Bail Weld?

Former governor William Weld, running for vice president, is apparently feeling liberated and it has little to do with his party affiliation. Weld, never one to hew to the party line regardless of his registration, has been more and more vocal about his goal in the presidential election and it’s coming at the expense of his Libertarian Party running mate, Gary Johnson.

In the latest venture from Libertarian orthodoxy – if that’s not an oxymoron — Weld says his focus in the next five weeks before the election is ensuring Donald Trump’s defeat. But he doesn’t say it will be because he and Johnson are going to prevail. In fact, Weld has been very laudatory of Hillary Clinton in recent days, showering his one-time Watergate counsel colleague with praise over her temperament and qualifications.

Weld’s musings have caused pundits to wonder if he’s catching Paul Loscocco disease and perhaps pondering his withdrawal from the Libertarian ticket. The speculation has gotten so loud that Johnson has had to address the questions, insisting Weld is in it to the end.

But Big Red is certainly not making it easy. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Weld said his aim is to “get the Donald into third place, and with some tugging and hauling, we might get there.” Given Weld’s grasp on political reality, he clearly knows who he thinks would end up second, and it’s not Clinton or Jill Stein.

Weld also mused to the Globe that Trump’s defeat could trigger a GOP makeover, one he thinks would be “fun” to be a part of.

“Maybe somebody is going to come up with a new playbook, and I don’t know who it’s going to be, but it would be fun to participate,” Weld said. So much for the “Libertarian for life” pledge that not many Libertarians – or anyone, for that matter – bought into. His insistence in the Globe  interview that “I’m not going to drop them this year,” isn’t going to go far in assuring Libertarian stalwarts of his fealty.

Weld’s observations come on the heels of his praise for Clinton over the weekend in an MSNBC interview, one that angered Johnson supporters, according to insiders.

“I’m not sure that anyone’s more qualified than Hillary Clinton,” Weld said, before adding he thought Johnson was “solid” as well. Not the kind of ringing endorsement one hopes to get from a running mate.

A spokesman for Johnson dismissed the MSNBC comment, saying Weld was simply referring to Clinton’s resume. Um, yeah, he was.

“It’s nothing he hasn’t said before and he didn’t say he was voting for her,” campaign spokesman Joe Hunter said. But if you go down that road, he didn’t say he was voting for Johnson, either.

According to the Globe story, Weld insiders have been disenchanted with Johnson, especially his stumbling answers to simple questions regarding foreign affairs, let alone foreign policy. Weld’s people had even explored Libertarian rules about the possibility of flipping the ticket, placing Weld at the top.

Some prominent Republicans, including Mitt Romney and US Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, have said they’d consider casting their vote for the Libertarian ticket if the roles were reversed. That effort, though, created some friction with Johnson’s people, creating a rather tense dynamic, despite Weld’s insistence they are “happy warriors.”

The Weld eruptions, which may get most of the attention in Massachusetts, remind people of one thing: How good would these debates be if he was in the mix?

JACK SULLIVAN

BEACON HILL

The Baker administration is revoking take-home car perks for 22 state workers in the wake of the ouster of a Department of Conservation and Recreation official for using the siren on his state car to cut through Boston traffic. (Boston Herald) You can’t take the MDC out of DCR, says Howie Carr, for whom the hack tales at the agency are the lowest of hanging fruit. (Boston Herald)

State Treasurer Deb Goldberg says the 3.75 percent tax rate proposed for marijuana sales in the legalization question on the ballot is too low. (Masslive)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

City officials in Gloucester say it will take a week to complete their investigation of ousted police chief Leonard Campanello. (Boston Herald) Campanello remains on the payroll while he awaits a hearing. (Salem News)

Gloucester officials sell the Fuller School site to a development team for $5.6 million. The development group plans to build a YMCA, retail, and housing at the location. (Gloucester Times)

The contract between the city of Lawrence and the festival group that rented Veterans Memorial Stadium seems clear that the group is on the hook for all the damage it caused to the turf field and track. (Eagle-Tribune)

The Worcester City Council extends the contract of City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. another three years. (Telegram & Gazette)

