.[13]

Use of state helicopter

In 2000, Swift paid a $1250 fine after admitting using a state helicopter as personal transport to her home in the western part of Massachusetts.[11]

Post-gubernatorial career

After leaving office, Swift returned to Western Massachusetts. She and her husband own and operate Cobble Hill Farm [1] and riding school in Williamstown, Massachusetts where they live with their three daughters.[14] She is active in charity fundraising, [15][2]and she continues to be considered a “power player” within the Republican Party.[16] Her official portrait was unveiled in the Massachusetts State House in 2005.[17]

Governor Swift is a principal with the consulting firm of WNP Consulting, LLC [3], providing expertise in education services, equity and investments, strategic consultation, and professional presentations.[18] She often speaks on the role of women in public service and is a lecturer in Leadership Studies at Williams College.[19] Additionally she is a contributor to Working Mother Magazine, [20] and active on numerous boards.

2008 presidential election

Swift endorsed Senator John McCain for president in February 2007, and campaigned on behalf of McCain in numerous states throughout 2008. [21] Swift appeared on numerous news and political commentary shows, providing point/counter-point discussion on the campaign.[22]

Electoral history

References

  1. ^ The Massachusetts constitution has used the term “acting governor” since before the Revolution. All modern constitutions have rejected such archaic language. The Massachusetts courts have found, without rejecting the term, that the full authority of the office of the governor devolves to the lieutenant governor upon vacancy in the office of governor, i.e., there is no circumstance short of death, resignation, or impeachment that would relieve the ‘acting governor’ from the full responsibilities of being the governor. In official and daily parlance, the acting governor is alternately referred to as ‘Governor,’ ‘Lieutenant Governor, Acting Governor’; and ceremoniously as ‘Her Excellency.’
  2. ^ a b c "Swift’s Unusual Ride to the Governor’s Office". Boston Globe. April 8, 2001. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_action=print. Retrieved 2008-10-03.  
  3. ^ a b "Jane Swift Biography". http://www.swiftcommittee.com/page.php?PageID=110. Retrieved 2008-09-18.  
  4. ^ "These are times that try an optimist, September 13, 2001". http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/editorials/. Retrieved 2008-09-23.  
  5. ^ "Boston Magazine, January 2003". http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/in_her_own_words/. Retrieved 2008-09-18.  
  6. ^ "High Tech Council Support Swift's Balancing of Budget". http://www.mhtc.org/downloads/pressreleases/july29_02.pdf. Retrieved 2008-09-23.  
  7. ^ "Sally Ride Science board of directors". http://www.sallyridescience.com/bios/swift.html/. Retrieved 2008-09-18.  
  8. ^ "Ed Reform Timeline". http://edreform.eyeoneducation.tv/reform_basics/historical_timeline/1978_to_1993. Retrieved 2008-09-18.  
  9. ^ >"The lessons of MCAS, By Scot Lehigh , Boston Globe, September 4, 2009". http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2009/09/04/the_lessons_of_mcas/. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  10. ^ "Jane Swift: Former Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts". http://www.greatertalent.com/JaneSwift. Retrieved 2008-10-03.  
  11. ^ a b c d e Mehren, Elizabeth (2001-08-20). "Harsh spotlight on governor:Personal becomes political in Massachusetts". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article/article?f=/c/a/2001/08/20/MN138064.DTL. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  
  12. ^ Taranto, James (2001-08-17). "Best of the Web". Wall Street Journal. http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=95000984. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  
  13. ^ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB108328121782598112.html
  14. ^ "New Faculty 2008-2009". http://wiki.williams.edu/display/facom/New+Faculty+2008-09;jsessionid=E58F54BA045C78A865E80FEAED1A336D. Retrieved 2008-09-18.  
  15. ^ "Boston Real Runners". http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-239-379--12548-0,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  
  16. ^ "Boston Herald.com, September 5, 2008". http://www.bostonherald.com/news/2008/view/2008_09_05_Jane_Swift-ly_returns_to_the_GOP_spotlight/. Retrieved 2008-09-18.  
  17. ^ "Boston Globe: Capturing the legacy of a governor". http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2005/10/25/capturing_the_legacy_of_a_governor/. Retrieved 2008-09-18.  
  18. ^ "WPN Consulting". http://www.wnpconsulting.com/. Retrieved 2008-09-18.  
  19. ^ / "Williams College, p. 190". http://www.williams.edu/admin/registrar/catalog/catalog0910.pdf /. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  20. ^ [http://www.workingmothermediainc.com/web?service=direct/1/ViewArticlePage/dlinkFullArticle&sp=1568&sp=29 "Working Mother Media and Corporate Voices for Working Families Honor Congressional Members Making a Difference for Working Families"]. http://www.workingmothermediainc.com/web?service=direct/1/ViewArticlePage/dlinkFullArticle&sp=1568&sp=29. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  21. ^ O'Keefe, Ed (2008-09-12). "The Return of Jane Swift". The Washington Post. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/09/12/the_return_of_jane_swift.html. Retrieved 2008-09-14.  
  22. ^ http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Chuck_Todd_Obama_lipstick_gaffe_faux_0910.html

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Cellucci
Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
January 7, 1999 – January 2, 2003
Succeeded by
Kerry Healey
Acting Governor of Massachusetts
April 10, 2001 – January 2, 2003
Succeeded by
Mitt Romney







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