Of Political Signage and Presumed Alliances

An approximation of the image in the original posting
An approximation of the image in the original posting

A Facebook acquaintance posted a picture on the timeline of an influential Portsmouth political action committee recently. It shows a well-known residential property that has hosted a variety of political signs over the course of many election seasons with the owners’ current selections. The caption supplied by the person posting was the time-worn saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. The inference I drew from this commentary was that sign proximity indicates personal affinity. Continue reading Of Political Signage and Presumed Alliances


As promised, the links below provide access to the sets of written questions posed by the named organizations along with the responses submitted by Candidate Mark Geduldig-Yatrofsky:

Thoughts on Questionnaires

Over the past few days, I have been thinking about, writing out, and revising my answers to a pair of very interesting candidate questionnaires I received this week. For many years the Hampton Roads Realtors Association and Portsmouth Education Association PAC have posed to candidates for local office questions of particular concern to their members. On dispatching the finished documents, I feel much the way I did at the equivalent point in writing term papers for my history classes: intellectually drained but initially relieved to have completed the task. What follows the relief, though, is anxiety — how will the professor assess my work? Nonetheless, doing that work has intrinsic rewards. I receive insight into what issues matter most to certain segments of my constituency, and I have a chance to ponder issues that I might not have considered on my own. Whether I “pass the audition” or not, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from the experience. When I take my seat on council next January, that knowledge will help me be a better representative of all the people.

As I have done with my financial reports, I will be posting the questions I have received along with my responses on the campaign web site. They will appear later this month after I have completed the followup interviews. The public deserves to know whether my issue positions as stated to one audience align with those presented to another. Recognizing that I may be deviating from established political practice, I am guided, nonetheless, by Polonius’s famous admonition to Laertes: “This above all- to thine own self be true, / And it must follow, as the night the day, / Thou canst not then be false to any[one].” Whether or not someone likes a particular position of mine, i believe the public deserves a truthful statement of what it is.

Why My Chair Is Empty at the PfP Forum

Dear Neighbors and Fellow Citizens:

I regret that I am unable to participate in the People for Portsmouth candidate forum tonight. As the founders of our country stated in the Declaration of Independence, “a decent respect to the opinions of [hu]mankind requires that [I] should declare the causes” for my absence. Otherwise, some might speculate that it is an indication of disrespect, forgetfulness, lack of accountability, or some other negative reflection on People for Portsmouth or myself. In reality, it is merely a demonstration that even in a 366-day year and despite everyone’s best efforts, irreconcilable scheduling conflicts do occur. To be more specific, months before PfP issued invitations to candidates for any local office, my wife and I had booked a family event involving non-refundable tickets for this particular date. Although I regret the missed opportunity to persuade you to vote for me, I expect that others will present themselves between now and Election Day. Additionally, if People for Portsmouth would provide me its questions after the forum, I will be happy to post my answers for the public to review and evaluate.

As a believer in small “d” democratic process, I am grateful to People for Portsmouth for taking on an essential but labor-intensive, civic responsibility. With the breadth of the local candidate field this year — five for mayor, nine for city council, and eight for school board — PfP committed to sponsoring no fewer than five forums allowing those running to present their cases to the electorate. No other organization in the twenty years I have lived in Portsmouth has undertaken such a task nor has had a task of equivalent magnitude to undertake. I believe all Portsmouth voters, and, most decidedly, all candidates, owe People for Portsmouth our deepest thanks for bringing us together in this fashion.

So, with highest hopes that the Mayor’s “lions” have already been well fed, may the conversation commence!

With warmest regards,
Mark Geduldig-Yatrofsky
for City Council