The work of our legislators is often equated with that of making sausage. Basically, it can be an ugly sight and one you don't want to watch.
We saw a little glimpse into that ugliness recently when one of our own State Senators, Bill Rabon, had to apologize to the Governor and members of the House after he criticized them during a recorded meeting with his constituents.
He used some off-color language. But beyond the choice of words, I was most disturbed by the bad politics at play here. After this recording was made public, leadership in the State Senate said they were killing a bill related to this meeting because of the recording.
What amazes me is those politicians didn't even try to hide their retaliatory politics. It was all out in the open.
We want transparency. But that's not in the spirit of what our leaders should be doing in Raleigh. Killing a bill just for retaliation is not good government and only fuels the flames of distrust already burning in most taxpayers.
That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emailed comments from viewers:
You are tremendous!!!! Smart, articulate and common sense all in one person. God I wish there were more of you. Terrific job.
I think I have been in agreement with you every time I've watched. You have common sense, which is something our elected officials seem to be short of.
Why don't you run for Congress? I know I would vote for you. I'm sure many others feel as I do.
Great commentary…You didn't go so far as to cite the subject of the bill, as it is irrelevant to your point that spite has no place in deciding the merits of any proposed law. This is not how mature, responsible individuals behave
Your recent commentary on the Bill Rabon "Puppy Gate" incident barely scratched the surface in defining the problem. I have observed Mr. Rabon over several years both in person and through his comments in the media. His arrogance is exceeded only by his obvious distain for his constituents. This is also a characteristic of his extremist cohorts in Raleigh. What you described as retaliatory politics is standard operating proceedure for that crowd. Is it any wonder that these radicals, who came to power only after an inexplicable change in historical voting patterns dating back a century or more, are obessed with preventing "voter fraud"?
Furthermore, the fact that Mr. Rabon and the rest of his extremist crowd is so infuriated that his scurilous comments were recorded leaves no doubt in my mind that he has something nefarious to hide. One can only hope that the voters are paying attention and treat him accordingly in November.
Apodaca called us animal extortionists and John Pannullo, President of the
Republican Party for District 8 called us"special interests group with a
grudge". Let me tell you about this group of citizens that met with
Senator Bill Rabon. We volunteer in our community, in our churches, in
our food pantries and in our local domestic violence facility. We serve
on museum boards, land conservancy board and recreation planning boards and
work to make our community a better place. We are veterinarians, who
believe puppy mills are an underground industry that is out of control in
NC. We are citizens who have raised or are raising children who will
continue to give to the world because it is the right thing to do. The NC
Senate leaders call us names because we have the audacity to release a tape
recorded meeting with an elected official so the public can know the character
of an elected official. This is who we are and we are proud of it!
The most important thing to these citizens who met with Senator Bill Rabon is passage of Puppy Mill legislation. We were told at a meeting in Southport recently that the "BILL IS DEAD BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE IT. THE BILL IS NOT GOING TO BE HEARD BY THE SENATE."
Now, the NC Senate says the bill will not be heard BECAUSE of the tape. I suppose this is their way of making it sound like we are being "punished" for our actions. It sounds like the NC Senate is more angry that the tape exists than they are with what is actually on the tape
is, the punishment inflicted will be felt by thousands of innocent dogs in the
more than 250 puppy mills in NC. The animals in these mills wait day
after day to be saved. They shiver at night and cry with no one to hear
them. Alone, hungry, sick, scared and cold, they wait for the NC Senate
to force their owner to provide only basic care. Puppy mills are an
underground industry that is out of control in NC. A black market
industry with a product to be sold. There are sellers. There are
buyers. There is cash paid for the product. There is no tax paid on
the cash transactions. The product is registered with the AKC so AKC
knows where the puppy mills are and actually gets money from each puppy
registered. Why would they ever want this cash flow to stop? The
production of this "product" is called a "breeder dog". The "breeder" has
no protection, no care, often little food or water, no shelter from severe
weather, no veterinary care and little to know time spent out of a cage.
