Weekend at Bernie’s rally- POLITICO

ON THE STUMP — Bernie Sanders’ summer rallies are as much a show of support for the organized labor movement as they are a show of the staying power of his political movement.

That enduring strength was on display on Sunday when Sanders, despite sweltering temperatures and late-summer vacations, drew upwards of 1,000 people to the Cambridge Common just minutes from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s home in a state where President Joe Biden defeated them both in 2020.

They came wearing T-shirts from Sanders’ 2016 presidential run, carrying posters from his 2020 bid and sporting baseball caps emblazoned with his name. Two women walked through the crowd with a handmade Bernie 2024 poster — a visual representation of the sentiments of many in the Sanders-friendly crowd. A few cries of “Bernie 2024” rang out after his speech.

Others donned union shirts and carried union banners for the pro-labor-union rally “fighting back against corporate greed,” one of several Sanders has held across the country with International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ President Sean O’Brien and Association of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson.

Sanders’ speech was part championing of organized labor, part callback to the messaging that defined his two failed presidential bids. He drew as much applause for mentions of Medicare for All as he did when he spoke of fighting for good wages and benefits for workers and called to “create an economy and a government that works for all of us, and not just a few.”

Supporters of the Vermont senator said they’d like to see him run for president again. They’re undaunted by his age — Sanders would be 83 on Election Day in 2024. And they’re disappointed by what they view as Biden’s failures to more fully tackle student loan debt — that could change by the end of the month — and to embrace single-payer health care.

Sanders aides sent around a memo earlier this year signaling that he hadn’t closed the door to a third presidential bid should Biden not run again. In a poll released last week, Sanders tied Vice President Kamala Harris for the second-most support among California’s Democratic primary voters if Biden skips 2024.

Boston City Councilor Kendra Lara is open to another Sanders presidential campaign, if he’s healthy enough. She said the progressive aims Biden seemed open to on the campaign trail, like forgiving student loans, have “fallen by the wayside” during his presidency. “We’re getting some things, but it’s not enough,” Lara told Playbook. “It’s uninspiring.”

But even as the independent Sanders’ policies have become mainstream in Democratic politics, some voters are looking for other standard-bearers to carry them forward and to stop Republicans angling to retake power in Washington in 2022 and 2024.

“I’d really like to see someone more progressive in office,” said Emily Blodgett, a Warren supporter from Boston who told Playbook she’d “love” to see the Massachusetts senator run for president again. “But ultimately I think it’s about keeping Democrats in office.”

GOOD MONDAY MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS. Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll is out with her first and only ad for lieutenant governor, saying she’s the “Democrat with the most experience” for the job.

TODAY — GOP candidates Chris Doughty and Kate Campanale talk transportation at North Station at 8 a.m. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu holds a press conference at 9:30 a.m at City Hall Plaza after riding an Orange Line shuttle bus, is on WBUR’s “Radio Boston” at 11 a.m. and attends the MGM Music Hall ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. Warren discusses ARPA investments at noon in Gardner. UTEC Lowell kicks off its AG candidate series with Andrea Campbell at 1:15 p.m. State Sen. Eric Lesser campaigns in New Bedford and Fall River.

Tips? Scoops? Email me: [email protected].

“Business leaders urge Legislature to reconvene to take up tax relief,” by Christian M. Wade, Gloucester Daily Times: “Business leaders are urging the state Legislature to reconvene before the end of the year to take up a stalled economic development and tax relief package. … Chris Carlozzi, state director for the Massachusetts chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, said the plan includes $300 million to cover waivers to hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts’ jobless claimants who owe ‘overpayments’ for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. If the plan isn’t approved, businesses will be saddled with the cost of repaying the debt that has contributed to a mounting deficit in the unemployment trust fund.”

“After flat-footed response to a white supremacist march, questions about Boston police intelligence gathering,” by Danny McDonald and Laura Crimaldi, Boston Globe: “When about 100 white supremacists marched through downtown Boston wielding riot shields on July 2, Mayor Michelle Wu admitted that police were caught by surprise. Now, records suggest Boston police officials weren’t all that curious to learn more, even while the racist march, which included an altercation with a Black man, unfolded. On that day, Boston police apparently did not conduct a single field interrogation of white supremacists. It did, however, report questioning or observing nearly 50 other people around the city — primarily Black men — according to reports of field interrogation and observations, or FIOs, from that day that were obtained by The Boston Globe through a public records request.”

