Caruso has yet to deliver on his $1 million abortion rights pledge


One day after leaked draft Supreme Court opinion overruling Roe vs. Wade sent shockwaves across the country, Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rick Caruso took to Twitter to vociferously defend his support for abortion rights.

Caruso also pledged to financially support a proposal that Governor Gavin Newsom and other heads of state had just announced that would explicitly enshrine abortion rights in the state Constitution through the adoption of a ballot measure now known as Proposition 1.

“I will form a California PAC for the pick and provide initial support of $100,000 and pledge $1 million to ensure passage of the amendment,” Caruso said. written in a press release, backing a measure that state lawmakers would later vote to place on the November ballot.

It was May 3. Just weeks before voters are set to have their say on Proposition 1 and the Los Angeles mayoral race, Caruso appears not to have invested any money in the abortion rights proposal, sparking anger of his mayoral opponent, Rep. Karen Bass.

“Has anyone seen the million dollars?” said Bass, standing in front of a wall of brightly illustrated feminist political posters on Monday morning. A chorus of no’s echoed through the offices of the Boyle Heights storefront of Women’s March Action.

“Rick can’t even deliver on the promises he made as campaign gimmicks,” Bass said. “How can we give him the keys to City Hall?”

Peter Ragone, spokesman for Caruso, said the property developer still plans to support the committee financially.

“We always intended to fund this effort closer to the ballots landing in the mailboxes,” Ragone said.

Ragone declined to say when Caruso might invest the money ahead of the Nov. 8 election. County election offices must begin mailing ballots by Oct. 10, according to the secretary of state’s office.

The initial documents forming the “Right to Choose Caruso Constitutional Amendment Committee” were filed on May 20, according to state records. The committee has filed three campaign statements since then, with the most recent documents covering the period from July to September 24.

No money has been invested in the committee since its launch in May, although the group has racked up more than $9,000 in legal fees.

Caruso, who is largely self-funding his bid for mayor of Los Angeles, has invested more than $61 million in his mayoral campaign.

Proposition 1, the abortion rights measure on the state ballot, would put into the language of the state Constitution explicitly stating that California cannot deny or interfere with reproductive decisions of a person.

An August poll showed voters overwhelmingly support the measure. More than $11 million was invested to support the passage of Proposition 1, according to state records, and Caruso’s name does not appear in the list of donors.

Reproductive rights — an issue the Los Angeles mayor will have little control over — have become a focal point of the race since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was announced two weeks later. the June primary.

The attention to abortion rights has been a political boon for Bass, allowing the MP to draw frequent pointed comparisons between her lifelong support for abortion rights and Caruso’s past donations to Tories. anti-abortion.

Bass’ Monday morning attack on Caruso came during a broader “Roevember” press conference held with reproductive rights leaders who support his candidacy.

Rep. Karen Bass speaks during Monday’s press conference at the Boyle Heights Women’s March Action.

(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

Bass, who would be the city’s first female mayor if elected, has overwhelming support from establishment women’s groups.

“Whereas [abortion rights advocacy organization] NARAL does not generally endorse local races, the stakes in this race are just too high to stay away from,” Shannon K. Olivieri Hovis, director of NARAL Pro-Choice California, told the camera bank of television, citing Caruso’s earlier support. anti-abortion politicians.

Representatives from Women’s March Action, Emily’s List, the political arm of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and other women’s political groups also spoke.

Despite his past donations, Caruso said several times during the election campaign that he always supported abortion rights. He released a new video last week in which he affirms his support for abortion rights as phrases like “Abortion is health”, “Pro-choice” and “Fight for women” flash under his name.

The Caruso campaign plans to text the video directly to 350,000 voters, Ragone said, calling the video a response to “Karen Bass’s campaign of lies and misinformation tied to her unwavering stance on choice and reproductive freedom. “.




Los Angeles Times

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