Home » Opinion » Editorials
Farewell, Finnegan: Our longtime colleague is missed
Finnegan was a force to be reckoned with on these pages. His good friend, former state Supreme Court Justice and former congressman Chuck Douglas, had it right when he said that Finnegan was "probably more threatening to those on the (political) left," than even his boss, the legendary publisher William Loeb.
Loeb could stir the blood. Finnegan marshalled the facts and often methodically demolished political foes with those facts. In the process, he helped make New Hampshire a beacon of low-tax, close-to-the-people government and popped the bluster of more than a few would-be Presidents.
He was also funny, his dry Irish wit leavening a lot of otherwise serious editorials and their headlines. "Desperately Seeking Susan" was his way to call out a favorite political foe, the late Rep. Susan McLane.
When a Manchester lawyer left politics for a time, he warned us against using his Finnegan-given nickname of "Devious Dave."
So notified, Finnegan grinned and asked an editor, "Can we call him the formerly Devious Dave?"
And when a Dartmouth professor, enraged at conservative students (yes, there were and are some), actually bit one of them, Finnegan's headline, "We eschew Dartmouth," caused even William F. Buckley Jr. to pay homage.
Finnegan had his favorite causes. His support for a group of Hampton nuns who battled with the Diocese of Manchester was memorable. If it had been against the law, he might have been convicted a time or two of beating a dead horse.
He grew up in the diverse worlds of big-city Philadelphia and bucolic Hershey, Pa. In the former, he would accompany a blind uncle on his rounds as a piano tuner. (His love of and knowledge of opera may have stemmed from that interaction.) At the Hershey school, where he and a brother were sent after their father's premature death, the city boy learned how to herd and milk cows. Perhaps his proudest moment came when he was honored as a Hershey School Alumnus of the Year.
James Joseph Finnegan also loved boxing, reading, travel and people. He left our employ nearly 20 years ago, but his presence is still felt here today. If you never met him, you missed one of the greats.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Islanders make Boychuk's return a happy one with 3-2 win - 0
- Police say driver in Amherst fatal crash was traveling about 45 mph above limit - 0
- Stocks rally on better-than-expected earnings - 0
- Apple leaves door open for GT Advanced - 0
- Nashua dealing with roadway flooding - 0
- Keene police may seek subpoenas for social media accounts in riot probe - 2
- Ex-Seabrook police officer wants to keep sealed statements out of trial - 0
- Shaheen, Brown clash over handling of Ebola threat - 4
- FairPoint finds lines cut, calls it 'sabotage' - 0
UPDATED: Flood warning issued for southern NH; leaks force visitation to be cancelled at Goffstown women's prison
Win tickets to see Kip Moore
Fixing Obamacare: Shaheen offers no way out
Blackwater verdict stuns NH dad
Making it up: Shameless state Senate attacks