Okay, let’s lay out some facts here. U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass received a Master’s degree in Social Work Policy from USC in 2015. The former USC dean who’s now under federal indictment pending a November, 2022 trial, Marilyn Flynn, had a great deal to do with USC offering the Congresswoman entrance into the USC graduate program and the $95,000 + financing to afford it. 

Former Dean Flynn has recently pled guilty to corruptly working with former L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas (MRT) in a scholarship placement-for public financing relationship. (MRT’s son, who barely had a successful B.A. degree, was given a graduate teaching position, a very-hard-to get faculty office on campus and a student placement in the graduate school of public policy, with the expectation of future financially lucrative county legislation from MRT).

Former Dean Flynn has not claimed a similar relationship with Congresswoman Bass, and the prosecutors in the federal case have not claimed such a relationship, no matter how many of us think we can now see clearly and add 2 plus 2 in this situation.

Congresswoman Bass reported her offer of a USC graduate fellowship to the U.S. House Committee On Ethics Office and after an inquiry by that body, was given the okay sign of no problem, she could accept the offer. 

Subsequently, the Congresswoman did co-sponsor federal legislation (suggested by a then-current USC professor in the graduate program) that, if passed, would have helped USC and other California schools financially, but did not heavily lobby for the legislation and allowed it a quiet death in committee. USC received no financial benefit from it.

Congresswoman Bass has not been indicted, charged, or even scheduled to testify in the upcoming Flynn-MRT trial. Except for innuendo, the congresswoman has had nothing to do with the Flynn-MRT relationship. Currently, the congresswoman still leads in the polling heading towards the November election of the next L.A. mayor.

That being said, the next L.A. mayor will certainly have plenty to do, including calming the nerves of thousands of Angelenos now worried about ethnically perverse city councilmembers as well as the on-going wave of city crime, environmental challenges, and the stubborn, never-quit problem of homelessness, among many others. 

That’s why the next city head honcho must be a mediator-in-chief, a negotiator and a reasoned tactician. The next mayor does not need to be a general on a war footing, marshaling troops for battle, nor be a semblance of a single-minded chief executive of a Wall Street company.

Los Angeles needs a mayor-as-cheerleader who knows how to inspire many differently motivated city dwellers to work collectively to heal this city. With the living, breathing “mortal engine” that L.A. is, a dictator will not work here. 

We must all be inspired to do better in our own neighborhoods, brick buildings and lakefronts. The mayor has to talk to us, remind us of the greatness we have to preserve and to keep building in this city whose stature and luster is not promised for the future.

The writer of this column still firmly supports Congresswoman Karen Bass as L.A.’s next mayor. She’s the one.

Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.

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