Bass rescinds endorsement for city attorney candidate

Rep. Karen Bass was six months away from running for mayor of Los Angeles when she endorsed the city’s attorney candidate Faisal Gill in March 2021. At the time, she described Gill as a friend she had known for more than a decade. saying He would champion criminal justice reform and be “a fighter for progressive politics.”

Nearly a year and a half later, Gill is leading the race for the city’s next top attorney, and Bass is the front runner to succeed Mayor Eric Garcetti.

But the political landscape now looks a little different than it did in March 2021. As a progressive Democrat trying to run the country’s second-largest city amid a rise in crime, Bass has had to walk a delicate line on issues of policing and public safety. Her opponent, Rick Caruso, has struggled to portray her as not tough enough on crime, while her party’s left flank has attacked some of her more dovish positions.

This week, as Gill’s progressive criminal justice reform policies — exactly what Bass once hailed about his candidacy — became an issue in the mayoral race, she took the unusual step of withdrawing her support for another citywide candidate.

Gill — a former Republican-turned-progressive with a platform for criminal justice and police reform — is running in the race to succeed City Atty to the left of his opponent, financial attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto. mike fire

In a statement released Friday morning, Bass advisor Doug Herman said their campaign contacted the Gill campaign on Wednesday to withdraw the confirmation.

Bass also dismissed Gill’s controversial proposal to introduce a 100-day moratorium on the prosecution of most new misdemeanor charges, with Herman saying she “absolutely disagrees”. A version of the policy has been publicly displayed on Gil’s website since at least March this year, according to a version of the website on Wayback Machine, an internet archive.

The Bass campaign declined to comment on what prompted its decision to withdraw its consent more than a month after the primary. But Wednesday’s alleged contact with the Gill campaign came a day after a Caruso adviser sent backers a talking points list that included criticism of Bass’ support and specifically cited the 100-day moratorium.

However, Gill disputed the Bass campaign schedule. in the a tweet on Friday afternoonFaisal said the campaign “was informed that Karen is withdrawing her consent this morning and we immediately removed her from the site.”

In response, Herman said the Bass campaign stands by her account.

Bass’ public statement came just before Caruso was scheduled to hold a press conference on Friday, in which Bass was attacked for her support of Gill.

Changing Bass required a last-minute realignment from Caruso.

Standing outside Grand Central Market in downtown LA next to a billboard that read, “Bass Supports Faisal Gill’s Extreme Positions,” Caruso said he wanted to start with “some really good news.” … Karen Bass has withdrawn her support for Faisal Gill.”

Caruso continued that it’s “ridiculous and scary that Karen Bass even decided to support Gill.

Gill aims to significantly reduce prosecutions for minor offenses in favor of diversionary programs that address underlying mental health issues and substance abuse, his platform said, and would implement the 100-day hiatus to give the office time give to reorient themselves distraction programs.

The proposed 100-day moratorium would exclude crimes that are “particularly egregious or time sensitive.”

In a statement, Gill hit back hard at Caruso, accusing him of using “scary tactics” to deceive voters.

“My policy focuses on certain petty crimes — like loitering, drug possession, underage drinking, failing to pay for a parking ticket and failing to appear in court,” Gill said, characterizing the idea that he would not pursue a prosecution. egregious” crimes such as trespassing and assault when Caruso “blatantly lies about my record.”

After slapping Bass for her previous support of Gill, Caruso turned to a slightly contradictory scrimmage and criticized Bass for her postponement.

“Once you expose these career politicians, they just walk the other way,” Caruso told reporters. Bass’ withdrawal raised questions about how she would handle tough decisions as mayor, Caruso said, implying she would “buckle” under pressure.

Caruso, who was joined by several Grand Central Market business owners, also encountered well-known news about crime in the city and the need for a tougher response.

Caruso has attempted to stand out throughout the campaign with hard-hitting anti-crime messages, often painting the city in dystopian terms. He advocates a significant expansion of the Los Angeles Police Department by adding 1,500 officers, while Bass has pledged to bring the LAPD back to its authorized size of more than 9,700 officers — a more modest increase of several hundred officers.

About five minutes after Caruso began his press conference, three protesters shouting expletives interrupted the event. Two of them were eventually arrested.

“How much did you donate to the fight against abortion, Rick?” Ricci Sergienko, a prominent activist with the People’s City Council, shouted as he recorded the confrontation on his cell phone. Sergienko, activist Jason Reedy and a third teenage protester verbally confronted Caruso for several minutes as police officers and security guards steered them off the steps of Grand Central Market and back onto a public sidewalk.

Caruso kept his composure, smiling and at one point joking to a nearby police officer that the group “must get tired eventually.”

About two minutes later, Sergienko was handcuffed by an LAPD officer.

Officer Tony Im, an LAPD spokesman, said Sergienko was “arrested on arrest of a private for assault,” meaning a person who claims the battery initiated the arrest of a private and police subsequently arrested Sergienko. I said he was unable to provide any further information as to who made the allegation or what type of battery allegedly occurred.

The third protester, a minor, was “arrested for resisting arrest,” according to Im. I have not been able to clarify why the minor was originally arrested before allegedly resisting arrest.

Reedy said he didn’t have a clear view of the altercation, but thought Sergienko might have reached for the phone of someone filming him to remove the phone from his face. Sergienko did not hit the individual, Reedy said. Bass rescinds endorsement for city attorney candidate

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