— More: “How Patriot Front and white supremacist groups are hijacking American symbols to recruit in Massachusetts,” by Chris Van Buskirk, MassLive: “One hundred masked white nationalists carried flags and riot shields adorned with red, white, and blue color schemes and wore blue and khaki outfits as they marched through downtown Boston over the Fourth of July weekend. The color scheme and iconic American imagery is not accidental. It is part of a branding and recruiting effort that draws upon symbols and themes of the United States. Experts who study groups like Patriot Front, Nationalist Socialist Club and others say it helps attract people who would otherwise be turned away by more direct displays of hateful imagery while sanitizing their bigotry by wrapping it up in history.”

“Rep. Lynch, transportation commitee member, advocates for receivership of MBTA,” by Sharman Sacchetti and Ed Harding, WCVB: “[Rep. Stephen Lynch], who serves on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure says he is in favor of federal authorities taking more direct control over the troubled MBTA.”

As Lynch said he’s “absolutely” advocating for receivership, Attorney General hopeful Quentin Palfrey on Friday called for an investigation into the “public safety, civil rights and fiscal management issues” plaguing the beleaguered transit system.

“Green Line route between Government Center and Union Square joins T shutdown,” by Grace Zokovitch, Boston Herald.

“Green Line E branch reopens after 16-day work closure,” by Nick Stoico, Boston Globe.

“Boston double-decker buses start rolling as companies clash and rules change,” by Sean Philip Cotter, Boston Herald: “Boston’s very first double-decker bus is now a month into its hourly loops around downtown — and a battle of the buses is well underway, complete with sniping between the sightseeing companies as the city tweaks its rules again.”

“Politics and the City: E-bikes ‘take the lane’ on Worcester streets in pilot project,” by Cyrus Moulton, Telegram & Gazette: “[A] state pilot project … is distributing 100 free e-bikes to low-income city residents and then asking the recipients to track their use.”

— MORE FROM SANDERS’ VISIT: Count Sen. Bernie Sanders among those who think rent control should return in the Bay State.

The Vermont senator expressed support for the long-banned policy — and spoke incredulously of the $3,000-a-month rents in the Boston area — after meeting with longtime supporters and local officials, including Boston City Councilor Kendra Lara, state Rep. Mike Connolly and secretary of state hopeful Tanisha Sullivan, for about an hour ahead of his rally.

They discussed local issues like housing, how to build the progressive bench and how to better knit together the labor and civil rights movements, Connolly and Lara told Playbook. The Boston Globe’s Anjali Huynh and GBH’s Tori Bedford have more from the rally and Sanders’ stop at the Starbucks picket line in Boston.

— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Mass Retirees is endorsing state Sen. Diana DiZoglio for auditor, adding to her bevy of union endorsements.

— Attorney General Maura Healey is endorsing Manny Cruz, vice chair of the Salem School Committee, for the open 7th Essex state representative seat.

Healey is also endorsing state Rep. Paul Donato for reelection in the 35th Middlesex District.

— CASH DASH: Former President Barack Obama is launching his midterm efforts by headlining a National Democratic Redistricting Committee fundraiser Aug. 30, along with the organization’s leader, former Attorney General Eric Holder, my D.C. colleagues first report. The Martha’s Vineyard event will include dinner and a discussion about democracy. The money will support the NDRC’s legal actions, its voting rights work and its support for candidates in November.

— GOP governor candidate Geoff Diehl attends a fundraiser at The Cabby Shack in Plymouth at 6:30 p.m.

— WATCH: Sullivan make her case against incumbent Bill Galvin on WBZ’s “Keller @ Large” and call for the office to be more “proactive” in increasing voter participation, tackling economic inequality and ensuring government transparency. Keller said Galvin did not respond to his requests to join the show.

“Older conservatives think Massachusetts and the country are careening off track,” by Robert Weisman, Boston Globe: “Fired up about inflation, race, and gender education in public schools, and a flow of unauthorized migrants they say is straining resources, older conservatives in Massachusetts think their state — and the country — is lurching in the wrong direction. And less than three months before the midterm elections, their hard-line views reflect the Republican party’s tilt to the right in a state where most successful GOP candidates for governor, from Bill Weld and Paul Cellucci to Mitt Romney and Charlie Baker, have run as moderates.”

