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Teabagger or carpetbagger? State Senate candidate Chris Thieneman a modern-day nomad

by Brian Tucker

Insiders with deep connections in the local Republican and Democratic parties are spilling their guts as we march ever closer to the November election, alleging in private what many in Louisville’s South End have said openly for years: Chris Thieneman does not live in the senate district where he is a candidate.

While this is the ‘October Surprise’ we thought would eventually come for Chris Thieneman, it’s certainly no shocker.

Thieneman is the Republican challenger for a State Senate seat in Kentucky’s 37th District.

The Democratic incumbent is Senator Perry Clark.

A perennial candidate with a long, shady history who faces constant questions about his residency, Thieneman has repeatedly identified himself as a “South End activist.” He has a small core of dedicated acolytes who defend him at every turn, but become conspicuously silent when it comes to where he actually resides.

The convoluted trail of the residential and commercial addresses given by Thieneman as “home” addresses over the last several years is a strange phenomenon.

According to information provided by Thieneman to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance on September 30, 2010, Thieneman gave a $250 contribution to Bobbie Holsclaw’s campaign for Jefferson County Clerk. On that day, he listed his address as 4901 Fern Valley Road. That address belongs to APB Self Storage – a business owned by the Thieneman family.

On August 26, 2011, Thieneman gave a $250 contribution to David Williams’ gubernatorial campaign. On that day, he listed his address as 5005 Old Federal Road. That address belongs to Mr. and Mrs. James O’Malley. This address was used several times for contributions to candidates mid – to – late decade.

Before the ink was dry on his filing paperwork, messages began flying in from all directions about the address Thieneman listed as his “home” for purposes of this year’s election. This time, the address given was 7650 Dixie Highway.

But insiders are telling us he lives at 2606 Alia Circle in Louisville.

2606 Alia Circle

2606 Alia Circle is near Brownsboro Road in the 36th Senate District. It is the address Thieneman used in 2009 before the mayoral primary and claimed again in November 2010 during the David Toborowsky school board race fiasco. It is during this same period Thieneman also lists the addresses at Fern Valley Road and Old Federal Road as “home” to the Registry for Election Finance.

From time to time, Thieneman uses a post office box in Jeffersontown as his address – something that is not allowed on a candidate’s filing paperwork.

Our insider sources maintain the address at Alia Circle is his regular, full time residence.

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7650 Dixie Highway is the location of Fort Locks Self Storage, a business Thieneman owns.

It’s a busy joint. In addition to being listed as his home in this race, the location also housed campaign headquarters for Thieneman’s failed bids for Louisville mayor in 2010 and U.S. Representative in 2008.

In his financial disclosure statement to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Thieneman lists 7650 Dixie Highway as a commercial property in which he holds a 38.46-percent interest.

Building permit #52391 was issued by Metro Government in February 2005 for 7650 Dixie Highway which explicitly states “no residence” and reads as follows:

“new building for mini-warehouse and office (no residence), and fire areas are seperated [sic] by fire barriers and fire walls. Shall comply with the provisions of the 2002 KBC”

The Kentucky Constitution states residency requirements as thus: “At the time of election, must be at least 30 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, resided in the State 6 years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the district for which he may be chosen.

In November 2011, Thieneman was a registered voter of the 10th Senate District, using an address of 11905 Dixie Highway. According to the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administration, 11905 Dixie Highway is the site of the Riverport South Motel and includes a vacant, disheveled home on the corner of Dixie and Orell Road. Both structures are owned by Thieneman.

7650 Dixie Highway

I guess you can take your pick on the addresses. He lists so many residences it is hard to keep up with him, even if you cross off the locations of the uninhabitable storage lockers.

Several missteps in his campaign have made Thieneman’s candidacy the Rosetta Stone of contemporary political comedy in Louisville.

Last week, a giant Thieneman banner was hung from two utility poles near the Outer Loop in a clear violation of local ordinance. The banner was hung by Chris Thieneman with the help of an unidentified man. How do we know? Thieneman posted pictures of the banner hanging on his campaign’s Facebook page. LG&E sent a crew out to remove the sign at ratepayer expense.

An old box truck decorated with Thieneman paraphernalia sits parked at select locations up and down Dixie Highway. During the day, it is often seen driving on Dixie. More often than not, it is parked outside of the district for which he is campaigning. Any seasoned political hack could tell you what a waste of time that type of activity is, unless they don’t know the district boundaries.

Thieneman has run as a Democrat, a Republican and has attempted to align himself with the Tea Party.

This image, since removed from Facebook, shows Chris Thieneman and an unidentified man illegally hanging a campaign banner from utility poles at National Turnpike and Outer Loop.

In 2008, Thieneman filed as a Republican to run against Congressman John Yarmuth. A fight erupted between the local GOP and the candidate, Thieneman dropped out of the race and endorsed John Yarmuth.

What? Yeah, that really happened.

This time, Thieneman surrounded himself with a gaggle of old-school political goons and amateurs who have failed to engage voters on a serious level.

