Los Angeles mayor's race: Bass says she would build housing with money Caruso has spent on campaign

The two leading contenders made campaign stops pushing their plans for public safety and expanding LAPD.

Josh Haskell Image
Thursday, June 2, 2022
LA mayor's race: Bass, Caruso talk public safety, LAPD expansion
The race to succeed Eric Garcetti as mayor of Los Angeles is heating up and the two leading contenders made campaign stops pushing their plans for public safety and expanding LAPD.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As they waited for matzah ball soup at Factor's Deli in Pico-Robertson, Congresswoman Karen Bass and Los Angeles Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff - who has endorsed Bass for mayor - went after developer Rick Caruso's public safety plan, calling it "soundbites" rather than an actual plan.

Caruso, who is also running for mayor and is Bass' main opponent, said if elected, he'll hire 1,500 more LAPD officers.

"We can't even hire to keep even, so how are we going to get 1,500?" asked Soboroff. "We have 300 openings here. People can't afford to live here. So, the idea of coming up, 'Well, I want 1,100. I want 1,500.' It's just all soundbites. If you take that and amplify it, that's not what [Bass] does. When you suck the air out of the room, nobody else in the room can breathe. That's not what [Bass] does. She lets everybody breathe. She has a detailed plan involving community safety, community safety partnerships that she's basically invented.

Bass added to that notion saying she believes what's changing the race is "all the money that's being spent."

READ ALSO | Police union's new ads blast Karen Bass for missing votes in Congress

In a statement, the congresswoman's team fired back saying she has cast more than 18,000 votes in Congress. Meanwhile, the union, who has endorsed developer Rick Caruso, is pouring in more money to try and get your vote.

"Which is, as I understand, it's more than any race in the entire country," added Bass.

Soboroff then asked Bass where she would put $50 million.

She responded saying, "I think I would house a number of people, so I think it's not giving voters the opportunity to see who is running."

Bass said she would return the LAPD to its full authorized force of 9,700.

Soboroff and Bass accused Caruso of promising more than what the mayor is actually able to do.

On Wednesday, Eyewitness News caught up with Caruso at Los Toros Mexican restaurant in Chatsworth where he explained how he would hire more officers.

READ ALSO | Sparks fly at LA mayoral debate as top 5 candidates take on a variety of topics

Sparks flew Sunday as the top five candidates for Los Angeles mayor faced off in a live debate. Much is at stake with just days to go before voters begin receiving their ballots.

He said it doesn't include raising taxes, but rather cutting waste at city hall, like the city attorney's office budget, which Caruso said is half a billion dollars.

"It's hard to find officers because good officers don't want to work for LAPD now because they got defunded in 2019 under the current leadership, including the current commission, and they're demoralized, so why do you want to come work?" said Caruos. "I'm going to turn that around, change the culture, get officers excited about being an officer in L.A. city."

There are 120 in-person voting locations open now if you don't want to vote by mail and an additional few hundred sites will open on Saturday.

To find the vote center closest to you, you can visit https://www.lavote.gov/

Watch more coverage on the race for L.A. mayor on your favorite streaming devices, like Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and GoogleTV. Just search "ABC7 Los Angeles."