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Man upset by lack of Trump presidential photo at Portsmouth Post Office

Union Leader Correspondent

July 20. 2017 12:52AM
These two displays have replaced photos of the president and vice president at the Portsmouth Post Office, and a Republican activist is calling foul. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Correspondent)

PORTSMOUTH — A Republican activist from Dover is upset because the Portsmouth Post Office is not displaying photos of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

“I’ve always noticed photos of President Obama and Vice President Biden hanging there for the last eight years,” Matt Mayberry said of a wall near the rented mailboxes. “And then I noticed that after the inaugural, there was nothing. There were just two frames with nothing in them.”

Mayberry, who works in Portsmouth and is the former vice chairman of the New Hampshire GOP, said photos of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney hung in the same spot before Obama was elected in 2008.

Mayberry said he asked employees about the absence of Trump/Pence photos on two occasions, and got no answer.

“I was mad. I was disappointed. The President is the President is the President. I don’t care who it is,” Mayberry said Tuesday.

Stephen Doherty, United States Postal Service spokesman, said he was surprised to hear that photos of the Presidents were hanging in Portsmouth’s lobby area. He said it is against post office policy for such images to be on display.

He pointed to Postal Operations Manual Section 124.55, which covers a variety of prohibited items, including advertisements, photographs or likenesses of any elected official, photos of the Postmaster General, political cartoons designed to influence an election and religious symbols.

“The picture of the President should not have been in the lobby, and if it was, it was properly removed,” Doherty said.

An image of a 2001 Heroes USA postage stamp and a photo of a groundbreaking now occupy the spot.

Doherty said he does not know when or why the ban on presidential photos was put into place, but archives from The New York Times say the post office stopped the practice in 1974.

Mayberry said he took to Facebook last week and asked people throughout the state to be on the lookout for presidential photos. So far, people have responded that they have seen such photos in federal buildings such as the Norris Cotton building in Manchester.

Mayberry questions the timing of the decision not to display Trump-Pence photos in Portsmouth’s post office. “I don’t know, I’m not trying to be a conspiracy theorist, but I’m just like, hmm ...” Mayberry said.

Mayberry said he thinks images of Trump elicit an emotional response, and perhaps someone is afraid a photo may be vandalized if hung in the Portsmouth Post Office.

On Election Day, Hillary Clinton beat Trump 8,911 to 3,632 in Portsmouth.

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