BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The governor's office is asking for an apology from State Senator Bill Rabon, after the Brunswick County lawmaker is caught on tape accusing the governor and first lady of improper behavior and abuse of power.
This after some constituents released a jaw dropping audio recording of the senator, taken during a recent meeting with him. Senator Rabon met with several voters to explain why he was stalling House Bill 930, which attempts to regulate puppy mills.
Towards the beginning of the hour and a half conversation, you can hear Senator Rabon say, "That bill should never have been…. It was bullied out of committee by the executive branch. The executive branch has absolutely, absolutely no business sticking its nose in the legislature on that sort of issue. For the governor to want a particular piece of legislation because the first lady wants it, or because he wants it personally to me is a flagrant violation of power."
Rabon is referring to efforts by Governor Pat McCrory and his wife, Ann, to get a puppy mill bill into law. The law would require breeders to provide basic provisions for the well being of their animals. The bill easily passed the House, but has been stalled in the Senate, largely because Rabon doesn't like the bill.
After failing to reach Rabon by phone, we went to his office in Southport Monday to ask him about his recorded comments. Although he initially agreed to talk to us, we were asked to wait in his parking lot. We sat there for almost an hour and a half before one of his office workers came out to tell us he was actually too busy to talk.
Animal rescue advocate Cheri McLain was one of the people in that combative meeting with Rabon, which included a lot of coarse language. At one point, you can hear Rabon say "The house, they are a bunch of pu---s!" referring to their decision to pass the bill that he feels is flawed.
McLain went into the meeting concerned about one bill. She left the meeting with bigger concerns about the man representing her district in the state senate. "Judging by the lack of respect that he showed to the group when he talked to them, and the way he threw his power around, I find that undesirable as a senator," she said.
While touring the state port Monday, Governor McCrory's staff said he's fully expecting an apology from Rabon for these comments. But McCrory told us he's also disappointed the media is airing the recording, which Rabon claims was made in secret.
"It was a disgusting tactic of whoever secretly recorded, and the political tactic of releasing it, but I'm also disappointed in some of the dialogue," McCrory said. "I'm sad that the media is participating in this type of activity also because it encourages more of that."
The Senate leadership sent out a press release late Monday afternoon that said because of the "unethical recording" of Senator Rabon, and the use of that recording to try to push the puppy mill bill, they have decided to discontinue further consideration of the bill in the short session.
The constituents tell us they always record their meetings, and were especially intent on recording this one because it took them so long to get the meeting with Senator Rabon. They said they wanted an accurate recording of what was said and didn't want anything lost in translation.
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