Speed Reads

campaign 2014

Democratic Senate candidate in hot water for threatening a lawsuit over chickens

Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), who is running for Senate in his state, has found himself under scrutiny after he threatened a lawsuit against his neighbor when her chickens wandered into his yard. In their first debate this week, Braley's opponent, Republican Joni Ernst, asked him about the incident:

Congressman, you threatened to sue a neighbor over chickens that came onto your property. You're talking about bipartisanship — how do we expect as Iowans that you will work across the aisle when you can't walk across your yard? [The Daily Signal]

Braley categorically denied the charge that he threatened to sue. In the latest poll from The Des Moines Register, he trails Ernst by 6 percent among likely voters.

The neighbor in question reports that she was unaware that her roaming chickens were problematic until she visited Braley's house to offer his family a dozen eggs. She says the Braleys' reply was, "We aren't going to accept your eggs — and we have filed a formal complaint against you." The Braleys had complained to their homeowners' association, which released an email indicating that Braley did indeed threaten "a litigious situation." The HOA decided the chickens would be allowed to stay if fenced in — but they can't have a rooster friend.