“Lowell Rep. race showcases growing influence — and growing pains — of Cambodian community,” by Katie Lannan, GBH News: “Eight years ago, Lowell’s Rady Mom became the first Cambodian American state lawmaker in the country. … In the years since he was first elected, he’s earned another distinction — in a State House where incumbents routinely cruise unopposed to reelection, he’s one of just a handful of Democrats who regularly face primary challengers. This year, Mom’s two opponents in the Sept. 6 Democratic primary are also Cambodian-born men: Lowell School Committee member Dominik Lay and Tara Hong, a recent UMass Lowell graduate. With no Republican on the ballot, the winner is essentially guaranteed the House seat.”

“Charges against man who entered Baker’s home to be dismissed,” by Julie Manganis, Salem News: “A breaking and entering charge against the man charged with walking past a state police detail and into Gov. Charlie Baker’s Swampscott home in 2020 will be dismissed in October, a Lynn District Court judge decided last month.”

“’Squad’ members Pressley, Tlaib raked in thousands from rent while pushing to cancel payments during pandemic,” by Cameron Cawthorne and Joe Schoffstall, Fox News: “Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., raked in thousands of dollars from rent payments while pushing for rent cancellation during the pandemic, disclosure forms show. Pressley reported collecting up to $117,500 from renting out four Boston properties in 2021, her newest financial disclosure form shows. Pressley and her husband reported rental income ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 the year prior, meaning she’s collected up to $132,500 in rent during the pandemic.”

“Here are the findings of the full Pittsfield Police Department report into the fatal shooting of Miguel Estrella,” by Meg Britton-Mehlisch, Berkshire Eagle: “The Pittsfield Police Department’s final report on the shooting of Miguel Estrella confirmed its preliminary finding, in late April, that an officer was justified in using deadly force. Though that final 49-page report was completed May 16, it was not made public at the time by the department. This week, the city’s Police Advisory and Review Board revealed that it had been denied access to the report.”

“With School Choice leaving some rural districts behind, state report recommends cap on tuition for sending districts,” by Chris Larabee, Berkshire Eagle: “As rural school districts continue to work within tight budget constraints that often threaten or outright cut extracurricular programs, some families opt to use School Choice to send their child to another district, which can add further financial burden to already-struggling districts.”

“Far-right protesters gather outside FBI office in Chelsea,” by Alexander Thompson and John Hilliard, Boston Globe: “About 40 far-right protesters gathered in front of the Chelsea office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation early Sunday afternoon to oppose a recent raid of former president Trump’s Florida home and air a list of demands. The protest was announced earlier in the week by members of Super Fun Happy America, a local organization with ties to the far right, and followed a rise in violence and threats against the FBI and other law enforcement agencies after the FBI searched Trump’s home Aug. 8 in search of classified documents.”

“Wayfair lays off 400 Boston employees, citing optimistic sales projections,” by Alexi Cohan, GBH News: “In a letter to employees, Wayfair co-founder and CEO Niraj Shah said nearly 900 employees were being laid off because the company overestimated sales growth and had an employee base that was ‘too large for the environment we are now in.’ The company confirmed to GBH News that figure includes 400 employees in Boston.”

“Massachusetts student receives uniform violation for hijab,” by The Associated Press: “A family member of the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School student posted on social media a picture of the ‘School Uniform Compliance Form’ the student received from a teacher for the hijab on Thursday. … The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School also came under fire in 2017 for a policy of banning hair braid extensions. … In July, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law prompted by that incident to ban discrimination based on natural and protective hairstyles — such as Afros, cornrows or tightly coiled twists — in workplaces, school districts and school-related organizations in the state.”

— FOR YOUR RADAR: John Arundel of Perdicus Communications was arrested and charged with assault and strangulation early Wednesday morning on Nantucket. An attorney entered not-guilty pleas on his behalf at an arraignment later that day, denying allegations in a police report that Arundel had “pushed [a woman] down the stairs and dragged her up the stairs by her hair.” He tells Playbook in a statement: “I vehemently maintain my innocence and have retained local private counsel … and it is anticipated that we will be filing a motion to dismiss all charges in this matter.” He is due back in court Aug. 29. More from The Inquirer and Mirror and The Nantucket Current.

TRANSITIONS — Melissa Lavinson is joining National Grid as New England vice president of corporate affairs, based in Boston. She was most recently senior vice president of federal government and regulatory affairs and public policy at Exelon and is a Pepco and PG&E alum.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY — to Mark Martinez, Greg Shanahan, Alvin Buyinza and Margie Berkowitz. Happy belated to MIT president Rafael Reif and WBUR’s Darryl C. Murphy who celebrated Sunday.

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