Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Karen Bass Denies Wrong Doing

Karen Bass (Damian Dovarganes-AP)
Karen Bass (Damian Dovarganes-AP)

*This week Congressmember Karen Bass, the leading contender in the race for mayor of Los Angeles, again denied allegations, that a $100,000 full-tuition scholarship she received from Marilyn Flynn, was illegal.

Flynn a former dean of the USC School of Social Work who pleaded guilty Monday, Sept. 19, to a federal bribery charge in a political corruption case, admitting she funneled $100,000 through the university on behalf of then-County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in hopes of earning his support for a lucrative social-work contract.

Billionaire developer Rick Caruso who spent over forty, million dollars in the primary race for the mayor’s office only to finish a distant second as Bass trounced him winning the June primary, once again immediately tried to tie Bass into the Flynn, Ridley-Thomas corruption case by accusing Bass of wrong-doing. The major problem for Caruso is none of his allegations surrounding Bass’ acceptance of the scholarship is true.

Bass has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and last Thursday stated that she obtained the USC degree to become a “better advocate for children and families, “Everybody knows that the welfare of children and families has been a passion and policy focus of mine for decades,” Bass said. “The only reason I studied nights and weekends for a master’s degree was to become a better advocate for children and families — period. “This case has nothing to do with me.

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Rick Caruso and Karen Bass

I along with many residents of South Los Angeles believe Bass. Not because of personal friendships. We support Bass because she is telling the truth, and no one can dispute that. Bass has denied ever speaking with Flynn about federal funding for social work programs at USC.

Before accepting the scholarship from Flynn, Bass wrote to the House Committee on Ethics in 2011, requesting an exemption on the rule prohibiting gifts to members of Congress. She told ethics officials the graduate degree would deepen her knowledge of child welfare policy and help her better represent constituents, according to congressional records. These are indisputable facts.

Caruso’s continued pathetic attempt at mudslinging continues. As his campaign just purchased seventeen million dollars in broadcast TV time for the remaining weeks of the campaign. There is no doubt that Caruso will double down on his continued efforts to tie in Bass into the Flynn and Ridley-Thomas case corruption case. But Bass is not under investigation, she went through the proper channels and asked the Congressional Ethics committee for a waiver to accept the scholarship, and it was approved. This is all a manufactured scandal with half-truths being told by a desperate Caruso campaign grasping at straws in their efforts to confuse voters who do not have time to read and investigate candidates on their own. Caruso would actually be better served to tell his vision to voters instead of his continuation of lies in attempting to confuse voters that Bass is connected to the Flynn and Ridley Thomas corruption case.

Karen Bass
Karen Bass (Photo: California Black Media)

That is why Caruso has spent currently over sixty million dollars trying to win the mayor’s race with a campaign that so far has not attracted the support of the majority of voters who see right through Caruso who just recently registered as a Democratic. Caruso says he has a plan for the homeless, yet this billionaire developer has never built any affordable housing in his career. Caruso also has talked about being tough on crime. But its just talk.

Bass has already proven that she is tough on crime. Over 3 decades ago Bass co-founded the Community Coalition with fellow activist Sylvia Castillo during the height of the crack cocaine epidemic that was destroying families in South Central L.A. together they formed a Black and Brown coalition of community residents and fought to improve public safety by helping stop the proliferation of crime, drugs, liquor stores and motels being used for human trafficking. Bass has always been a warrior for social justice. Caruso has spent millions in dollars trying to slander Bass’ name unfortunately with the help of a handful of gangster Rappers and Black activists from our community who have put money over their integrity. South Los Angeles residents we know who Karen Bass really is. She has our support.

Najee Ali – President Muslim Democratic Club of Southern California. Contact him at mrnajee@aol.com.

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