Friday, August 15, 2014

The chickens that could flip the U.S. Senate: Democrat Bruce Braley keeps showing himself to be a typical lawyer

Democrat Bruce Braley doesn't think highly of farmers and now chickens in Iowa.  Hey those chickens never went to law school like Bruce Braley did!

The board met in May and determined that Hampton could keep the chickens so long as she built a pen for them and kept them contained. Hampton complied. 
That probably would have been the end of it — just another routine spat between neighbors resolved by a local council — had Bruce Braley not picked up the phone on a May afternoon and called the board’s attorney, Thomas A. Lacina, to check up on the resolution of his family’s complaint. 
On May 29, Lacina wrote to the board to relay the message from Braley.
"Last week I received a phone call from Bruce Braley,” Lacina wrote to the board. “He was complaining about the lack of action by the Holiday Lake board as to chickens at Holiday Lake. The implication from Mr. Braley was that he wants to 'avoid a litigious situation' and believes strongly that chickens are not pets and should not be permitted at Holiday Lake.” 
The single line — that Braley, a trial attorney and member of Congress, had hinted at the possibility of a “litigious situation” — is probably the reason you’re reading about free-range therapy chickens in Iowa right now. Residents were outraged at the way the Braleys handled the situation. In an agricultural state like Iowa, which is also the largest egg producer in the country and takes pride in its reputation for people there being laid-back and “Iowa nice,” even the most casual mention of a lawsuit over four curious hens was enough to raise hackles. In short, the email was a surprise golden egg for Republicans hungry to paint Braley as out of touch with his fellow Iowans.

As Republican Joni Ernst notes, she would have handled the matter differently:
“I am campaigning that Bruce Braley, who occupies a seat in Congress for the past eight years, is caught up in doing things the Washington way,” Ernst told me in her campaign office in Urbandale, about an hour and a half drive from Holiday Lake. “This is just an example of that. He is a trial attorney and the only way he knew how to solve a problem is to threaten to sue a neighbor over a chicken. The Iowa way, if I had a disagreement, was to reach out to my neighbor and say, ‘Hey come on over, let’s have a glass of tea and let’s talk about this.’” 

Instapundit: Bruce Braley's worst greatest hits!
Why Braley's farmer comment hit a nerve in Iowa


  1. "Therapy chickens"? Really?

    Seems like the only shit I read about this race is chicken shit stuff like whether Braley loves farmers enough. Jesus H. Christ--he's a liberal Democrat; why are righties seemingly afraid to attack him on substance?

    Maybe it's bc what farmers really want from their senators is crop subsidies, and don't really give a shit about anything else.

    1. If you go through the article, that lady with the therapy chickens is a Democrat. Obviously the right should attack Braley substantively on his policy positions, but Braley's slams of farmers and chickens don't play well in Iowa and have hurt him so far.

      And in Iowa politics corn and ethanol subsidies are the sacred cow that no politician is going to go against.

    2. Fake outrage puts me off, and most of what's come out of the Repub campaign in Iowa lately is nothing but that. And largely fueled by either willful misrepresentation of what Braley has said or piss-poor reading comprehension.

      Now it's fallen to--literally--the level of a chicken-shit issue. I get that this is a close race, so people will use any tool at hand. And I hope she wins. But I don't see why we outsiders are supposed to get worked up about this sort of stuff.

    3. Braley is a dick. He proved that with this: "If you help me win this race you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice, someone who’s been literally fighting tort reform for thirty years, in a visible or public way, on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Or, you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee," (that was a major fuck up in a farm state like Iowa). That is pathetic for a lawyer (no experienced trial lawyer would say something so tone deaf).

      So he has been fighting tort reform for thirty years. Now whose's interests is is looking out for there? Law firms in Des Moines or farmers in the rest of the state? Even if his neighbor's therapy hens are annoying, if you are running for office you smile and thank her when she offers eggs and stay out of the homeowner association issue. If he is running for Senate he is probably hardly at that lake house anyway. You don't punch down. You don't mention litigation on a home owner dispute (and I get he was saying to avoid it in the context of the letter, but it was a not so veiled threat not to fuck with him or else).

      As Tip O'Neill used to say, all politics is ultimately grass roots. Braley does not seem to get that. Chicken shit? More like egg on his face. By itself it is no big deal, but given how this race has gone it is fair game.

      But you make a good point, when I get a chance I will go through Braley's policy positions and show how bad they are. But mostly, I want the GOP to take the Senate and Braley losing this race is one seat closer to that goal.


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