Money can’t buy Warren love

Elizabeth Warren has been battling months of grumbling from Bay State Democrats. One would think that a $7 million quarterly fundraising haul — a total that blows away rival Sen. Scott Brown, whose bankroll had bested pretty much everyone else in the country — would silence the whispers about Warren’s allegedly wayward campaign. Instead, the Warren campaign’s proficiency at collecting large sums of money is sharpening the focus on the campaign’s alleged organizational shortcomings.

Over at Esquire, Charles Pierce notes that Warren’s impressive quarter came as Brown embroiled himself in a battle over contraception, a possible sign that birth control isn’t quite the political gold the Brown campaign thinks it is.

“I have no illusions about the role money is going to play in this election, so I’m happy that the Warren people can raise it by the bucketful,” Pierce says. “I’d just like to see some indication that they’re doing something with it.” He then rolls out complaints that Warren’s campaign infrastructure is only concerned with raising cash, and that the campaign is burying its candidate, while Brown has been barnstorming the state, flashing a golden smile and shooting hoops with kids and generally making the electorate weak in the knees.

The Warren campaign has a candidate whose “charisma moves seismographic needles on Guam,” Pierce argues. “But they have to use it for that to matter.”

Pierce’s take is noteworthy because it’s not necessarily new. The Globe rolled out a long piece about the Warren campaign pushing local Dems toward the ledge a month ago. In CommonWealth, Maurice Cunningham has outlined signs that Brown “may clobber [Warren] with the backing of the very people who built the Massachusetts Democratic Party.” Last week Joan Vennochi argued that Brown was “doing what he does best. He’s running a smart, manipulative campaign against a female Democratic challenger.” She added that “it’s hard to tell” what Warren’s plan for countering Brown is. Two years ago, Vennochi highlighted the holes in Martha Coakley’s Senate campaign before it spun out of control; now, she’s beating the drum and insisting that while it’s OK for Warren to not have Hizzoner and the boyos at the St. Patrick’s breakfast with her, she needs to show she’s capable of overcoming their lack of support. Raising $7 million in a quarter won’t make those questions go away; instead, it could make them grow louder. 

                                                                                                                            –PAUL MCMORROW

COMMONWEALTH

CommonWealth’s latest print issue is in the mail and on its website today, answering what happened to the $16.6 billion in stimulus money the state received, what’s going on with Attorney General Martha Coakley, and why did Gidget expose herself on the booze cruise 13 years ago that brought down then-Massport director Peter Blute. The issue explores what’s wrong with the state sales tax and why US Sen. Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren are chasing the middle class. For a rundown of all the stories in the issue, click here.

BEACON HILL

On her only other US stop outside of Washington, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff comes to Boston to discuss trade issues with Gov. Deval Patrick.

A key House lawmaker wants to amend an MBTA bailout plan in a way that would leave the struggling transit agency’s budget $13 million short.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan’s management style continues to grate on people as the city’s Board of Elections commissioner says she learned on Saturday she was being replaced by reading it in the Herald News.

Lawrence receives more than $1 million in grants to fight teen violence, the Eagle-Tribune reports.

The Federal Communications Commission ruled in Boston’s favor in a cable TV pricing controversy, giving the city the right to regulate charges for basic cable service to residents.

A task force is cracking down on absentee landlords in New Bedford to enforce city code violations and clean up neighborhoods.

An online survey indicates Revere residents would like any funds from a casino there to go for property tax relief, the Lynn Daily Item reports.

Weymouth officials have posted the town’s payroll online in a stab at transparency, leaving out employee names and listing only job titles and salary.

Springfield considers raising trash fees.

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

Nikki Haley falls victim to an indictment rumor on Twitter, which is nearly as bad as actually being indicted.

ELECTION 2012

Elizabeth Childs, a Brookline psychiatrist and a Republican candidate for Congress in the 4th district, talks to Bob Oakes on WBUR.

President Obama pushes for a vote on a minimum tax on millionaires, the Wall Street Journal reports.

President Obama scores high on personal traits, while Mitt Romney is more competitive on jobs and the economy, according to a new poll.  And that’s bad news for Romney who must close “the empathy gap” to stand a chance in November.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor donated $25,000 to a PAC devoted to defeating incumbents, including some House Republicans.

U.S. News & World Report looks at three Senate races in the Southwest that could determine who controls the chamber after November.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Massachusetts retailers make the case for requiring Amazon and other Internet retailers to collect the sales tax on purchases. They say the move would recoup $335 million, the Lowell Sun reports.

Cities are making a comeback, which may hold hope for places like Springfield and Holyoke says The Republican.

Despite national calls to end homelessness, the problem seems to be on the rise, Governing reports.

The founder and CEO of Instagram, the mobile photo-sharing service just bought by Facebook for $1 billion, grew up outside Boston, the Wall Street Journal reports. Here’s an incomplete list of big companies that are now smaller than the two-year old photo app.

HEALTH CARE

Big swings in summer temperatures can be particularly deadly to the elderly, according to a new Harvard study.

TRANSPORTATION

Keller@Large pens an open letter to the jerk who cut him and others off in traffic during the morning commute.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

National Grid gives a $5.6 million grant to the University of Massachusetts Medical School to upgrade its power plant, the Worcester Telegram reports. The story doesn’t say whether Grid or the utility’s ratepayers will pay for the grant.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Lowell Sun columnist Peter Lucas slams US Attorney Carmen Ortiz and Attorney General Martha Coakley. “The mood is that if one lady prosecutor doesn’t get you, the other certainly will,” he writes.

Family and supporters of Tarek Mehanna flood a federal judge with letters urging leniency as the Sudbury man faces sentencing this week on federal terrorism charges .

Five male BU students are found by police wearing just their underwear, bound with duct tape, and covered with flour, coffee grounds, honey, and other food, the Associated Press reports (via WBUR).

Haverhill police are investigating a retired state trooper who crashed his vehicle into a tree in West Newbury but kept driving (with his air bag deployed) until he crossed into Haverhill. Police found a loaded handgun in the vehicle, the Eagle-Tribune reports.

A murder-suicide in Hopkinton.

MEDIA

Dan Kennedy remembers when the late Mike Wallace called him a “bastard.” Emily Rooney reruns her Greater Boston interview with Wallace.

Nasty business. The American Spectator reports that the very first caller to the new syndicated “Mike Huckabee Show,” which is being positioned to take on Rush Limbaugh for conservatives’ hearts and minds, was, in fact, a plant. “Mike from San Francisco” was actually one of Huckabee’s bosses, the vice president of Cumulus Media, which is challenging Clear Channel, which owns Limbaugh’s show.