They are also technologically unsophisticated corn-pones. Dealing almost exclusively in gossip, rumors and innuendo, their main goal is to ruin the reputations of Thieneman’s detractors.

Thieneman has irreparably harmed the reputation of Louisville’s South End. His arrogance is a turn off to most voters and they deem his behavior “erratic” and unbecoming a public official.

He makes a lot of his money from trailer parks and crappy apartments. Plus, he totally ruined The Mint Jubilee, a charity gala held during Derby week.

I guess the world needs people like Chris Thieneman. Exactly why is something we may never know.

But he’s perfect at one thing: Being everything a state senator should not.

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  • http://www.veritasnewmedia.com/ Dan Vonderheide

    Regardless of Mr. Thieneman’s politics or practices, you know as well as I do that there is a difference in meaning between “teabagger” and “tea partier”. You clearly know how to write and how to report facts, Brian. Your snarky condescension in juxtaposition to those facts renders this article/blog less useful than it could have been.

  • http://www.louisville.am/category/startup Dan Vonderheide

    Regardless of Mr. Thieneman’s politics or practices, you know as well as I do that there is a difference in meaning between “teabagger” and “tea partier”. You clearly know how to write and how to report facts, Brian. Your snarky condescension in juxtaposition to those facts renders this article/blog less useful than it could have been.

  • http://twitter.com/ValleyReport Col. Brian Tucker

    Skip all that. Where does this guy live?

  • Guest

    Skip all that. Where does this guy live?

  • http://twitter.com/ValleyReport Col. Brian Tucker

    Your criticism is useless. Have you even read the post? It’s like saying “Gone With the Wind” isn’t a good book because you hate the title. My use of the word ‘teabagger’ one time in the title line spoils the entire factual basis of my argument? Sure, that sounds logical.

    Please check your party affiliation at the door. You won’t need it here.

  • http://twitter.com/ValleyReport Col. Brian Tucker

    Your criticism is useless. Have you even read the post? It’s like saying “Gone With the Wind” isn’t a good book because you hate the title. My use of the word ‘teabagger’ one time in the title line spoils the entire factual basis of my argument? Sure, that sounds logical.

    Please check your party affiliation at the door. You won’t need it here.

  • http://www.veritasnewmedia.com/ Dan Vonderheide

    Brian, you’re a talented writer with obviously honed reporting skills. My only point is that this would have made a great NEWS piece if presented in a different light. The opinion that is injected landed it in the “opinion” section for good reason. A story like this belongs on the front of the news page. This isn’t any different than what most “reporters” are doing in 2012. That is my criticism. It is a critique of the news media in general. You just happened to be accessible.

  • http://www.louisville.am/category/startup Dan Vonderheide

    Brian, you’re a talented writer with obviously honed reporting skills. My only point is that this would have made a great NEWS piece if presented in a different light. The opinion that is injected landed it in the “opinion” section for good reason. A story like this belongs on the front of the news page. This isn’t any different than what most “reporters” are doing in 2012. That is my criticism. It is a critique of the news media in general. You just happened to be accessible.

  • http://twitter.com/ValleyReport Col. Brian Tucker

    In order to be “news”, this piece would have to be objective. The problem is, you can only see these people for who they really are by being subjective. I called his small group of dedicated followers “corn-pones” instead of his “inner circle” because they do not rise to and aren’t worthy of that elevated status. I know them, I know who they are and how they operate and what they’ve done in the past. They are not serious and are not professionals and neither is the candidate.

    A man who owns a half-million dollar home while claiming to live in a storage locker just to get elected to political office doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. That’s the problem with traditional journalism – you have to hold out hope that he’s really an honest guy living on a concrete slab with no plumbing or HVAC in a building that is not zoned for that purpose. This isn’t a series of unfortunate coincidences or small mistakes. This seems to me to be a malicious attempt to mislead the public. That’s my opinion, anyway.

    Thanks for your compliments, and thanks for reading. Cast aside my comments and focus on the evidence I have presented. Then tell me if you agree with my opinion. I don’t know where this man lives, exactly, but if he’s running for office I think we deserve to know.

  • http://twitter.com/ValleyReport Col. Brian Tucker

    In order to be “news”, this piece would have to be objective. The problem is, you can only see these people for who they really are by being subjective. I called his small group of dedicated followers “corn-pones” instead of his “inner circle” because they do not rise to and aren’t worthy of that elevated status. I know them, I know who they are and how they operate and what they’ve done in the past. They are not serious and are not professionals and neither is the candidate.

    A man who owns a half-million dollar home while claiming to live in a storage locker just to get elected to political office doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. That’s the problem with traditional journalism – you have to hold out hope that he’s really an honest guy living on a concrete slab with no plumbing or HVAC in a building that is not zoned for that purpose. This isn’t a series of unfortunate coincidences or small mistakes. This seems to me to be a malicious attempt to mislead the public. That’s my opinion, anyway.

