Braley Even Filed A Formal Complaint Against His Neighbor Over Their Chickens Wandering Onto His Property

Braley Filed A Formal Complaint With The Homeowners’ Associations Of The Vacation Home In Order To Keep Their Neighbors’ Chickens Off Their Property. “The battle for control of the U.S. Senate could come down to a dispute between two neighbors in this heartland hamlet over four plump, wander-prone hens. This spring, Pauline Hampton’s chickens roamed onto Bruce and Carolyn Braley’s vacation property on tranquil Holiday Lake. Hampton said she did not know this until she walked over one day to offer Carolyn a dozen fresh eggs. To which she said her neighbor replied, ‘We aren’t going to accept your eggs – and we have filed a formal complaint against you.’ Carolyn took her complaint to their neighborhood homeowners’ association board meeting in May. Her husband, Bruce, then called the association’s lawyer, Thomas Lacina, to say that he believed ‘chickens are not pets and should not be permitted at Holiday Lake,’ and that he wanted to ‘avoid a litigious situation,’ according to an e-mail Lacina wrote.” (Phillip Rucker, “In Iowa, A Dispute Over Neighbor’s Chickens Threatens Braley’s Senate Bid,” The Washington Post , 8/7/14)

Braley’s Attorney Contacted The Homeowners Association And Even Raised The Prospect Of A “Litigious Situation.” “An attorney for Bruce Braley wrote an email to the board in May, which a Republican media outlet obtained and printed, saying the congressman wants to avoid a ‘litigious situation,’ but that the chickens ‘should not be permitted.’ CNN reached out to Braley’s attorney to confirm the authenticity of the email, but he declined to speak on the matter.” (Adam P. Levy, “Iowa Chickens Vs. Senate Candidate’s Yard,” CNN, 9/17/14)

Pauline Hampton, Braley’s Neighbor: The Braley’s “Are Not Neighborly” And “In Iowa, We Are Very Well Known For Being Friendly, And If One Has A Problem With Another, We Always Talk To Them Face-To-Face.” “Even if Braley didn’t threaten a suit, some around Holiday Lake bristled at his tactics. ‘They are not neighborly,’ said Hampton, a mental health therapist who uses the hens as therapy animals. ‘In Iowa, we are very well known for being friendly, and if one has a problem with another, we always talk to them face-to-face. This kind of floored me.’” (Phillip Rucker, “In Iowa, A Dispute Over Neighbor’s Chickens Threatens Braley’s Senate Bid,” The Washington Post , 8/7/14)

William Nagel, Another Neighbor Of Braley’s: “Neighbors Are Neighbors, And If You’ve Got A Problem With Your Neighbor, You Talk It Out.” “Another neighbor, William Nagel, who sits on the homeowners association board, said, ‘Buddy, we’re here in Iowa. We talk like men here and we act like men. Usually, a man’s word is like gold. A handshake is a contract. Neighbors are neighbors, and if you’ve got a problem with your neighbor, you talk it out.’” (Phillip Rucker, “In Iowa, A Dispute Over Neighbor’s Chickens Threatens Braley’s Senate Bid,”The Washington Post , 8/7/14)