Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Institute of D-oh!

The bucket most associated with Beacon Hill was filled with pitch and set on fire by Boston colonials as a warning beacon.

The bucket most associated with the Beacon Hill Institute, however, appears to be filled with something else.

The Institute recently unveiled an updated ‘study’ showing that the 2004 Democratic Convention 'will cost area businesses $23.8 million in lost productivity and push the economic impact of the event into the red.' (source: Boston Globe, 4/13/2004)

Which was not news to us because we read Cosmo Macero, and the Herald's cagey business guru had reported on this self-same issue back on April 2 – exactly three days after Beacon Hill Institute director David Tuerck trumpeted that that the Convention would be a $122 million net gain to the city. (source: Boston Globe, 3/30/2004)

To Tuerck's credit, it took him less than two weeks to admit his millions dollar mistake and reform his message.

To Cosmo's credit, he hasn’t written, "I told you so."

So who’s right, old Tuerck, new Tuerck, or Cosmo?

Or Convention spokesman Angus McQuilken, who called Tuerck’s group, "a right-leaning interest group with an agenda, which apparently includes causing trouble for the Democratic National Convention"? (source: Boston Globe, 4/13/2004) (To McQuilken's credit, he did not mention that Tuerck has been affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute, a right-leaning interest group.)

Either way, the Institute's about-face is bad news to policy mavens who read one of their future reports. They'll always be waiting for Tuerck's other shoe to drop.

Or for Cosmo's follow-up correction piece.


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