In a debate hosted by KNX News on Thursday, Rep. Karen Bass mocked businessman Rick Caruso for touting his endorsement of something called Avance Democratic Club.
“How much did you pay for that?” she asked.
“Avance Democratic Club, which focuses on building Latin American political power, was launched after Mayor Eric Garcetti was elected by several Garcetti aides, including his former chief of staff, Ana Guerrero,” Explain the Los Angeles Times.
Caruso acted outraged at Bass’s question. “Are you insulting Avance?” He asked.
“Yeah,” Bass replied.
Caruso then held a press event with Avance saying it was insulting to the “Latino community”. Bass issued the mandatory apology.
Avance does not represent the “Latino community”. I guarantee that 99.9% of Latinos in Los Angeles have never heard of Avance. And nothing I’ve seen indicates that anyone should. Any group founded by “several assistants of Garcetti” is doomed to be a fire without merit.
Clearly, Caruso did the politically smart thing by overstating their importance and acting crazy about what Bass said. The ballots are out and most people are just skimming the headlines, so stories about “Bass offends something Latino something blah blah” will only benefit Caruso.
The bass should have fought back with substance. The LA Times reports that before Avance endorsed Caruso, the band asked Bass and Caruso to sponsor their Sept. 22 event honoring Lorena Gonzalez (of all people, indicating that Avance’s leadership is not very bright).
Caruso donated $5,000 to sponsor the event, which is disgusting, and Bass didn’t. A week later, the two candidates met with Avance to try to get their approval. While the $5,000 sponsorship officially had nothing to do with the band’s approval process, Bass should have had the $5,000 figure handy if she wanted to make that line of attack. But even then, it probably wasn’t worth the bad headlines.
I’m writing all of this as someone who isn’t particularly enthusiastic about Bass or Caruso. In their favor, I will say that the two seem more competent than the deeply incompetent mayor Eric “Never Will Be Ambassador to India” Garcetti. Bass’s connection to the University of the Spoiled Kids social work program scandal bothers me a bit more than Caruso blowing $5,000 for an event celebrating Lorena Gonzalez. But only slightly.
Sal Rodriguez can be reached at [email protected]
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