Republicans are mounting an attack on Democratic Senate hopeful Bruce Braley over a dispute with one of his neighbors involving some chickens.

On social media and beginning Wednesday in a web video, conservatives have been criticizing the Waterloo lawyer over the incident at his second home at Holiday Lake in Powesheik County.

The dispute arose this spring when Braley's wife, Carolyn, lodged a complaint with their homeowners association about chickens running free. After that, Rep. Braley called the association's attorney, Tom Lacina, about the matter.

An email from Lacina to the association's board said "the implication from Mr. Braley was that he wants to avoid a 'litigious situation.'"

The emails were first posted Monday by The Iowa Republican, a conservative website. Braley is running against state Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican, for the open U.S. Senate seat in Iowa.

The chickens were being kept by a neighbor, who said she used them as therapy animals for children with mental health and communications issues, according to Lacina's email.

Braley spokesman Jeff Giertz said Braley never threatened a lawsuit and that he was calling to check on the status of the complaint.

Others in the neighborhood were complaining about the chickens, too, he said.

Republicans, however, have been having a field day, saying the incident is proof Braley lacks Iowa values.

"A true Iowan would have just talked to his neighbors, but not trial lawyer, Bruce Braley," the American Crossroads ad says.

Giertz responded: "The wild claims made in this Karl Rove smear video are simply false." He added the Ernst campaign "and her special interest friends are trying to smear Bruce and his family."

The association's rules don't allow animals or birds that aren't household pets, and eventually its board directed that the chickens be kept penned up.

Some of the association board members also have differing opinions on the matter.

Bill Nagle was critical of Braley, saying he thought a lawsuit was being threatened. And he questioned why the complaint was filed. "That's real neighborly, wasn't it?" he said.

Bill Jensen, the board's vice president, said, however, he never thought a lawsuit was seriously at issue and there were others with concerns about the chickens, too.

He also disputed Republican contentions the incident cost the association $1,692 in legal fees.

"That's not exactly true," he said. The association's lawyer handles a number of chores and has a monthly budget, he said.

(15) comments

Progressive Slayer

Do not know if I misunderstood your comment rotgut. If you are liking the nation to this paper then I apologize

Progressive Slayer

Do understand the defn of progressives in context. Ok then they are shills for the progressive press.

Progressive Slayer

Do understand the defn of progressives in context.

Progressive Slayer

This is a plant by the progressive QCT to spur idiotic comments to distract from Bruce's true lock step progressive agenda and voting record.


yah, the QC Times a progressive publication. Right up there with The Nation.


This "chicken" attack from the same group who wanted Braley to stop campaigning while Joni was at Camp McCoy? Now they bring up complaining about chickens running through a neighborhood? This isn't worthy of being called an attack. It's just plain silly.


How stupid politics can be.


And they say chickens are dumb?


Ernst said she would have voted against the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill, stated her view that the Clean Water Act is damaging for business, expressed her support for private Social Security accounts for young workers, and said that she opposed a federal minimum wage and that the minimum wage should be set at the state level.[19] Ernst said she believes same-sex marriage is "a state issue" and pointed out that she had co-sponsored a bill to amend the state constitution in the Iowa Senate to prohibit same-sex marriage.[19]


Who cares about all that trivial garbage? What's important is that she has the right position on chicken control.

She's goin' all the way to the White House with this issue, baby!!


Way to hit home on the hard issues! What a joke Republicans have become.


Iowa deserves better than the campaign that Joni Ernst is running.

I get that she's in a tough spot. The positions she's taken during the primary are HIGHLY unpopular with moderate voters in Iowa...toxic, she and her team want to avoid talking about the issues. But this faux-outrage after faux-outrage is absolutely NOT what Iowans should be subjected to in arguably the most important Senate race this state has seen since the 80s.

It's shameful.


Look how effective our Marxist president has been, and you talk about republicans. Obama and his gang of criminals has looted the treasury and abused power.They have ruined the economy and have the world at the brink of another massive war. The last thing we need is an ambulance chaser that thinks like Obama.


Seriously, you should take a minute to think about how crazy you sound.


Pooooor Bruce. He is so in touch with us average people. His SECOND home, he had an issue with the neighbor and chickens. I thought liberals were for free range chickens at homes for eggs? And they are there to help children? Wouldn't the DNC state that rich trial lawyer Bruce doesn't care about children? And such the lawyer to hide behind his litigious background, I didn't say I'd sue. So you just threw it out there as a threat?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.