Another big mention for Moulton

Politico’s massive profile of Seth Moulton struggles with the opposing Beltway views of the congressman from Massachusetts: Is he a rank opportunist willing to say and do almost anything to win White House mentions or is he the real-deal leader who believes in country, public service, and speaking his mind?

Author Michael Kruse offers evidence for both points of view, but ultimately his reporting suggests Moulton is the real deal. Four tours in Iraq. Glowing testimonials from David Gergen, David Petraeus, and Stanley McChrystal. And a willingness to challenge the status quo — first the management of the war in Iraq, then Democratic incumbent John Tierney, and now his strong attacks on President Trump.

Kruse doesn’t even mention what may be Moulton’s most unlikely challenge to the status quo — his strong support for an underground rail link between North and South stations in Boston. The link is dismissed as a hare-brained idea by most of the state’s transportation establishment, but Moulton has nevertheless become one of the concept’s biggest champions. It’s one of those rare instances when a member of the state’s Washington delegation weighs in on a controversial, local issue.

In the Politico profile, Moulton talks at length about his opposition to Nancy Pelosi as the Democrats’ leader in the House, but he acknowledges Republican attacks on her are unfair. “I think that if you dived into the policy details she’s not nearly the extremist people make her out to be,” he said. “But the reality is that we’re losing. And the American people out there are demanding a change.”

He later adds that few of Pelosi’s allies in Congress are telling him to pipe down. “Do you know how many of them have come up to me and said, ‘Stop doing what you’re doing?’ Exactly zero. Do you know how many people who even voted for her have come up to me and checked to make sure no one’s listening and then patted me on the back and said, ‘Keep it up?’ And that’s not because I came up with some brilliant idea that we need new leadership. All I did was just say publicly what everybody else is saying privately, and stand by it, and defend it.”

He said many of his attacks on Trump come from Republicans in Congress. “It’s just that I’ve heard them in the locker room,” he said. “That’s what people actually talk about in the locker room — how terrible our president is.”

The Politico profile also suggests Moulton is a creature of habit when talking with reporters. His first meeting with Kruse took place at the Ugly Mug Diner in Salem, the same place the newly-elected congressman met then-CommonWealth reporter Paul McMorrow for a conversation in late 2014. In both instances, Moulton ordered lunch and milk to drink.

BRUCE MOHL


BEACON HILL

Gov. Charlie Baker signed pot legislation on Friday and openly worried about the consequences. (State House News) Treasurer Deborah Goldberg appoints five members of the Cannabis Advisory Board.

Baker also signed legislation sought by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh that will allow the construction of a huge tower that will cast shadows on Boston Common. (Boston Globe)

A Herald editorial says no one should smoke cigarettes while ferrying small children in a car — but the idea of a new state law banning such behavior goes too far.

Bars and restaurants are pushing back against a state law that requires judges to collect information from those convicted of drunken driving on the establishment where they were served their last drink before being arrested, saying the data are unreliable and unfairly taint businesses. (Boston Globe)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Felix Arroyo, the chief of human services for Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, is the subject of an internal city investigation for something — but no one is saying what. (Boston Herald)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

Sen. Susan Collins, fresh off her pivotal stand against repealing the Affordable Care Act, gets a spontaneous hero’s welcome from Mainers as she steps off a plane and into the Bangor airport on Friday night. (Boston Globe)

President Trump laid into Senate Republicans for not repealing the health care law and urged them to change Senate rules to allow measures to prevail by a simple majority and not require 60 votes, a confusing call given that the repeal in fact only needed 51 votes to pass, but couldn’t muster that level of support. (New York Times)

Russia orders the US to reduce its diplomatic mission in Moscow by 755 employees after new sanctions were imposed by Congress. (New York Times)

ELECTIONS

Underwhelmed by the field of candidates to lead Fall River municipal government, Herald News columnist Marc Munroe Dion says, “I don’t see even one mayoral candidate I’d trust to feed my cats while I was out of town.”

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

The Sunday Globe reports on a study from UMass Boston spotlighting the high rate of economic insecurity among Massachusetts senior citizens. CommonWealth’s summer issue had a story on the UMass report.

EDUCATION

A Globe editorial says the Metco program that sends minority Boston students to suburban school districts should be expanded.

TRANSPORTATION

Ari Ofsevit of Transit Matters urges state officials to take the long view and build the North South Rail Link. (CommonWealth) Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll also voices support for the rail link in advance of a speech by former governor Michael Dukakis on the transportation project. (Salem News)

Steven Goldberg, who owns three Boston taxis, says it’s tough to compete against the subsidized fares offered by Uber and Lyft. (CommonWealth)

Channel 7 reports that the MBTA was billing people for parking even though their cars weren’t at T lots. Apparently the parking lot operator, Republic Parking, would routinely bill regular customers without checking whether their cars were actually in the lot.

Advocates for the Fairmount commuter rail line that serves Dorchester, Mattapan, and Hyde Park worry that extending service along that route to Foxborough will mean poorer services for residents of the Boston neighborhoods. (Boston Globe)

The five members of the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board cite real progress at the transit agency and say thank you to all the interested parties. (CommonWealth)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Three public health advocates say cities and states must take the lead on addressing climate change. (CommonWealth)

Peter Shattuck and Jamie Howland of the Acadia Center list the ingredients needed for a plan to meet the state’s emissions targets. (CommonWealth)

The Globe explores the question of whether the Trump administration might withdraw the national monument designation for the 87,000-acre Katahdin Woods in Maine. Nancy Goodman of the Environmental League of Massachusetts weighed in earlier this month. (CommonWealth)

CASINOS/GAMBLING

A state commission may vote today to deem fantasy sports sites like DraftKings gambling operations, despite the industry’s argument that these are games of skill. (Boston Globe)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

Attorney General Maura Healey and Middlesex DA Marian Ryan both support revisiting the rules for civil commitment of sex offenders following Friday’s release of convicted pedophile ex-priest Paul Shanley. (Boston Herald)

Five years after the US Supreme Court banned mandatory life without parole for juveniles in murder cases states are taking very different approaches to those who had been locked up. (Associated Press)

Four Teamsters are on trial for extortion in the “Top Chef” trial that begins today. (Boston Herald)

MEDIA

The New York Times Game of Thrones newsletter already has 60,000 subscribers. (Digiday)

Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, is buying The Atlantic. (New York Times)

  • Mhmjjj2012

    The Boston Globe’s editorial, “Expand and reboot often-ignored Metco,” had an interesting point: “The process of moving children off Metco’s 9,000-student waiting list and into suburban schools is currently too opaque, and it’s got to feel rational and fair.” A comment on the editorial asked “how come our elected officials kids get to go to the front of the Metco line? That’s worthy of a Globe story.” Perhaps it’s worthy of a CommonWealth story?

  • Mhmjjj2012

    The Globe’s editorial called for lawmakers “fully fund” Metco and add 2,000 more students based on a Pioneer Institute study. The estimated cost would be $6 million to $8 million “a tiny sliver of the state’s $40 billion budget.” So has the Globe and the Pioneer Institute called for lawmakers to fix and fully the Foundation Budget…the mechanism distributing state aid to local public schools educating well over 900,000 K-12 children of Massachusetts residents and taxpayers? Not that I know of.