Framingham officials are pushing the Department of Transportation to finish a construction project that has been ongoing for the last two years and wreaked havoc with traffic and business. (MetroWest Daily News)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

Charlotte, N.C., police released the body cam videos of officers killing a black man and it raises questions over whether police could have avoided shooting. (New York Times)

Some say California may come close to eliminating smoking with a ballot question hiking the tax on cigarettes by $2 a pack. The tax is currently 87 cents, and the state has the second-lowest smoking rate in the country. (Governing)

ELECTIONS

VP hopefuls Mike Pence and Tim Kaine squared off in their only debate of the campaign, a feisty 90 minutes in which Kaine tried repeatedly to get Pence to answer for the outlandish behavior and positions of the man for whom he would serve as No. 2. (Boston Globe) Scot Lehigh found Kaine to be as annoying as those “yappy little terriers,” but says the debate probably won’t matter much in the end. (Boston Globe)

Donald Trump’s earlier debt woes extended to Boston and the buttoned-down Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Co., which provided financing for a $29 million yacht he purchased in 1988 and which the bank repossessed three years later. (Boston Globe)

Are opponents and proponents of the charter school ballot question crossing the line by politicking at schools? (Boston Globe)

Jill Stein, fresh off the mean streets of Lexington, continues her power-to-the-people campaign for president. (Boston Globe)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca and his wife Judy have funded a lab that will incubate early-stage life sciences companies at Harvard, another element of the build-out of the university’s Allston campus. CommonWealth offered a deep dive on Harvard’s life sciences ambitions for the area in its summer issue cover story, “The next Kendall Square?”

Elisabeth Babcock and Martha Coakley say the new poverty numbers are misleading. (CommonWealth)

The New Jersey-based owner of Lightolier, a lighting manufacturer in Fall River, has agreed to pay $2,750,000 to 51 female employees to settle a wage discrimination complaint. (Herald News)

A store opens in Worcester and, believe it or not, everything inside is free. (Masslive)

Federal regulators are cracking down on prepaid debit and credit cards, mandating disclosure on fees which can often eat up the cash on hand. (New York Times)

EDUCATION

Harvard dining service workers hit the picket lines early this morning as they went out on strike for the first time during an academic year. (The Harvard Crimson)

A Lowell Sun editorial slams officials in Wilmington for the lack of transparency surrounding superintendent Mary DeLai’s arrest for operating under the influence in August. DeLaw resigned earlier this week.

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

For the first time, the state’s main hospital trade group has acknowledged that “market clout” is responsible for “unwarranted” price variation among hospitals. (Boston Globe)

The state’s eighth medical marijuana dispensary opens today in Quincy but the owners say because of concern over supply, patients will only be allowed in by appointment and no walk-ins will be accepted for at least the first two weeks. (Patriot Ledger)

Three Massachusetts doctors are part of a lawsuit seeking to force the Food and Drug Administration to order more graphic anti-smoking messages on cigarette packages. (Boston Herald)

TRANSPORTATION

Meet Boston’s safest driver, Globe reporter Astead Herndon, who grabbed the early lead using the new safe driver app unveiled this week. (Boston Globe)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

John Dent, a vice president at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, says the facility is safe and it’s irresponsible to say it should close earlier than 2019. (CommonWealth)

Attorney General Maura Healey says she will sue the federal government over control of submerged land off the shore of Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge on Cape Cod. (Cape Cod Times)

Edward N. Krapels, the CEO of Anbaric, says the states are where the action is on clean energy. (CommonWealth)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that former same-sex partners of parents of children may be entitled to some parental rights even if they have no biological connection to the child and were not married if they played a role in child-rearing since birth. (Boston Globe)

A Suffolk Superior Court judge has thrown out a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s cap on charter schools. (Boston Globe)

A New Beford man has been charged with human trafficking, wage theft, and assault after he allegedly lured a couple from Brazil to work for his cleaning company and then forced them to work more than a hundred hours a week without pay. (Standard-Times)

MEDIA

DigBoston has an interesting story about an MBTA coverup and a rare referral of a public records request to Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.