Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Beacon Hill freezeout. Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation president Michael Widmer is the best kind of conservative, a numbers guy who knows what he's talking about. His take on the state budget is invariably more credible than those of the legislature and the governor. So what does the Romney administration do? Why, freeze him out, of course.

According to Boston Herald columnist Cosmo Macero (subscription required), Widmer can't get his calls returned because he's had the temerity to point out that, though some of Governor Mitt Romney's reform ideas may be worthy, they don't add up to nearly enough money to close the budget gap. Widmer has also reportedly let it be known that he holds Eric Kriss, the secretary of administration and finance, in low regard.

Widmer tells Macero: "What I found in working with other A&F secretaries is that if you build [a cooperative] relationship, it can be helpful all around. We're trying to help solve problems. It may be [Kriss] is not comfortable having that kind of relationship. That's his call. I certainly understand that. But I've been puzzled."

Widmer could be Romney's staunchest outside ally. That he is not says more about Romney than it does about Widmer.

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