|Ann McCrory with her two pets|
Kinda sweet. Certainly innocuous enough. Pass a mamby-pamby law, and no one gets hurt.
The NC House passed House Bill 930 last year. Ann McCrory sat in the House gallery and watched, then held a press conference praising the action. But then nothing happened in the NC Senate.
Something just happened yesterday in the NC Senate with reference to H 930: Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca, in an apparent fit of pique, killed the bill in the Senate. Killed it dead.
A "profanity-laced recording" of Sen. Rabon surfaced yesterday at WRAL. Rabon was taped before a citizens' group saying in essence, "Over my mutha-effing body will that puppy mill law ever pass the Senate!"
Rabon said a good deal more in the recording:
1. He said that Republican leaders in the Senate -- including, presumably, himself -- had already decided that the bill wouldn't even be taken up in the Senate in the "short session" this year. “That bill is not going to pass,” Rabon told the group. “Angels in heaven cannot make that bill pass."
2. He used obscenity to refer to House members who passed H 930: “They [the House] are a bunch of [expletive]. They got political heat. They said, ‘We can no longer sit on this. We know the Senate will not pass it because it’s a piece of crap, so we’ll send it to them, and they’ll take the heat.’ Ladies and gentlemen, that is politics 101.”
3. The "political heat" Rabon says melted the House's resolve came from Ann McCrory and her little hubby, and Rabon expressed contempt for them too: "He claimed that Ann McCrory's advocacy, including a visit to the House chamber to watch the May 9 vote, was 'against all laws.' 'There is a strong line between opinion and lobbying,' Rabon said. 'When you pick up the phone and you are in a position of power and call individual legislators and offer advice or praise or this or that, you are, under the law, lobbying, and you must be a registered lobbyist in this state to do that.' ”
Intelligent people dispute Rabon's understanding of the lobbyist law, but we'll let that pass.
4. (Here's where it gets really interesting!) Rabon said the "puppy mill" law shouldn't pass because it's too weak ("It's too weak") and because it's too strong ("standards for humane treatment could too easily be interpreted by a judge to apply to livestock as well as pets").
5. The issue for Rabon appears to be money, especially money flowing out of pig farms, which are abundant in his part of the world: “animal husbandry in this state ... is an $80 billion industry – larger than the other top five industries in the state,” he said. “There is a LOT of money involved." For Republicans, it always comes down to the money, and Rabon evidently fears that H 930 might force factory farms to stop the brutality.
6. Rabon bragged about his own power. He bragged a lot:
He told the group he would introduce a stronger bill in the future, but he wouldn’t give a date or year.
”When I do it, it will be done at the right time, and it will pass,” he said. “I’m in the top five members in power in the Senate. The best shot you folks have ever had, you’re talking to."
Brunswick Sheriff John Ingram, who also attended the meeting, asked Rabon whether a stronger bill would be able to pass the House as well as the Senate.
“If it’s sponsored by me, 100 percent,” Rabon responded. “It’s that simple, folks. I don’t mean to brag.”
Well, of course he meant to brag. But did Senator Apodaca kill the bill because Rabon pulled back the curtain on the Republican leadership? Is Apodaca embarrassed?