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Some Brunswick County animal advocates did not play fair by recording a Jan. 16 meeting with state Sen. Bill Rabon and then releasing it to the public, so the Senate is taking its ball — legislation passed by the House to regulate puppy mills in the state — and going home. It is an immature reaction to the childish behavior of one of its own who also happens to be one of our own.
But to hear Rabon tell it in the recording, which has been posted in its entirety at www.brunswickbeacon.com, the residents of Brunswick County belong to him, not the other way around, and he alone holds the power to pass any legislation of great importance to the people he serves.
After Rabon said he did not recognize one of the women in the group, she said she tried via mail, telephone calls and emails to speak directly with him since he has been in office. For any elected official to ignore a constituent for three years is unacceptable.
The hour-and-a-half-long recording consists of Rabon telling the group that House Bill 930 is poor, weak bill and was being illegally promoted by Gov. Pat McCrory and McCrory’s wife Ann as “feel-good” legislation.
He not only insults his colleagues in the House, as well as the governor and first lady, but he is thoroughly condescending toward the animal advocates, schooling them on what he called “Politics 101.” He must have missed the class that addressed speaking on the record with members of the public.
Rabon is a veterinarian by trade. Even though did not campaign on animal welfare issues, he should be leading the charge to craft and reform legislation dealing with them. Yet, he is not.
On Dec. 3, Rabon contacted the Beacon with an update on the puppy mill bill, saying, “They’re going to come up with a plan. I’m optimistic and really happy with the progress,” noting a whole packet dealing with the legislation would be handled in committee.
During the Jan. 16 meeting, Rabon said, “Angels in heaven cannot make that bill pass.” He also said an appropriate puppy mill bill, one he will design personally, will become law when the time is right.
Meanwhile, as he and his fellow senators wait for that magic moment, time runs out for the dogs bred in cruel and unsanitary conditions, suffering from a lack of veterinary care and from chronic genetic disorders.
North Carolina lacks puppy mill legislation of any kind. The time for it is now.
Rabon apologized to his fellow legislators and the McCrorys for his rant, but he forgot his constituents — again.
Maybe Rabon will use his vast political power to make amends. Thanks to voters, he still has what is left of this year to do so.