So some of you probably saw the little spat that the Councilman and I had on GerritsenBeach.net. For those who missed it, check it out here - it's in the comments.
Some people will say that what I did was a cheap political trick or tactic. Other will call it a n unnecessary personal attack on Lew. Those that think that don’t know me. Because the fact of the matter is that I've been doing this for years to friend and foe. This is how I've acted before becoming politically involved, it's how I act now and it'll be how I conduct myself if elected - I stand up for what I think is right.
In fact, a comment much like that was one of my first documented statements from my volunteer work with the Civic Association. Back during the Sheepshead Bay re-zoning, I read a Letter to the Editor from Steve Barrison of Bay Improvement Group unnecessarily insulting Community Board 15, and Sheila Nelson specifically (God Bless, Shiela… we miss you). Back then, I didn’t know anyone and had no political connections, but I took it upon myself to take Mr. Barrison to task with my own Letter to the Editor. I had no dog in the fight, but I saw something wrong and I spoke out against it.
Since then, I’ve been doing pretty much the same thing, like those two adventures I had in Manhattan Beach, or like my fight for Brigham Park. I even spoke out against Alan Maisel recently - and I consider him a good friend of the family!
It’s not about popularity, or about going along to get along – it’s about doing the right thing.
So when I saw our Councilman going out of his way to insult an anonymous poster (who by the way was off on his facts), I spoke up. Plain and simple. Being in public office doesn't give anyone the right to insult anybody. Lew was right to correct misinformation - but his second comment was, as he said in his own apology, "gratuitous and unnecessary".
Besides the adventures online this week, I had some great campaign experiences.
I started the week at 30 Rockefeller Center and NBC Studios to film my contribution to the Video Voter Guide. I took my dad along for the ride as we received a behind-the-scenes tour of what it’s like to film a real TV segment – even if for only two minutes of air-time! It was really great to get to use a teleprompter (an awesome invention – no thinking necessary, just read! Maybe that’s why politicians and TV Personalities use it so much!) and stand in front of a green screen (just like another Berardelli that works in TV! Shout out to my cousin Jeff, formerly of CBS 2 New York, currently working in Tampa FL). But the best part was Dad being there to see it all! We did two takes in less than 10 minutes, then saw the finished product.
Afterwards, we ran into Brian Williams in the lobby of 30 Rock – sorry, no Tina Fey.
I’ll be sure to link the Video Voter Guide spot once it’s up and running!
After that, I went to the Campaign Finance Board’s mandatory class, and who should I meet but Robert Burck. He’s a candidate running for Mayor – you probably know him better as “The Naked Cowboy”.
I swear, I didn’t recognize him at all! Anyways, Robert, Todd (his campaign manager) and I got to talking politics, and I was pleasantly surprised by his grasp of the issues and his strong feelings towards his candidacy. This is no publicity stunt – or at least not just publicity, in my opinion. I believe that Robert has something to offer to the public discourse in this race - if we can all get beyond the tidy-whiteys.
If our political scene has room for characters like Schwarzenegger, Ventura and Franken –why not a naked cowboy?
In the coming days, I’m going to be announcing a lot of events and opportunities to volunteer. Keep your eyes peeled for some great events!