Paul Cellucci

Paul Cellucci

Infobox Governor
name= Argeo Paul Cellucci

caption= Paul Cellucci
office= Governor of Massachusetts
term_start= January 7, 1999
term_end= April 10, 2001
lieutenant= Jane Swift
predecessor= William Weld (resigned)
successor= Jane Swift (as Acting Governor)
birth_date= birth date and age |1948|04|24
birth_place= Hudson, Massachusetts
spouse= Jan Cellucci
residence=Hudson, Massachusetts
party= Republican
religion=Roman Catholic
order2 = 68th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
term_start2 = 1991
term_end2 = 1999
Acting Governor 1997-1999
governor2 = William Weld
predecessor2 = Evelyn Murphy
successor2 = Jane Swift (1999)
ambassador_from3=United States
term_start3= April 17, 2001
term_end3= March 17, 2005
president3=George W. Bush
predecessor3=Gordon Giffin
successor3=David Wilkins

Argeo Paul Cellucci (born April 24, 1948) is an American politician and diplomat, former Governor of Massachusetts, and former Ambassador to Canada.

Early life and career

Cellucci was born in Hudson, Massachusetts into an Italian-American political family and graduated from Boston College and Boston College Law School and the private Hudson Catholic High School. He and his wife Jan have two daughters, Kate and Anne (who is married to a Canadian hockey player, Craig Adams). He served in the United States Army Reserve from 1970 to 1978.

He is a Republican, and holds the distinction of never having lost an election over his three decades in elected office in overwhelmingly Democratic Massachusetts. He served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1977 to 1985. He then became a member of the Massachusetts Senate, serving from 1985 to 1991. From 1991 to 1997 he was Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, becoming the Acting Governor of Massachusetts in 1997 upon the resignation of William Weld.

Governor of Massachusetts

On November 3, 1998, Paul Cellucci was elected as Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, narrowly defeating Democratic attorney general Scott Harshbarger. He had successfully fought off a challenge from State Treasurer Joe Malone in the September primary. He was officially sworn in as the 69th Governor of Massachusetts on January 7, 1999.

Cellucci was a fiscally conservative, anti-tax Governor who had the ability to work in a bipartisan fashion with an overwhelmingly Democratic State Legislature. In 2001, the Cato Institute, in its fifth biennial fiscal policy report card, gave Cellucci an "A" grade and said he "earned the distinction of having the best record of reducing taxes and restraining spending growth" among the nation's 50 governors. Governor Cellucci spearheaded the statewide initiative to reduce the state income tax from 5.95% to 5%, which was approved 59% to 41% by the voters of Massachusetts in November 2000.

Cellucci was also successful in maintaining the state's high education standards for its public schools. Those standards, which required students to pass exams in basic Math and English to receive a high school diploma, were a major piece of the Education Reform Act of 1993 and were phased in over time. The teachers unions wanted to weaken the standards just as they were about to take effect, but Cellucci worked with Speaker of the House Thomas Finneran and Senate President Thomas Birmingham, both Democrats, to hold the line on this issue. The standards have remained in effect and in its June 4, 2007 report card on "No Child Left Behind," Time Magazine found that Massachusetts students score the best on the federal tests.

The biggest controversy during Cellucci's tenure was the huge cost overruns on the "Big Dig" - an enormous project to replace the elevated central artery highway in Boston with an underground tunnel. Cellucci removed the project manager, Jim Kerasiotes, and put his Secretary of Administration and Finance, Andrew Natsios, in charge of the project.

Cellucci took a conservative approach to crime, and in 1998 he signed into law one of the toughest gun control measures in the United States. He supported "Roe v. Wade" and abortion rights, which did not always make him popular with the Catholic Church. When he was Lt. Governor, Cardinal Bernard Law "disinvited" him from speaking at the commencement of his alma mater, Hudson Catholic High School.

Cellucci appointed many women to high ranking positions, including Margaret H. Marshall as the first female Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Marshall's appointment marked the first time a woman headed a branch of government in Massachusetts history. He was succeeded by Jane Swift, whom he had asked to be his running mate in the 1998 gubernatorial election. Swift became the first woman in Massachusetts history to occupy the Governor's Office.

On 10 April 2001, Cellucci resigned to become U.S. Ambassador to Canada, being appointed by President George W. Bush. This made him the second consecutive Massachusetts governor to resign after being appointed to an ambassadorship: his predecessor William Weld resigned after being appointed Ambassador to Mexico by President Clinton. (Weld was never confirmed by the United States Senate, however, and hence never served as Ambassador.)

U.S. Ambassador to Canada

On April 17, 2001, at the Citadel in Quebec City, Cellucci presented his credentials as the 20th United States Ambassador to Canada to Governor General Adrienne Clarkson.

