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