Los Angeles mayoral candidates react to racist tape during debate
Caruso – who previously called for council members to resign – focused on crime and corruption, elements of his campaign, when asked to discuss the tape.
“What happened is totally unacceptable and those who did it must be held accountable,” Caruso said, “but I think there’s more than we need to talk about. They went in a back room to carve up the city for their own self-interest. The system is broken and it’s full of corruption.
Bass and Caruso – who have long portrayed themselves as elites entangled in a corrupt Los Angeles establishment – argued over who was the right person for lead the city through the ongoing upheaval.
Bass reflected on his founding of Community Coalition, an organization focused on uniting Black and Latino communities, while Caruso, a billionaire developer, stressed the importance of connecting “with every community.” Both expressed support for the creation of an independent redistricting commission for the city.
The leaked tape is likely to reverberate in the final month of the campaign, which has focused on corruption, crime and homelessness. Bass and Caruso are now expected to discuss race directly as the incident divides the town.
President Joe Biden’s administration urged Martinez, de Leon and Cedillo to step down early Tuesday, as did dozens of voters who furiously hurled profanity at Tuesday’s council meeting. The board members remained in office despite overwhelming political pressure, although Martinez relinquished the presidency and took time off.
Bass predicted they won’t stay.
“I do believe that the pressure will weigh on them and that they will resign”, said the MP. “But the city can’t be in a bind like this.”