Raleigh, N.C. — State Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, apologized Tuesday to leaders he insulted in a profanity-laced meeting with constituents earlier this month.
The meeting concerned House Bill 930, a proposal that would require large commercial dog breeders to meet basic standards for humane treatment. Those breeders are currently unregulated.
Rabon, a veterinarian, is opposed to the bill.
An audio recording of the meeting was leaked to the media. In it, Rabon accused Gov. Pat McCrory and first lady Ann McCrory of "a flagrant violation of power" in lobbying for the legislation. Rabon also suggested that Ann McCrory had broken state lobbying laws.
He also called House lawmakers a crude name for passing the bill.
Rabon issued a statement Tuesday through Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger's office.
“Earlier today, I reached out to Gov. Pat McCrory, First Lady Ann McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis and House Minority Leader Larry Hall to apologize for comments I made during what I was led to believe was an off-the-record conversation about the prospects for a puppy mill bill in the upcoming legislative session," Rabon said in the statement.
"While I spoke out of frustration in the heat of the moment, it does not excuse what I said or how I said it. My comments were both inappropriate and offensive, and I am sincerely sorry,” he continued. “As a veterinarian, my life’s work has been caring for pets and helping them lead happy, healthy lives. I will continue to work to protect the welfare of dogs and make sure they are treated humanely.”
Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca said Monday that the Senate would not take up House Bill 930 because advocates for the bill had leaked the tape to the media.
But on the audio, recorded Jan. 16, Rabon can be heard telling his constituents that the puppy mill bill was already dead and had been since the day House lawmakers passed it and sent it to the Senate last May.