|Swift in 2001|
|Acting Governor of Massachusetts|
April 10, 2001 – January 2, 2003
|Preceded by||Paul Cellucci|
|Succeeded by||Mitt Romney|
|69th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts|
January 7, 1999 – January 2, 2003
|Preceded by||Paul Cellucci|
|Succeeded by||Kerry Healey|
|Secretary of Consumer Affairs of Massachusetts|
July 29, 1997 – February 5, 1998
|Preceded by||Michael Duffy|
|Succeeded by||Daniel Grabauskas|
|Member of the Massachusetts Senate
from the Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin district
January 3, 1991 – January 3, 1997
|Preceded by||Peter Webber|
|Succeeded by||Andrea Nuciforo|
|Born||Jane Maria Swift
February 24, 1965
North Adams, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Connecticut|
Jane Maria Swift (born February 24, 1965) is an American politician, who served as the 69th Lieutenant Governor from 1999 to 2003 and Acting Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 2001 to 2003. She is the only woman to perform the duties of governor of Massachusetts, doing so from April 2001 to January 2003. At the time she became acting governor, Swift was 36 years old, making her the youngest female governor or acting governor in American history. In 1990, at the age of 25, she was the youngest woman ever elected to the Massachusetts Senate. She was elected lieutenant governor in 1998. She currently resides in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Massachusetts politics
- 3 Massachusetts Governor
- 4 Cabinet and administration
- 5 Controversies
- 6 Post-acting gubernatorial career
- 7 Electoral history
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Part of an Irish-Italian family in North Adams, Massachusetts, Swift learned politics from her father who was active in the Berkshire County Republican Party. In 1987, she graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, with a degree in American studies. During her college years, Swift was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
Swift served in the Massachusetts Senate from 1990 to 1996. In that seat she was active in education reform issues and was instrumental in the passage of the Education Reform Act of 1993. This legislation created the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System which has been instrumental in quantifying academic performance statewide.
As a Senator, Swift was considered to be a "policy wonk." According to Governor William Weld's chief of staff, "She was among the best, if not the best of senators." 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.
In 1996, rather than seek re-election to the State Senate, Swift was a Republican candidate for United States Congress in Massachusetts's 1st congressional district. She was defeated by incumbent Democratic Congressman John Olver.
After leaving the Massachusetts State Senate, Swift served as an executive with the Massachusetts Port Authority. She was appointed by Governor Weld as Massachusetts' consumer affairs secretary in 1997, serving until her swearing-in as Lieutenant Governor in 1999.
Swift was elected lieutenant governor of Massachusetts in 1998. She became acting governor in 2001, when incumbent Governor Paul Cellucci resigned when then President George W. Bush appointed him the United States Ambassador to Canada on April 10, 2001.
Swift became 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.
Swift's tenure as acting 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."
Faced with a widening budget deficit as a result of the state response to the terrorist attacks, Swift cut nearly $300 million in programs and vetoed nearly $600 million in proposed spending. She received high praise for her response to the budget crisis without resorting to massive tax increases.
She declined to run for election as governor in her own right.
Cabinet and administration
|The Swift Cabinet|
|Governor||Jane M. Swift||2001 – 2003|
|Lieutenant Governor||Jane M. Swift||2001 – 2003|
|Secretary of Transportation||James Scanlan||2001 – 2003|
|Director of Housing & Community Development||Jane Wallis Gumble||2001 – 2003|
|Secretary of Environmental Affairs||Robert Durand||2001 – 2003|
|Director of Consumer Affairs||Jennifer Davis Carey||2001 – 2003|
|Secretary of Health and Human Services||Robert Gittens
|2001 – 2002
2002 – 2003
|Secretary of Elder Affairs||Lillian Glickman||2001 – 2003|
|Director of Labor & Workforce Development||Angelo R. Buonopane||2001 – 2003|
|Secretary of Administration & Finance||Stephen Crosby
Kevin J. Sullivan
|2001 – 2002
2002 – 2003
|Secretary of Public Safety||Jane Perlov
James P. Jajuga
|2001 – 2001
2001 – 2003
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. It also emerged that Hunt had married his second wife before the divorce from his first wife had become final. 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.
Use of state employees for personal purposes
While serving as Lieutenant Governor, Swift used her staffers to serve as unpaid childcare for her infant daughter Elizabeth, and also to help her family move house. In her defense, it was said that Governor Paul Cellucci had also willingly watched Elizabeth on at least one occasion.
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.
The Gerald Amirault Case
Governor Swift drew widespread criticism in February 2002 for her refusal 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.
Post-acting gubernatorial career
After leaving office, Swift returned to Western Massachusetts. She and her husband own and operate Cobble Hill Farm  and riding school in Williamstown, Massachusetts where they live with their three daughters. She is active in charity fundraising, and she continues to be considered a “power player” within the Republican Party. Her official portrait was unveiled in the Massachusetts State House in 2005.
Governor Swift is a principal with the consulting firm of WNP Consulting, LLC , providing expertise in education services, equity and investments, strategic consultation, and professional presentations. She often speaks on the role of women in public service and is a lecturer in Leadership Studies at Williams College. Additionally she is a contributor to Working Mother Magazine, 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. Swift appeared on numerous news and political commentary shows, providing point/counterpoint discussion on the campaign. Swift was particularly outspoken about criticism of vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, which Swift regarded as unfair and sexist.
- 1996 Race for United States House of Representatives, Massachusetts District 1
- John Olver (D, incumbent), 53%
- Jane Swift (R), 47%
- 1998 Race for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
- The Massachusetts Constitution has used the term "acting governor" since it was written in 1779. 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 upon 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 ceremonially as ‘Her Excellency.’
- "Swift’s Unusual Ride to the Governor’s Office". Boston Globe. April 8, 2001. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
- "Jane Swift Biography". Retrieved 2008-09-18.
- "Sally Ride Science board of directors". Retrieved 2008-09-18.[dead link]
- "Ed Reform Timeline". Retrieved 2008-09-18.[dead link]
- "The lessons of MCAS, By Scot Lehigh , Boston Globe, September 4, 2009". The Boston Globe. 2009-09-04. Retrieved 2009-09-17.
- "Jane Swift: Former Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts". Retrieved 2008-10-03.[dead link]
- "These are times that try an optimist, September 13, 2001". Retrieved 2008-09-23.
- "Boston Magazine, January 2003". Retrieved 2008-09-18.
- "High Tech Council Support Swift's Balancing of Budget". Retrieved 2008-09-23.
- Mehren, Elizabeth (2001-08-20). "Harsh spotlight on governor:Personal becomes political in Massachusetts". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-01-10.
- Taranto, James (2001-08-17). "Best of the Web". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-01-10.
- "Gerald Amirault's Freedom". The Wall Street Journal. 2004-04-30.[dead link]
- "New Faculty 2008-2009". Retrieved 2008-09-18.[dead link]
- "Boston Real Runners". Retrieved 2008-10-01.
- "Boston Herald.com, September 5, 2008". Retrieved 2008-09-18.
- Weiss, Joanna (2005-10-25). "Boston Globe: Capturing the legacy of a governor". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-09-18.
- "WPN Consulting". Retrieved 2008-09-18.
- / "Williams College, p. 190". Retrieved 2009-09-17.
- "Working Mother Media and Corporate Voices for Working Families Honor Congressional Members Making a Difference for Working Families". Retrieved 2009-09-17.
- O'Keefe, Ed (2008-09-12). "The Return of Jane Swift". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
|Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
|Governor of Massachusetts