L.A. Mayor Candidate Karen Bass Took $95k ‘Scholarship’ from Scandal-plagued USC

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 04: Congresswoman Karen Bass attends the official unveiling of City Of Los Angeles' Obama Boulevard in honor of the 44th President of the United States of America on May 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), who launched a campaign for Los Angeles mayor in September, received a $95,000 “scholarship” while in Washington from the University of Southern California, which is currently embroiled in a bribery scandal.

The Los Angeles Times reported:

During Rep. Karen Bass’ first year in Congress in 2011, she contacted government ethics officials with a request: Could she accept a full scholarship for a graduate degree at USC.

The House Committee on Ethics cleared Bass’ request to accept the USC School of Social Work tuition award, ultimately valued at over $95,000.

Bass, the Los Angeles Democrat, has frequently spoken of how she juggled the demands of an online master’s program during her first three terms in Congress. She graduated in 2015 and credits the USC program with deepening her understanding of child welfare policy and helping her become a national advocate for foster youth.

Some of her coursework was supervised by a prominent campaign donor who was also a USC professor at the time. And the then-dean of USC’s social work school, Marilyn Flynn, offered the scholarship to Bass even though she had not directly applied to the social work program, according to interviews and records reviewed by The Times.

Bass did not list the scholarship on public financial disclosures until 2018 — years after she graduated, the Times noted.

As Breitbart News reported last month, Flynn was indicted by federal prosecutors for her role in an alleged bribery scheme, together with Los Angeles City Council member Mark Ridley-Thomas. The Department of Justice stated in a press release:

The 20-count indictment alleges that Ridley-Thomas, now a member of the Los Angeles City Council, conspired with Marilyn Louise Flynn, formerly a tenured professor and the dean of the university’s School of Social Work, who agreed to provide the Ridley-Thomas relative with graduate school admission, a full-tuition scholarship, a paid professorship, and a mechanism to funnel Ridley-Thomas campaign funds through the university to a non-profit to be operated by the relative.

Bass, who was once under consideration to be Joe Biden’s running mate, has a history of sympathizing with communists like Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. She is considered the frontrunner among candidates to succeed outgoing Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is leaving to take up an appointment as the U.S. Ambassador to India, pending imminent Senate confirmation.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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