By Bobby Berriault
In response to a recent post on the President of the Board of Education Nick Mercier Facebook page, calling me a liar, saying I live by “alternative facts” and complaining that I blocked him on my exploratory committee Facebook page, I want to rebut his first allegation and explain why he and other supporters of Mayor Stewart have been blocked from my exploratory committee account.
First, Mr. Mercier is attempting to distract from the real issues that matter to everyday residents by engaging in false personal attacks against me. I wrote a post saying, in part, that the graduation rate from the New Britain Public School system is 75%, three out of every four students fail to graduate. I said, because of this and other issues dealing with high unemployment and low job growth, that New Britain needs new leaders in city hall to fix these serious problems. Both Mayor Erin Stewart and Board President Mercier have no plan to address any of these problems. They offer no real solutions. They ignore these problems and, instead of making a plan to addess them, attack anyone who dares mentions either the unemployment rate and the low graduation rate or any other issue that makes them look unfavorable.
Mr. Mercier wrote that I prefer to live by alternative facts while failing to rebut anything that I said on my original post. Not only does he offer this ridiculous allegation without any proof, he fails to mention that the 75% graduation rate statistic was mentioned in his own press release to the media
back last December. So I never lied. And I don’t live by alternative facts.
Second, he complains that I blocked him and other Erin Stewart supporters from my exploratory committee page (like, for example, the Mayor’s father, former Mayor Tim Stewart, who literally started calling me names like wackjob for no reason). Now let me make one thing clear. I do not block people who offer different opinions than my own. I block people who are clearly supporters of the opposition campaign and who only troll my exploratory committee page in a effort to create a disturbance. Anyone who violates the terms and conditions of my exploratory page will be blocked. The terms and conditions are listed in the About section of the Facebook page and it reads, “No person’s post or comment will be censored based on opinion or ideology. However, posts or comments that contain violent threats, slanderous personal attacks on another, illegal acts, false information, harmful malicious threats or posts that are inappropriately sexual in nature will be removed. Page administrator has discretion to remove commenters who are determined to be either (1) someone who is not a current New Britain resident or (2) a supporter of an opposition campaign; and who are posting and commenting in a combative or malicious manner for the purpose of being disruptive as determined by the page administrator. Other than that, all other posts and comments are encouraged and welcomed.”
The fact that Mr. Mercier and others were engaging in name calling, harassment, and other inappropriate acts led them to be blocked. Mayor Stewart’s conservation commissioner, Ken Haas, on behalf of the Erin Stewart re election campaign, even went a step further, creating a Facebook page named “Do not vote for Bobby.” It is full of personal attacks, including posts making fun of my weight. However, anyone can go on my page right now and see all sorts of comments in which people disagree with me. I don’t mind if people disagree with me. I only take issue when you cross the line from questioning me to bullying me.
But let me point out Mr. Mercier’s hypocrisy. Mayor Stewart regularly blocks people, even when they don’t comment or follow the Mayor’s page to begin with. The Mayor routinely deletes comments on her page, except for the one’s that say something along the lines of “I love you” or “Run for Governor.” (The only negative comments about the Mayor are the ones posted during her livesteam video events since she is unable to delete those). The CCSU Recorder newspaper even published an article two years ago noting, in part, “New Britain Mayor and Central Connecticut alumna Erin Stewart has somewhat insidiously played some immature moves such as blocking CCSU alumnus Bobby Berriault, CCSU student Wyatt Bosworth who is running for New Britain City council and The Recorder’s Assistant News Editor Christopher Marinelli.” Mayor Stewart continues to block me today despite the fact I never once commented on any of her statuses nor done anything wrong.
The difference between Mr. Mercier and I is that Mr. Mercier is inappropriate in his comments on his page. He engages in disparaging name calling and harassment which led him to be blocked from my page. I, along with hundreds of other people have been blocked for no reason whatsoever, except that we happen to support an opposing candidate of the Stewart slate.
The fact that Mr. Mercier is unable to refute any of the facts in my original post and instead tries to turn the focus from real issues that impact New Britain towards personal attacks against me shows how desperate the Stewart republicans are to distract the people from the issues. I promise to hold them accountable for their record, and I will never resort to calling them names or harassing my opponents, because I believe the voters deserve better.
Bobby Berriault has a exploratory committee to explore running for city elected office in the 2017 elections.