Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez are kicking off a nine-state tour at the State Theatre in Portland on Monday.
The pair will hold a rally at the State Theatre on Congress Street from 7 to 9 p.m. as part of the DNC’s “Come Together and Fight Back” tour, according to a post on Sanders’ website. Maine appears to be the first stop on a tour of “purple” and “red” states as the party attempts to revamp its grassroots network and organize opposition to President Trump following last November’s loss.
Those wishing to attend the rally can RSVP on Sanders’ website, go.berniesanders.com. No additional details on ticketing were available Wednesday, and a Maine Democratic Party spokesperson did not immediately return a call seeking additional comment.
For the first time in history, Maine split its Electoral College vote between two candidates last year. Hillary Clinton won three of the state’s four Electoral College votes by winning the 1st Congressional District and the statewide popular vote, but President Trump picked up one elector by winning Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.
A statement from the DNC said the two men are expected to discuss “raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, pay equity for women, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, combating climate change, making public colleges and universities tuition-free, criminal justice reform, comprehensive immigration reform and tax reform, which demands that the wealthy and large corporations start paying their fair share of taxes.”
“At a time of massive income and wealth inequality and a shrinking middle class, we need a government which represents all Americans, not just Wall Street, multi-national corporations and the top 1 percent,” the two men said in a statement. “Regardless of where they live or their political affiliations, most people understand that it is absurd for Republicans in Congress to support huge tax breaks for billionaires while pushing for cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They understand that the recent Republican health care proposal which would have thrown 24 million Americans off of their health insurance, substantially raised premiums for older workers and defunded Planned Parenthood while, at the same time, providing almost $300 billion in tax breaks to the top 2 percent is a disgraceful idea.”
Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, was enormously popular in Maine Democratic circles last year, winning the party caucuses over Clinton after huge crowds of supporters turned out in Portland and other towns. Perez, who served as President Obama’s labor secretary, was elected as chairman of the DNC in February. Perez now faces the challenge of rebuilding the Democratic party following Clinton’s debilitating loss to Donald Trump in the presidential race in November.
In late-March, Perez asked for resignation letters from all DNC staffers by mid-April.
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