Heimlich’s Mentor Has Cussing Fit

There he goes again.

Christopher Finney, an arch-conservative attorney who is political mentor to Hamilton County Commissioner Phil Heimlich, interrupted a press conference held by Heimlich’s opponent this morning and unleashed a torrent of profanities at him and his staff.

As Democratic challenger David Pepper outlined his “10 simple rules” for cleaning up county government, Finney interrupted and called Pepper “a trust fund, spoiled brat” and an “asshole,” among other names.

After Pepper’s press secretary, Bridget Doherty, told Finney he was acting “infantile,” Finney told her, “Kiss my ass.” He then turned around, lifted up his coat jacket, patted his posterior and said, “Bridget, kiss it right here.”

Finney was angry that Pepper criticized Heimlich’s penchant for appointing his friends and campaign contributors to county task forces that help shape major policies. Finney, for example, is on the Tax Levy Review Committee and other county panels. Pepper has said county government is rife with cronyism and insider deals and that all such personal relationships and possible conflicts of interests should be publicly revealed.

During the press conference, Finney told Pepper, “You’re trying to smear my name because you’re a rich, fucking asshole.” Finney said he’s volunteered hundreds of hours to county task forces and revealed his business connections on documents filed with the state, adding, “I’ve never hidden anything, I have no secrets.”

Pepper said Finney’s outburst was telling. “His reaction to a simple call for transparency speaks volumes,” Pepper said later. “These connections need to be disclosed. That’s basic good government. The over-the-top reaction shows just how badly it’s needed.”

This morning’s temper tantrum isn’t the first time that Finney has lost his cool.

In late August, Finney got upset over a blog entry here that mentioned miscalculations in alleged savings from a property tax rollback included as part of a county sales tax hike plan proposed by Heimlich. After the entry pointed out that Finney earlier told CityBeat that he personally vetted the calculations the weekend before the plan was made public, an angry Finney sent e-mails calling CityBeat a “biased rag” and telling us, “Do not call me again.”

Finney is a co-founder of the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST). The group has neither endorsed nor opposed Heimlich’s sales tax proposal, which is on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Among the crude invectives hurled today by Finney, he called Pepper “a little rich fucking asshole who’s never had to work a day in his life.” Pepper held the press conference in St. Bernard, across from Procter &Gamble’s old Ivorydale factory. He is the son of John Pepper, P&G’s retired CEO.

David Pepper is employed as an attorney at the Squire Sanders & Dempsey law firm and previously worked as an aide to former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Ironically, it’s Heimlich who depends on his family’s largess to help pay the bills. Heimlich’s father is Dr. Henry Heimlich, purported inventor of the now discredited “Heimlich Maneuver” to help choking victims; his grandfather is famed dancer Arthur Murray.

According to documents filed with the Ohio Ethics Commission in 2005, Heimlich lists the Kathryn Murray Family Limited Partnership and the Heimlich Family Limited Partnership No. 2 as sources of income. Also, under a section that lists investments and fiduciary interests, Heimlich lists the Heimlich Institute Foundation, the Arthur Murray Trust, the Kathryn Murray Family Limited Partnership and the Heimlich Family Limited Partnership.

Additionally, Heimlich lists Three Centurions No. 2 as a source of income. A real estate investment firm, Three Centurions was co-owned by Heimlich, Finney and former Heimlich staffer Jeff Eichorn. The trio eventually transferred ownership to their wives. The company apparently is named after a term coined by millionaire evangelist Bill Gothard, whom Heimlich admires.

Finney’s verbatim tirade was confirmed using an audio recording of the press conference provided by WNKU-FM (89.7). Finney was accompanied by two young women, presumably Heimlich campaign workers, who videotaped the outburst.

If we’re all lucky, this juicy bit of political theater will end up on You Tube.

— Kevin Osborne

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8 Comments on “Heimlich’s Mentor Has Cussing Fit”

  1. Garuda Says:

    If the girls who shot the video are reading this, I’ll offer $100 for a copy. Contact the Dean of Cincinnati and he can arrange the deal!

    dean@deanofcincinnati.com

  2. The Dean Says:

    I know someone with one hundred dollars for a copy of the video!

    dean@cincinnatibeacon.com

  3. Finney The Fink Says:

    This is an act of shear desperation and panic on Finney’s part. He knows that he is going to loose his influence and his much desired property tax cut, reserved for the richest residents of the County.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    someone ought to file criminal charges against finney for public indecency or profanity and subpoena the tape!!!


  5. I’d pay to see that! Thanks for the great post. Linked back to you.

  6. Richard Brockelmann Says:

    Mr. Phil Heimlich
    Hamilton County Commissioner Office
    138 East Court Street, Room 603
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
    513-946-4407 & 513-351-7443 Fax
    phil.heimlich@hamilton-co.org, phil@philheimlich.com

    SENT VIA EMAIL & FACSIMILE

    Dear Commissioner Heimlich,

    As a tax-paying Hamilton County resident and homeowner, I am outraged at yesterday’s antics of your friend, business partner and adviser, Chris Finney. Mr. Finney rudely interrupted a speech being given by your opponent, David Pepper, and proceeded to launch into an obscene invective of profanity which is not fit to be reprinted. He also told a young lady present to “kiss my ass”, and proceeded to turn around, lift up his coat jacket, pat his posterior and said, “Bridget, kiss it right here.”

    I ask you Commissioner, were Mr. Finney’s actions those of a Christian, a gentleman, or a rational, mature adult? Were his actions in I keeping with the tenants of the Character First! Organization? By any standard, the answers are a resounding ‘no’, they are not. Further, Mr. Finney’s vile outburst and actions came across as the actions of a very desperate man, fearful that he is in danger of losing his perceived connections to power in County government.

    Aside from Mr. Finney’s profane outbursts, he made accusations and criticisms that Mr. Pepper is a ‘trust fund kid’ that lives at the bequest of a large family trust fund. Do you find it ironic commissioner that you are the beneficiary of several large and generous family trust funds ( The Kathryn Murray Family Limited Partnership; The Heimlich Family Limited Partnership No. 2; The Heimlich Institute Foundation; the Arthur Murray Trust)? Indeed, in the course of your entire adult life your sole sources of income have either been these family trust funds and/or the taxpayers of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
    I am calling on you, Commissioner, to denounce and condemn Mr. Finney’s words and actions of yesterday. Further, I request that you openly state for the record the nature of your business dealings with Mr. Finney, including your real estate venture known as Three Centurions and any other business associations that you have with Mr. Finney. You might find that the of cronyism which are frequently leveled against you might be refuted by your ‘coming clean’ with regard to your association with Mr. Finney.

    Will you condemn Mr. Finney’s actions commissioner, or will you tacitly approve of them by way of your silence? I think that you might find that the future of your campaign may rest on your action, or inaction, in regard to Mr. Finney.

    Respectfully,

    Richard Brockelmann
    Hyde Park
    rbrockelmann@yahoo.com

    Cc: David Pepper; Todd Portune; Pat Dewine; The Cincinnati Enquire (Tom Callinan, Kimball Perry, Letters to the Editor, enquirer Government Blog); The Cincinnati Beacon; City Beat Magazine (Kevin Osbord, Porkopolis Blog); Rob Seddon; Chris Finney.

  7. I cant say...sorry Says:

    but wow. That was fucking hilarious!

  8. Every Cincinnatian Says:

    Well done Mr. Osborne and CityBeat! We don’t recall seeing coverage of this incident nor background information on the relationship between Mr. Heimlich and Mr. Finney elsewhere.


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