- Sasha Goldstein
- The Berniemobile
Even a presidential candidate can't catch a break when it comes to parking in Burlington.
A car registered to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was ticketed and nearly towed from outside his New North End home on April 24, the night the city kicked off its annual street-sweeping effort.
Sanders happened to be campaigning for president in Texas, with a rally in Houston on that day and another in Fort Worth the next.
"I don't think I will be able to help you on this one," Sanders' Senate office spokesperson Dan McLean replied to a Seven Days request for comment. Members of Sanders' presidential communications team did not respond to an email.
The senator's car was one of 503 ticketed during Burlington's seven-night Operation Clean Sweep. The city towed 394 vehicles. Sanders' red Chevrolet Aveo LT was picked up and dropped off at the same place, which generally means the tow-truck driver hooked up the vehicle before someone came out and claimed it, according to Burlington parking enforcement manager John King.
That maneuver still results in a $35 fee, plus a $75 ticket for violating the parking prohibition during street sweeping.
Cars have to be removed from designated city streets between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. on the nights they get swept. Free parking is available in three city-owned garages for those without off-street spots. Sanders' home has a driveway and a two-car garage.
The Berniemobile was parked in his driveway earlier this week. On the bumper of the four-door hatchback was a sticker once common in these parts: "Re-elect Bernie for U.S. Senate 2012."
So was this the first time the city has nearly towed a presidential candidate? King had a response worthy of a politician: "No comment."