LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles mayoral candidates Rick Caruso and Karen Bass tangled for nearly an hour Wednesday night in their first debate ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
Caruso and Bass laid out their plans on homelessness while castigating their opponent for not doing enough or thinking ambitiously enough to address the crisis.
Their respective ties to the University of Southern California and a recent burglary at Bass’ home produced some of the debate’s most contentious moments, with Bass saying Caruso had allowed sexual abuse to run rampant on campus. In turn, Caruso criticized Bass for taking a nearly $100,000 scholarship from the dean of the university’s School of Social Work, who this week pleaded guilty in a federal bribery case.
There was also lots of talk of housing affordability and even street vending.
The debate concluded with several quick-fire questions, including: In one word, what is the state of Los Angeles?
Bass and Caruso both responded by saying, “Crisis.”
After that sober moment, things lightened up for the mayoral rivals.
Asked by Fox 11 anchor Elex Michaelson if the Los Angeles Dodgers would win the World Series, both agreed that they would.
Asked their favorite spot to take visitors in L.A., Bass replied, “the beach.” Caruso said, “the beach, with Karen.”