    Thanks for your compliments, and thanks for reading. Cast aside my comments and focus on the evidence I have presented. Then tell me if you agree with my opinion. I don’t know where this man lives, exactly, but if he’s running for office I think we deserve to know.

  • http://twitter.com/sandyknauer Sandy Knauer

    Thanks for doing the leg work and presenting this so nicely, Brian. What a disgusting situation. Have you gone to the television stations with this? I would like to see this reported on every channel so people will make informed choices. We elect politicians to represent us. I’m sure voters who are NOT liars don’t want to send a liar to represent them. They need to know about this man.

  • Sandy Knauer

    Thanks for doing the leg work and presenting this so nicely, Brian. What a disgusting situation. Have you gone to the television stations with this? I would like to see this reported on every channel so people will make informed choices. We elect politicians to represent us. I’m sure voters who are NOT liars don’t want to send a liar to represent them. They need to know about this man.

  • http://twitter.com/ZoePop1 Tom Peterson

    Great reporting. Ironic if the Tea Party ever supports him, since he obviously will join any party & take any seat that will earn him a piece of the government pie.

  • http://twitter.com/ZoePop1 Tom Peterson

    Great reporting. Ironic if the Tea Party ever supports him, since he obviously will join any party & take any seat that will earn him a piece of the government pie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/larry.hovekamp Larry Hovekamp

    So, Chris, are you an ignorant-ass cracker or a rich pig boss from the other side of town? Make up your mind, make a decision. So you finked out of Southwest Jefferson County, but still desire to “represent” it??? I guess you want to get elected for State Senate to join your buddy, Dan (“rhymes with slime”) Seum, another former “loyal” Democrat who was a notorious political switch hitter. Remember how old Dan got his clueless daughter to run against Virginia Woodward for State Senate some years back? After some expose’ by Woodward and the CJ, it was uncovered that her real residential address was in Indiana. So unless you sleep, eat and make out on the desk in your office, quit your candidacy and return to upper-class lotusland on the other side of the social and class divide. Send us another incompetent, dishonest Republican who this time resides in the district, and is as entertaining. Mitch, Dan, Chris: instead of harassing ID-less voters by demanding photo identification before they practice their constitutional right to vote, why don’t you jerks pass a law demanding that all officeseekers prove their honest true residence with notarized property deeds or condo contracts with accurate address and photos of their actual homes at their addresses??? I know it is next to impossible to find rich, stupid reactionaries beyond the far-out East End, but at least expect the same legal qualifications for the rightness and fitness to run for LOCAL public office, like you would when scrutinizing a college student, an elderly citizen, or a carless poor person to vote.
    After all, the Republican Party does not want any cheating.

  • Larry Hovekamp

    So, Chris, are you an ignorant-ass cracker or a rich pig boss from the other side of town? Make up your mind, make a decision. So you finked out of Southwest Jefferson County, but still desire to “represent” it??? I guess you want to get elected for State Senate to join your buddy, Dan (“rhymes with slime”) Seum, another former “loyal” Democrat who was a notorious political switch hitter. Remember how old Dan got his clueless daughter to run against Virginia Woodward for State Senate some years back? After some expose’ by Woodward and the CJ, it was uncovered that her real residential address was in Indiana. So unless you sleep, eat and make out on the desk in your office, quit your candidacy and return to upper-class lotusland on the other side of the social and class divide. Send us another incompetent, dishonest Republican who this time resides in the district, and is as entertaining. Mitch, Dan, Chris: instead of harassing ID-less voters by demanding photo identification before they practice their constitutional right to vote, why don’t you jerks pass a law demanding that all officeseekers prove their honest true residence with notarized property deeds or condo contracts with accurate address and photos of their actual homes at their addresses??? I know it is next to impossible to find rich, stupid reactionaries beyond the far-out East End, but at least expect the same legal qualifications for the rightness and fitness to run for LOCAL public office, like you would when scrutinizing a college student, an elderly citizen, or a carless poor person to vote.
    After all, the Republican Party does not want any cheating.

  • Joey Saylor

    He was a frequent customer at Avalon restaurant, that says a lot right there. If you ever were a patron of that place, you know what I mean by that.

  • Joey Saylor

    He was a frequent customer at Avalon restaurant, that says a lot right there. If you ever were a patron of that place, you know what I mean by that.

  • http://twitter.com/ValleyReport Col. Brian Tucker

    I never went there, but I think I know what you mean.

  • http://twitter.com/ValleyReport Col. Brian Tucker

    I never went there, but I think I know what you mean.

  • Joey Saylor

    You didn’t miss anything other than people bragging about themselves ad nauseam.

  • Joey Saylor

    You didn’t miss anything other than people bragging about themselves ad nauseam.

  • Joey Saylor

    The local media around here is too busy reporting about stupid kid videos people post on YouTube or the X Factor. I mean, why overload people’s brains with the important stuff, right?

  • Joey Saylor

    The local media around here is too busy reporting about stupid kid videos people post on YouTube or the X Factor. I mean, why overload people’s brains with the important stuff, right?

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