His four-year tenure would be a historical and controversial period in the United States - Canadian relations. On September 14, 2001, three days after the terrorist attacks on United States soil, Ambassador Cellucci thanked Canada for its overwhelming support and sympathy, including the accepting and aiding of over 25,000 diverted air passengers, at a memorial in front of 100,000 people on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The months and years that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States would see extraordinary cooperation between the United States and Canada on the Smart Border Agreement, on their law enforcement and intelligence agencies to stop terrorist attacks in North America, and in Afghanistan in the war against the Taliban.

On March 25, 2003 at a speech to the Economic Club of Toronto, Cellucci faced controversy when he criticized Canadian opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. He argued that America was waging war for its own security, and that the United States would "never hesitate" to support Canada if it faced a security threat . [cite_news|title=Americans 'disappointed' with Canada: Cellucci||date=2003-03-25

He also earned the ire of many Canadians for his repeated support for Canada joining the U.S. missile defence program, and for urging Canada to increase defense spending. These statements, frequently perceived as implied threats, caused Cellucci to be sarcastically christened "the U.S. ambassador-turned-proconsul" by former Liberal cabinet minister Lloyd Axworthy in an opinion piece titled "Say no to missile defence" published on April 29, 2003 in "The Globe and Mail". Canada has since declined to participate in the U.S. missile defence program.

Cellucci officially resigned his Ambassadorship on March 17, 2005. One indication of opinion in Canada of Cellucci's tenure was provided by CBC Television's resident satirist Rick Mercer who promoted on his program, Monday Report, that week a fictitious "Paul Cellucci Farewell Special" entitled "Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Ass." [cite_news|title=Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Ass: The Paul Cellucci Farewell Special||date=2005-03-21


Since leaving his position as Ambassador, Cellucci has penned a book called "Unquiet Diplomacy", a memoir of his time as ambassador. In the book, he praises Canada as "a truly great nation", but also has some criticism for the governments of former Prime Ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin. While the frosty relations were due to the Canadian government's opposition to President Bush's policies, there has also been criticism of Chrétien for tolerating anti-American outbursts from his aide, [cite news
title='Moron Bush' aide resigns
work=BBC News
] while Martin attempted to paint his opponent as pro-American during the 2004 Canadian federal election.

On September 23, 2005, shortly after an interview where then-U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins stirred controversy over comments he made on the case of Maher Arar, Cellucci gave an interview in which explained his position on the Arar case. While he was Ambassador, Cellucci had declined to participate into the inquiry into the Americans' "extraordinary rendition" of Arar to Syria and the possible role of Canadian officials in the rendition, being consistent with the Bush administration's position that nothing improper had been done. Cellucci's comments in the 2005 interview were seen as a rebuke to Wilkins. Cellucci acknowledged, "Part of the unfairness was that we took a Canadian citizen, shipped him to a third country without consulting with Canada," apparently exonerating Canadian officials. Cellucci did point out that as a result of the Canadian Government's protest about Arar, the United States and Canada exchanged letters, in which each undertook to notify the other country if either government was going to remove, involuntarily, a National of the other country to a third country. While each country retains all rights to do what is in its security interests, Cellucci believes that as a practical matter, this makes it highly unlikely that anything like the Arar situation will happen again.

The same interview revealed that Cellucci, as a private citizen, also had second thoughts about the stance he had taken as Ambassador on the Invasion of Iraq. During the lead-up to the Invasion of Iraq, Cellucci had put pressure on Canada to join in the invasion, based on the American and UK assertions that Saddam's administration possessed a dangerous arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destruction. But in 2005 Cellucci acknowledged: "We’re not always right, and on that particular one it looks like we weren’t right, although we know at some point in the past he did have these weapons."

Cellucci has said that after thirty-five years in public service he has no intentions of seeking further office. While he has no interest in serving as Vice President, he did not exclusively rule it out. [cite_news|title=The Wednesday Filibuster with Special Guests Wayne Root and Paul Cellucci|publisher=The Weekly Filibuster|date=2008-06-25
] He supports John McCain's candidacy for president in 2008. [ [ Cellucci rallies Harvard GOP for McCain] in the "Harvard Law Record"]

Private sector career

On March 18, 2005, the day after Cellucci had resigned from his ambassadorship, Magna Entertainment Corporation announced they had hired Cellucci. Magna chairman Frank Stronach said Cellucci's role would be to help reform the U.S. regulations around horse racing.

Cellucci left Magna Entertainment in the Fall of 2006 and joined the Boston office of the law firm of McCarter & English, LLP, where he holds the title of Special Counsel.


External links

* [ Official Commonwealth of Massachusetts Governor Biography]
* [ Cato Institute, Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: 2000] , Cato Institute, Policy Analysis no. 391, February 12, 2001
* [ CBC news story of Cellucci's appointment as Ambassador] , "CBC", February 13, 2001
* [ CBC news story about Cellucci's planned departure from Canada] , "CBC", January 4, 2005
* [ Former U.S. ambassador Paul Cellucci joins Magna Entertainment] , "CBC", March 18, 2005

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