Moulton soldiers on despite lack of traction

US Representative Seth Moulton is one of 24 Democratic candidates running to challenge President Donald Trump, but hasn’t even been able to qualify for the first two rounds of debates. The son of Salem has been on the campaign trail since April, prioritizing national security and veteran issues in his 2020 bid.

Earlier this week, not a single person in a Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll of likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters said he was their top choice.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Moulton has raised about $2 million, a third of which was left over from his Congressional campaign, much less than other candidates. Meanwhile, top staff are leaving, including Adnan Mohamed, Moulton’s deputy national political director, who is now with Beto O’Rourke’s campaign. The Moulton campaign has said it is restructuring the 25-person staff.

It’s a crowded field, made even more crowded by the local competition of US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is polling in second behind former Vice President Joe Biden.

Despite all signs pointing to a dwindling campaign, Moulton said any rumors of his exiting the race before Labor Day are false. He told the Daily Item’s Tom Grillo, “It’s not true. It depends on how it goes, I don’t think the summer debates will determine who voters will support in February.”

Moulton remembers his slow start in his initial congressional campaign, and sees parallels in his presidential bid. He was down 53 points in the first poll taken in early 2014 against incumbent John F. Tierney. He later beat the 18-year congressman 51 percent to 40 percent. He’s won two subsequent elections.

“We have only been in the presidential race for three months,” he said. “I’ve been in tough primaries before and if my message wasn’t resonating, and if people were not encouraging me to keep going, then I’d look at getting out, but that’s not what I’m hearing.” 

But how will the former Marine Corps officer get out his message if he’s not even at the national microphone?

The Democratic National Committee’s threshold for participation in September’s debate is at least 2 percent of support in a group of polls, with 130,000 unique donors.

As the Globe notes, Moulton is special in one way in particular, and it isn’t a good one. He’s had zero support in every qualifying poll for debates since the inception of his campaign.

SARAH BETANCOURT


BEACON HILL

Gov. Charlie Baker releases a smorgasbord of proposals to deal with the problems of congestion in Massachusetts. (CommonWealth) The governor finally found a form of congestion pricing he likes. (CommonWealth) The rundown on congestion — where it’s the worst, where it’s bad, and what role Uber and Lyft play. (CommonWealth)

WGBH takes a close look at possible 2020 ballot questions submitted to the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey this week. 

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

CIty officials and observers take stock of the blurry line between advocacy and criminal acts in the wake of this week’s conviction of two Boston City Hall aides on federal extortion charges. (Boston Globe) Don Gillis, who served as a top aide to Mayor Ray Flynn in the 1980s, laments the conviction of the aides to Mayor Marty Walsh: Since when did it become a crime to fight for good jobs, he asks.  (CommonWealth)

Tensions are rising as homeless people and those with drug addictions, who often congregate on the streets near Boston Medical Center, are suddenly a constant presence throughout Boston’s tony South End neighborhood. (Boston Globe) Jon Santiago, the state representative for the area — and an emergency room physician at Boston Medical Center — says it will take a comprehensive approach attuned to public health and public safety to address the issues. (Boston Globe)

Twenty speakers chronicled their families’ immigration stories Wednesday night at an East Falmouth church. The event was planned by US Rep. Bill Keating, who was inspired by ““send her back” chants aimed at his congressional colleagues during a Trump rally. (Cape Cod Times)  

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

A Berkshire Eagle editorial condemns an FCC decision that would allow cable companies to pare back how much they pay to cities and towns.

Attorney General Maura Healey sues the EPA for failing to regulate a pesticide she claims is dangerous. (MassLive)

ELECTIONS

Herald columnist Howie Carr calls it a classic “shootout in the lifeboat,” as the state Republican Party and GOP Gov. Charlie Baker’s campaign committee go to war over prized donor databases. (Boston Globe)  

Elizabeth Warren has gone all-in in backing fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders’s Medicare-for-All plan, a move some think is risky business. (WBUR) 

The biggest threat to President Trump’s reelection is a possible recession, writes Larry Edelman. (Boston Globe)

Cumberland Farms convenience store chain filed papers to pursue a ballot question that would lift the cap on the number of liquor licenses a food outlet can hold. (Boston Globe

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II signed the city’s 14th letter of non-opposition that will pave the way for another recreational marijuana dispensary. But this time, the letter will benefit a former political foe, former mayor Will Flanagan. (Herald News) 

Acorn Inc. broke ground Thursday on a $7.5 million, 33-unit apartment building in New Bedford, which will be named the Suites at Wamsutta Place. (Standard Times) 

HEALTH CARE

A state commission is recommending professional licensing for recovery coaches who assist addicts. (Salem News)

EDUCATION

Two elementary students are pushing for Weymouth’s school district to eliminate polystyrene and make recycling bins more readily available. (Patriot Ledger)

TRANSPORTATION 

Uber posts a $5.2 billion quarterly loss and its slowest growth rate ever. (New York Times)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

An Eagle-Tribune editorial backs legislation that would require private and public gas utilities to report information on gas leaks. 

Five wastewater treatment plants, including facilities serving Haverhill, Lowell and the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District, have reported releasing raw sewage and storm water into the Merrimack River during Thursday morning’s heavy rainstorm, according to the Merrimack River Watershed Council. (Lowell Sun)

DigBoston says it will expand coverage of global warming in New England, hoping to follow the lead of a network of major news outlets in Florida that are working on collaborative climate change journalism. 

CASINOS/MARIJUANA

The state Cannabis Control Commission has fined Curaleaf Massachusetts $250,000 for executing a merger without first obtaining the panel’s permission. (Boston Globe

Plymouth marijuana company M3 Ventures is fined $50,000 for illegal pesticide use. (MassLive)

Boston’s zoning board and city council are at loggerheads over a rule requiring that marijuana businesses in the city to be at least half a mile apart. (Boston Globe)

MEDIA

The New York Times stock gets pummeled after a disappointing earnings report. (Forbes)

Facebook is planning a news tab, offering publishers money for the right to use headlines and article teasers. (Mashable)

PASSINGS

Rosie Ruiz, the famous 1980 Boston Marathon fraudster, apparently died in Florida at age 66. But the reports of her demise are not 100 percent certain. (Boston Globe)