Karen Bass apologizes to Latino Democratic club after asking if Rick Caruso bought their endorsement

"I shouldn't have said what I said," said Bass.

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Saturday, October 8, 2022
Bass apologizes to group after suggesting Caruso paid for endorsement
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That accusation did not sit well with the Avance Democratic Club: "I'm here to say that every candidate who seeks our endorsement plays by the same rules."

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- During the second debate in the race for Los Angeles mayor, Congresswoman Karen Bass upped her attacks against developer Rick Caruso, accusing him of lying about being a Democrat.

This was Caruso's response.

"The largest Latino Democratic club, one of the largest in the country, endorsed me," said Caruso.

"How much did you pay for it?" responded Bass.

Caruso then asked, "Oh, are you insulting Avance?" to which Bass simply replied, "Yeah."

That accusation did not sit well with Avance, whose president joined Caruso Friday in asking for an apology.

"Congresswoman Bass deliberately insulted us last night, in last night's mayoral debate," said Nilza Serrano, the president of the Avance Democratic Club. "She insinuated that our club was for sale and somehow our endorsement illegitimate. I'm here to say that every candidate who seeks our endorsement plays by the same rules."

"Congresswoman Bass needs to take accountability for the disrespect she's shown to the Latino community," said Caruso.

That's exactly what Bass did, saying "accountability and transparency starts with me, and when I make a mistake, I own it. I shouldn't have said what I said. I sincerely apologize to Avance and its membership."

Bass also admitted she did know about some of the controversial behavior involving Scientology before she gave that speech back in 2010, now featured in a Caruso campaign ad.

"I certainly knew of some of Scientology's abuses. I didn't know depth of them. I learned it later," said Bass.

READ ALSO | Karen Bass says it's 'ridiculous' for Rick Caruso to associate her with Church of Scientology

Bass pointed out that other politicians were at that event and said she wishes she wouldn't have given that speech.

The debate quickly shifted to the most critical issue in the race, solving the homeless crisis.

"We do need shelter beds, but he doesn't have a plan for after shelter beds," Bass said of Caruso. "You have to build shelter beds, then you have to move people into permanent supportive housing and address why they were unhoused. His plan to me is actually a throwback to the past."

"She said the federal government should reduce older regulations. You're a powerful woman in Congress. Why didn't you do that? Because it was so over regulated, we sent back $150 million," said Caruso.