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Rick Caruso's Recent Ad Crosses the Line

THE VIEW FROM HERE - This morning a new Rick Caruso TV ad was on TV. 

His outrageous religious bigotry crossed a line which no politician should ever cross. Not only did Rick Caruso indulge in hideous defamation of Scientology as a religion, but he presented the advertisement as if Karen Bass supported homophobia and beating women into submission to have abortions. 

One thing more disgraceful than Caruso’s bigotry is that none of the media outlets have so far publicly condemned Caruso.   However, this advertisement cannot be located via a Google search.  Here’s the gist which I remember from seeing it three times this morning. 

1) Karen Bass is shown giving speech to a group of Scientologists while she was speaker of the California Assembly. Thus, the speech has to be between May 13, 2008 – March 1, 2010. From Caruso’s advertisement’s visuals, her speech was later used by the Scientologists. 

2) After Karen Bass says something nice about Scientology as a religion only to be followed by some lurid horrible headline as if Bass supported such behavior, e.g. homophobia, and some other horrific allegations which I do not recall at the moment. 

3) Since Karen Bass’ speech is between fourteen and twelve years old, the viewers do not know whether the scandalous headlines’ years occurred after Ms. Bass spoke. 

Not only has Caruso crossed the line into religious bigotry, there is no evidence that Karen Bass knew about or supported the wrongdoing of these Scientologists. While that point is relevant in highlighting Caruso’s lack of ethics, the gravamen of Caruso’s TV ad is its introducing religious bigotry into a political campaign.

Shall we tarnish Caruso for the sexual abuse by priests since he endowed The Caruso Catholic Center and Our Savior Parish Church on the USC campus with $9 Million. 

During the September 21, 2022 debate at the Skirball Center, did Caruso make remarks concerning Bernie Madoff or Roy Cohen and attribute their conduct to all Jews? 

Character Counts! 

This religious bigotry is more of the same trend which Caruso has taken since the beginning. He has made prior outrageous claims, e.g. that he would arrest homeless people. Then during the September 21st debate, he denied making the statement. Fortunately, the debate moderator Michaelson did not allow Caruso slip by with this falsehood.  

Caruso has run advertisement implying the Karen Bass engaged in money laundering as Mark Rigley-Thomas has been accused.  When Karen Bass’ home was burglarized, Caruso implied that she had not kept her guns properly secured, despite the LAPD saying otherwise. 

Caruso Has Gone Too Far over the Line

The ball is now in the public’s court.  Will we allow this bigotry to pollute our minds?  Maybe a lot of people do not like Scientologists. A lot of people do not like Mormons. A lot do not like Jews. A lot do not like Roman Catholics. A lot do not like Evangelical Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc.  A lot do not like the religiously unaffiliated.  The dangers of religious intolerance and bigotry are far too serious for us not to strongly condemn Rick Caruso.

(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor.  You may email him at [email protected].   The opinions expressed by Mr. Abrams are solely his and not necessarily those of CityWatch.)