It is treated as a machine to produce those "cute little puppies" to be sold
from the trunk of a car for hundreds of dollars that are collected in cash with
no taxes paid. Strange all this happens on the streets of our communities
while local farmers must have a permit to sell me tomatoes and corn from his
A group of
citizens met with the Senator who has blocked the bill, Senator Bill
Rabon. These same citizens were speechless when they left the room after
a lesson in "politics 101". The Senator does not like the bill and will
punish those in the NC House who presented the bill using the power and control
of his position on the finance committee for NC. That committee
controls the financing of other bills that are presented. The NC Senate
has called us extortionist and called our tactics "disgusting". You
decide who is the extortionist and who is disgusting!
Rabon has publicly apologized to the Governor and the NC House for words spoken
"in a heated moment". He has not apologized to meeting attendees for the
rant. His claims that the tape was "leaked" is supposed to make up for
the words on the tape. It was ok for him to say this to a group of
citizens but not ok for us to tell others he said it. I suppose we did
not know the rules of "politics 101 folks", Rabon's own words! You decide
if the fact that the tape exists is disgusting or the words on the tape itself.
Rabon is not sorry for what he said. To him, what he said was
empowering. He IS sorry his words were released though. The
character of a politician is important. This tape reveals volumes
about the character of Senator Bill Rabon. He spoke proudly of his
power, his control and his importance. You will notice that he never once
mentioned the word respected when describing himself.
I implore the N C Senate to pass this bill. A bill that more than 85% of the people of this state want to see passed. A bill that the NC House voted for. A bill that has the support of the Governor of NC. There are good people in our Raleigh Government and they do not deserve for PUPPYGATE to be the word people will remember about their time in public office.
very sad that innocent dogs are the pawns in this NC political
battle. The dogs wait in more than 250 puppy mills in NC.. They
wait in cages, in filth, hungry, cold, sick and frightened. They wait for
us to do something to change these conditions. We are the voice for those
who have none and we will not be silenced by our own elected officials, our
And to think, nearly 4 years ago, we elected a
veterinarian to the position of Senator for District 8 to address this very
issue! Senator Bill Rabon tells us " this issue is near and dear to his
heart", yet he has spent nearly 4 years as our Senator with not a single bill
presented to address the puppy mill issue. Puppy mills did not just
happen in NC. As surrounding states, VA, W VA, TN and SC passed
regulation, the puppy mills in these states merely moved to NC. We have
no legislation to protect the dogs in these mills.
Law enforcement in NC can only file charges to protect dogs when
their treatment reaches the abuse level. HB 930 could prevent the abuse from
occurring. Abuse charges are merely dismissed by our judges as seen with
in the 2013 Brunswick County case of Springer, dismissed by Judge Jolly of Brunswick
County. By that time the conditions in a puppy mill reach the level of
abuse, it is too late for many of the dogs. This legislation would
simply regulate basic care for these dogs to prevent their condition from
reaching the abuse level. Basic care is food, water, shelter, daily
exercise out of a cage and basic veterinary care. Puppy mills are an
underground industry that is out of control in our state.
It should not take a rocket scientist to analyze these facts. Why is the NC Senate leadership fighting this legislation? They block HB930 to send a message to citizens who spoke out. The NC Senate is willing to condemn thousands of dogs to horrific punishment and spend your tax dollars to clean up the mess, just to make a point of who is more powerful, the public servant or the voter!
Voters of NC will speak out
in November. Maybe then we will learn who works for who in
We need the help of our local media outlets – please help us by continuing to provide coverage of this topic in your newscasts and opinion sections. Together, we can change the minds of elected officials when they know we won't back down on this issue.
Thank you for your segment concerning the Bill Rabon meeting with several constituents concerning the Puppy Mill Bill. It is appalling to me that a veterinarian would try to kill this bill. I know someone who was at the meeting and she said it was unbelievable how Bill Rabon spoke to them. The reason has to be about money. Thanks for bringing this before the public.
Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.