Hacks, Burglaries and Federal Probes: A Dramatic Week for the LA Mayor’s Race
Two men were arrested Wednesday in connection with the theft of two firearms from the home of Congresswoman Karen Bass, a leading contender for Mayor of Los Angeles. Bass’ home was broken into on Friday night. It’s not clear whether she was targeted.
The past week has been a tumultuous one for both Bass and her opponent Rick Caruso. Just days before the break-in, federal prosecutors announced that a $95,000 full-tuition scholarship Bass received from the University of Southern California (USC) is “critical” to their ongoing bribery case involving the university. Prosecutors have said the scholarship was a gift aimed at obtaining favorable legislation, and Bass did sponsor a bill that would have given USC more access to federal funding after receiving it. Nevertheless, “at present and based on the evidence obtained to date, Rep. Bass is not a target or a subject of our office’s investigation,” said Thom Mrozek, director of media relations for the U.S. attorney’s office in L.A.
Bass' campaign has tried turning the tables by pointing to Caruso's position as chair of the university's Board of Trustees during a sexual abuse scandal.
Caruso was also busy putting out fires last week, thanks to the alleged hack of his campaign’s computer system. The campaign announced the breach after reporters received a bizarre email from a purported Caruso Campaign “whistleblower” that said “I no longer believe he is fit to be mayor.”
Caruso’s campaign has accused Bass’ people of orchestrating the hack. There is no evidence of that. Sarah Leonard Sheahan, a spokesperson for Bass, called it “another lie from Rick Caruso, who has lied about not being a Republican, has lied about being anti-choice and has lied about his failed leadership at USC."
There will never be a dull moment in the lead-up to November.