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Rick Caruso says he’ll protect Hollywood if elected L.A. Mayor

LA Mayor Rick Caruso has vowed to create a designated office in City Hall with the sole purpose of protecting Hollywood if elected, and bringing music to the ears of the stars who have backed him.

Caruso, a former Republican real estate mogul billionaire, made the promise in an interview with the ankle this week.

He will take on Democrat Karen Bass in the November election on a platform to tackle crime and homelessness and end a steady stream of “career politicians” who he says have devastated the city.

Part of his plan, if elected, is to create an office within his office dedicated to protecting Hollywood.

“I’m going to have a separate office within the mayor’s office that will focus solely on the entertainment industry.

“We need to have the cost of doing business for the entertainment industry, frankly, all businesses, but the entertainment industry should be lower in the city of Los Angeles,” he said.

Rick Caruso with Gwyneth Paltrow, one of the many stars who have supported him in his campaign to become LA's next mayor

Rick Caruso with Gwyneth Paltrow, one of the many stars who have supported him in his campaign to become LA’s next mayor

“I’m going to work very closely with Hollywood because this city is Hollywood.

“And instead of shipping the biggest industry we have in this city out of this city, I want to bring it back to this city.”

Caruso, 63, also insisted that he is pro-choice, despite suggestions to the contrary from Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood.

He said his faith as a Catholic was “armed” against him.

‘I’m going to work very closely with Hollywood, because this city is Hollywood’

The controversy over abortion stems from a profile of him in Los Angeles Magazine from 2007, in which the reporter said he was “against abortion in most cases.”

Speaking to The Ankler this week, Caruso said it represented his views at the time, but not anymore, that he had “evolved” and that he was “always pro-choice.”

“My comments were about, perhaps, how I was feeling at the time. Have my feelings evolved about abortions? Of course it evolved on abortions. And we want leaders who evolve.

“But I’ve never been against women’s right to choose. And that’s been used against me and it’s a lie, and I’m glad you gave me the chance to clear that up.

“What disappointed me so much is that because I’m Catholic, just like our president, and just like Nancy Pelosi who’s Catholic, my religion has been used against me by pure politics. This is what you call insider Washington politics being used against me. I am Catholic. I like my faith. But I also have free will. And I make decisions based on what I think is best.

Caruso takes on career politician Karen Bass.  She has the support of the White House and Hillary Clinton

Caruso takes on career politician Karen Bass. She has the support of the White House and Hillary Clinton

Caruso runs on a platform to tackle crime and clean up the city, where homelessness is on the rise

Caruso runs on a platform to tackle crime and clean up the city, where homelessness is on the rise

“I’ve always been pro-choice. I’ve never been against a woman’s right to choose. And I remain pro-choice. I also live with a very strong and smart woman of 37 years and a very strong and smart daughter of 22.

“I would never try to tell them what to do with their bodies or how to make decisions about their lives again, because I respect a woman’s right to choose.”

Caruso said businesses should be rewarded for investing their money in the city, but instead face homelessness, like Netflix, where dozens of homeless people sleep outside.

“I have only one allegiance here, because I am not looking for a career in politics. I want to clean up the city I love and I want to go back to private life.’

‘Look at [Netflix CEO] Ted Sarandos. Here’s a man who said, “I’m going to make a commitment and have my headquarters in Hollywood,” and made a big, unbelievably awesome commitment to the city. And what has the city done?

“The city has allowed encampments around that headquarters.”

Caruso said the homeless camp is preventing Netflix staff from returning to the office.

“People come to work, and I’ve talked to the executives there, who come to work with human waste on their shoes because there’s so much human waste on the sidewalks, because we’ve let people live in the most inhumane situation.

“It is unbelievable what all our elected officials have allowed to happen. We let people live on the streets and die in their own waste. And then let’s make that happen for one of Hollywood’s big corporations.”

Caruso was a Republican for many years before registering as a Democrat for the mayoral race earlier this year.

Caruso with his wife Tina and daughter Gigi in 2018. He said of his stance on abortion:

Caruso with his wife Tina and daughter Gigi in 2018. He said of his stance on abortion: “I’ve always been for the choice. I’ve never been against a woman’s right to choose. And I remain pro-choice. I also live with a very strong and smart woman of 37 years and a very strong and smart daughter of 22.’

He emphasized in his interview – and has done so throughout his campaign – that party affiliation is irrelevant.

“None of these issues are Republican or Democratic issues. None of them are. These are human problems. These are problems that affect our daily lives.

“When crime peaks, when you have homicides that are at a 15-year high and it only gets worse, when you have hate crimes that are up 160 percent, when you now have homelessness at 44,000 and people who are on the streets die, these are issues of life and death that transcend any kind of celebration.

“And from that point of view, I don’t see this as partisan politics. We only have serious problems,” he said.

He added that Hollywood heavyweights including mega agent Bryan Lourd, Disney’s Dana Walden and Netflix’s Sarandos are “upset” with the state of the city.

‘Ppeople are tired. They are upset. They don’t feel heard. Many are afraid and worried about the future of this city. And people are looking for someone to come in and fix the problems. And they believe, and I’m sure you’ve asked them, they believe very, very strongly that I can solve the problems.

“And I believe very, very strongly that I can solve the problems.”

Caruso claims he will retire from politics once the race for LA’s mayor is over.

“I have only one allegiance here, because I am not looking for a career in politics. I want to clean up the city I love and I want to go back to private life.’

Although Caruso has the support of the stars, his opponent – a longtime politician – is supported by Democrats, including Hillary Clinton.

Clinton threw her weight behind Bass this week for saying she would protect abortion rights in LA — despite being legislated by the state of California.

Bass has also been endorsed by President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Biden and Harris released a joint statement earlier this month supporting Bass.

They said, “Karen Bass has earned our friendship and our respect for her leadership in Congress on crime prevention strategies, effective and fair policing, and the well-being of children and families.”

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