Democratic Iowa Senate candidate and current House member Bruce Braley has a vacation house on Holiday Lake, a resort community about 40 miles from Cedar Rapids.
This spring, Pauline Hampton, one of Braley’s Holiday Lake neighbors, stopped by his second home to offer a dozen fresh, organic eggs produced by her prize chickens.
That’s when things went horribly wrong, reports The Washington Post.
Braley’s wife, Carolyn, answered the door. According to Hampton, Carolyn Braley responded to the gracious egg offer by saying, “We aren’t going to accept your eggs — and we have filed a formal complaint against you.”
The threatening comment, it turned out, arose because Hampton’s chickens had previously rambled onto the Braleys’ coveted lake property. The Senate candidate and his wife did not like it. Not one bit.
Had either of the Braleys ever walked over to Hampton’s home to discuss their annoyance with the wandering chickens?
Of course not.
Turns out, Iowans don’t much cotton to people who sue their neighbors over chickens:
“[That’s] not neighborly,” said a fellow resident of the community. “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.”
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.”
Moronic behavior is not new to Braley. As reported here last March, he was already digging himself a hole by appearing before the American Trial Lawyers Association convention (posed in front a bar, the contents of which he had apparently been sampling), dismissing “Iowa farmers” and touting himself as “someone who’s been fighting against tort reform for thirty years.”
Braley’s best hope probably lies in the fact that stupidity and avarice have rarely kept a candidate from public office, so all this may be just a testament to his qualifications to serve as Tom Harkin’s replacement.