Weld pledges fealty to Libertarian Party

It’s true Gary Johnson and William Weld struggled to become the Libertarian Party’s nominees for president and vice president in Orlando over the weekend, but that’s probably a good thing, given that the two former governors see a role for government while most of the party faithful do not.

Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, won the party’s nomination for president on a second ballot. Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts, also won on a second ballot, but it wasn’t easy. Delegates to the convention were skeptical of his recent conversion to libertarianism; they backed him because Johnson wanted him on the ticket and only after he pledged lifelong allegiance to the party. And he had to make that pledge twice.

The delegates were right to be skeptical of Weld. His career is marked by political U-turns. He ran for governor of Massachusetts in 1990 attacking then-Senate president William Bulger, but once in office became Bulger’s political ally. Weld accepted the Libertarian nomination for governor in New York in 2006, but then dropped out of the race when he didn’t corral the Republican Party’s backing there. And he endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president in 2008 and Republican John Kasich for president this time around. It probably didn’t help that his most recent job was working as a lawyer and lobbyist at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris and Glovsky.

Weld received a chilly reception during a Friday night debate among vice presidential candidates. Politico’s headline on its debate coverage included the words “Weld bombs in Orlando.” Weld was booed when he said he would keep the United States in the United Nations. And when he said he would cut taxes, one of his rivals yelled “taxation is theft.” Jim Fulner, a Michigan delegate, said Weld didn’t embrace the party’s ideals. “He showed that he was Republican-lite,” he said. “He didn’t mention a single Libertarian idea.”

Ultimately, the party approved the Johnson-Weld ticket because Johnson wanted Weld as his running-mate and because a rejection of Weld would have been clear evidence to the outside world that the party is full of crazies. At one point during the convention, a bearded man got up on stage and performed what the Globe called “a hapless striptease.” Weld didn’t think the man had much style. “I’ve seen better at [Harvard’s] Hasty Pudding,” he said.

Now that the convention is out of the way, Johnson and Weld can get down to business. They have to raise money, garner lots of media attention, and win the support of at least 15 percent of voters in polls to get an invite to the presidential and vice presidential debates. Weld has already engaged in some verbal sparring with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Weld compared Trump’s plan to deport 11 million immigrants to Kristallnacht, Adolph Hitler’s 1938 pogrom against Jews. Trump fired back, suggesting Weld is an alcoholic.

Some think the team of Johnson and Weld could do some damage, possibly even carry a state or two, something no third-party team has ever been able to do since 1968. A couple of scattered polls have shown Johnson pulling 10 percent support in a three-way race with Trump and Hillary Clinton.  Still, Johnson and Weld face a severe uphill climb in attracting disaffected Democrats and Republicans. Even Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has said he won’t be voting for anyone for president, including Weld, his mentor. Baker says he loves Weld but has problems with many of the Libertarian Party’s positions.

BRUCE MOHL

 

BEACON HILL

The state’s housing crunch is reaching a crisis state. (Salem News)

With the House poised to vote on transgender legislation, Boston College’s Kari Hong offers three reasons why such laws matter. (WBUR)

Eileen McAnneny of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation offers her take on all things financial at the State House. (Lowell Sun)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

The names of Tim Sullivan and Joyce Linehan, aides to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, surface in a couple administration emails suggesting they may have played some role in pushing for union hires at the Boston Calling music festival. (Boston Globe) A Globe editorial says the scandal is growing in slow motion and urges Walsh to come clean.

Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, responding to growing violence, warns gangbangers she won’t step down while they terrorize neighborhoods. (Masslive)

The police departments in Salem, Peabody, and Beverly jointly hire an outside firm to help them assess candidates for top jobs. (Salem News)

A Salem News editorial says even “stupid” acts of hate deserve a community response.

