Gated community developer blames Rand Paul assault on longstanding fights over lawncare, tree branches

Last week, Senator Rand Paul was severely injured after an alleged assault by his neighbor, anesthesiologist/inventor Rene Boucher, who worked with Paul at a local hospital.

At the time, it wasn't clear what motivated the beating. Paul is a political ideologue with a long history of extreme positions that favor the super-rich and subject poor people to cruel austerity, and his neighbor was apparently left-leaning, so naturally there was speculation that the fight was political in nature.

But Jim Skaggs, who developed the gate-guarded community in Bowling Green where Paul and Boucher both live, suggests that there was longstanding tension between Paul and many of his neighbors, including Boucher, due to the Senator's inability to compromise on such matters as lawn-trimmings, overhanging tree branches, and the community's extensive Homeowners Association guidelines, which minutely prescribe how people in the community must conduct themselves.

Paul is a legendary property-rights ideologue, named for Ayn Rand. Mysteriously, he decided to buy a home in a community where the other property owners subjected buyers to contracts that bound their behavior and then decided that the sanctity of that contract could be unilaterally overriden, insisting on personal variances.

Paul is said to have had a history of blowing his lawn trimmings onto his neighbors' property.

Skaggs described Boucher a "near-perfect neighbor." However, Skaggs is not a neutral party: as a local Republican operative, he has previously opposed Paul's positions and challenged his eligibility to run for the presidency.

Paul's injuries are extensive enough that his staff say they don't know when he'll return to Washington. This is a mixed bag for Senate Republicans: on the one hand, their margin of majority is so slim that a single missing person could cost them key votes. On the other hand, Paul's intransigent insistence on hard-line positions has blown up votes in the past, as he's led his ideological coalition to vote against the party on the grounds of insufficient ideological purity.

Paul "was probably the hardest person to encourage to follow the (home owner's association regulations) of anyone out here because he has a strong belief in property rights," said Skaggs, who is the former chairman of the Warren County Republican Party.

Skaggs noted the 13 pages of regulations governing the gated community are extensive. But even from the start of Paul's residence in Rivergreen, Skaggs said Paul has been difficult to work with.

"The major problem was getting the house plans approved," Skaggs said. "He wanted to actually own the property rights and build any kind of house he wanted. He didn't end up doing that, but it was a struggle."

US Sen. Rand Paul and his neighbor have a history of conflict, says gated community developer
[Thomas Novelly/Courier Journal]

(via Super Punch)