NC lawmaker apologizes for insults in leaked recording

Posted January 28, 2014

— 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.


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  • COPs eye Feb 3, 2014

    you coward.....why apologize? if you said it you said it...part of the problems in this country, state etc is political correctness.

  • nicelady2222 Feb 1, 2014

    The good Senator has a lengthy discussion about habeus corpus in an attempt to snow these constituents. Mr. Senator, here is the definition of habeus corpus: Definition: Habeas Corpus, literally in Latin "you have the body" is a term that represents an important right granted to individuals in America. Basically, a writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate requiring that a prisoner be brought before the court to determine whether the government has the right to continue detaining them. The individual being held or their representative can petition the court for such a writ. I am completely confused what this has to do with puppies. You seem to know alot about Politics 101, but not so much about History 101 do you?

  • nicelady2222 Jan 31, 2014

    "I have legislative immunity. Nothing I say can be held against me. I can just say I don't recall," said Rabon. Sounds like Nixon's executive privilege argument to me. A profanity laced, power monging tape that's similar to the Nixon tapes? Local voters in his own district felt they had an up and rising Nixon on their hands after sitting in on that meeting. If you had the chance to stop Nixon when he was just a nobody, would you do it?

  • Pensive01 Jan 30, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I have read the complete transcript of what was said at the meeting. Somehow I rather doubt that most people would have wanted to hear what Senator Rabon had to say at that meeting, whether it was the content or the vulgar and derisive way that he conveyed his message. While you seem to be ok with it, I can assure you that many are not.
    I have also read HB 930 in it's entirety and I have to wonder if you even bothered to read it yourself and are basing your "opinion" of it from what Senator Rabon said. In fact it quite concisely written and focuses on one specific type of dog breeding, the type which is done for the sole reason of selling puppies. I could go into greater detail, but instead I'll just post the link to the actual bill and let the facts speak for themselves, as well as clearly show that any "garbage" is in the claims that have been made against HB 930.

  • dumbhick Jan 30, 2014

    I read the entire transcript ... painful reading. Didn't seem to out Rabon as anything special one way or the other, as politicians go. It did point out the convoluted mess of the politics of politics. It's really a wonder anything at all gets done and even more a wonder if any of it benefits the general population.

  • dollibug Jan 30, 2014

    It is sad when there are people put into positions that they do not *FIT*. But this seems to be common. It is sad when these people are *SUPPOSED* to represent the people and act like some of them act. COMMUNICATION, TRAINING AND INTERPRETATION of the laws are so very important, but it is lacking in a lot of government agencies.

  • jlh4jdj Jan 30, 2014

    Because Sen. Rabon did not tell Ms. Withers what she wanted to hear--she stooped down low and called him "a nothing of a man". Shame on her. Personal attacks on others will never get you where you want to go. So it is the sane for blackmail.

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have read in a long time. Your saying that it is ok for a politician to 1) call others names with profanity 2) have personal agendas, not their state or districts 3) blackmail others (if you vote for this I will vote for your bill) 4) Get away with crimes, criminal threatening and slander in this case. When a commoner dare walks in a public meeting and records what a crooked politician says they are wrong! By the way I am not on either side. I think we need to remove every politician we have and start over.

  • 42_wral_mods_suck_i'm_gone Jan 30, 2014

    Rabon is paid for by pork. He does not care that the majority of NC wants this bill. Lets hope the majority sends him packing next election. I guess Rabon can be a vet at a packing plant because I would not let him care for my animals.

  • notexactly Jan 30, 2014

    furthermore, I am alright with you reporting whatever you wish. Just reports both sides and the truth for a change. I will gladly decide what to believe and not believe. Just admit the truth and all will be fine.

  • notexactly Jan 30, 2014


    I am not blaming the left for what the right does at all. As I said I don't agree with all the right is doing. Whats pathetic is you guys on the left think your folks did no wrong and I have yet to hear you admit that that is a lie. If you voted for Obama you are just as guilty of voting for the most extreme left leaning dem in decades. Then make up excuses when he is caught in a lie. Or praising good ole bev and sleesly when they ran this state into the ground but somehow now all of a sudden it is all pats and the Ga fault. The problem with libs is you guys wont take responsibility for anything you guys do wrong. Even when you get caught and even when your elected official admits it. Just be truthful and we can have a conversation. When you omit the other side of the story, kinda hard to believe your rants. I don't agree with all that is going on at the state level and hardly nothing at the federal. I have yet to hear you say that your peeps have done anything wrong. man/womanup