Unemployment in Springfield falls to its lowest level in nine years. (Masslive)

Both Hingham officials and the Aquarion water company have filed an appeal of a judge’s decision setting the purchase price at $88.6 million for the town to buy the private water system, with Hingham claiming the value is $50 million while the company says it’s worth $144 million. (Patriot Ledger)

 WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

The Alabama Supreme Court vacates its earlier ruling that refused to recognize an adoption by two same-sex parents. (AL.com)

ELECTIONS

With a scandal swirling over Boston City Hall, Mayor Marty Walsh might be worrying about a reelection challenger next year — but no one has emerged yet to take him on and potentially capitalize on his woes. (Politico)

Hillary Clinton is having troubling settling on a campaign slogan, writes the Globe’s Annie Linskey, bouncing from one catchphrase to another in an exercise that some say reflects her vulnerability of lacking authenticity.

Donald Trump lags Clinton significantly in readiness to deploy state-of-the-art digital marketing data, an area in which Democrats enjoyed a strong advantage in both Obama wins. (Associated Press)

Trump and Clinton are both unpopular in New Hampshire (as in the rest of the country), according a new poll there. (Boston Herald)  The closely watched US Senate race there between incumbent Kelly Ayotte and Gov. Maggie Hassan is a dead-heat, according the same poll. (Boston Herald)

Is Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions the frontrunner to become Trump’s veep nominee? (U.S. News & World Report)

 BUSINESS/ECONOMY

The homeless population is aging, creating challenges for already strained government services. (New York Times)

The Taj Boston hotel is being sold to New England Development and Eastern Real Estate, but it will retain its name. (Boston Herald)

The federal insurance fund that protects private pension plans is running out of money. (Washington Post)

Summer-like weather spawned a banner holiday weekend on the Cape Cod, which officials hope is an indicator for the upcoming season. (Cape Cod Times)

 RELIGION 

The 11-year-vigil at St. Frances X. Cabrini church in Scituate came to an end with a final Mass Sunday. (Patriot Ledger)

 EDUCATION

A backlash is growing among teachers as well as superintendents and school committees against a new state system that requires teachers to be evaluated on student learning growth in their classrooms. (Boston Globe)

The Rhode Island state Senate has passed a bill that would allow students to make up snow days at home. (Providence Journal)

CASINOS

Springfield’s MGM casino, which is rising in the heart of the city’s downtown, is going against the grain of plopping gambling halls on open space far from city centers. Oddly, the story suggests the Wynn Resorts casino in Everett will be built on a “grassy field” near the Mystic River when in fact it’s targeted for an ugly looking, heavily polluted tract of land. (Boston Globe)

The pay of CEOs fell in 2015, but don’t shed too many tears. Steve Wynn, for example, saw his compensation fall 19 percent to $20.7 million, but shares of Wynn Resorts plunged 54 percent. (New York Times) Wynn and his ex-wife, Elaine, struggle over who will control her shares in the company. (The Daily Beast)

 ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Hopkinton officials are seeking state permission to trap and tag beavers in an effort to reduce flooding in several areas caused by dams. (MetroWest Daily News)

State Environmental Police seized hundreds of illegally caught sea bass as well as a private boat and trailer and charged one recreational fisherman and cited five others with violating fishing regulations. (Cape Cod Times)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

New Bedford police deployed their Tasers more than any other department in Massachusetts in 2015, followed by Lawrence and Brockton, according to state Public Safety records. Boston does not use Tasers or stun guns. (Standard-Times)

Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley was on the witness stand last week, testifying in a civil case brought by a former assistant prosecutor who is suing his office, alleging she was paid less than men doing comparable work and then fired when she complained about it. (Boston Globe)

A murder Saturday night on a Dorchester street has residents of the area worried about a long, hot summer. (Boston Herald)

There has not been a murder in Brockton in 2016 and incidents of gun violence are down as well, both because of increased state and local efforts, officials say. (The Enterprise)

 MEDIA

Boston Magazine asks how long the Boston Herald can survive.

It’s no longer the “boys on the bus” with Hillary Clinton. Vogue reports that the press corps following the Democratic candidate for president is made up of mostly women.