Democratic California Rep. Karen Bass acknowledged Wednesday that a Church of Scientology event she spoke at in 2010 was not held in her district, as she claimed in a statement over the weekend defending her appearance at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the controversial group’s Los Angeles facility.
“In drafting a tweet I mistakenly described the event in Los Angeles as being in her district. I regret this error,” Bass told Politico.
Bass, who is considered a top contender to serve as Joe Biden’s running mate, has been roiled by the revelation on Friday that she praised the Church of Scientology at a ceremony christening the Los Angeles facility in April 2010.
“This day and this new Church of Scientology is an exciting moment because I know your goal and your commitment is truly to make a difference,” Bass said at the ceremony, which was first reported by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Bass, who was in the California state assembly at the time of the event, offered up an explanation on Saturday.
“Ten years ago, I attended a new building opening in my district and spoke to what I think all of us believe in — respect for one another’s views, to treat all people with respect, and to fight against oppression wherever we find it,” Bass said in the statement. (RELATED: Bass Said It Was A ‘Miracle’ That Liquor Stores Burned Down In L.A. Riots)
As Bass acknowledged to Politico, the Scientology facility was not in her district.
Bass did not address another questionable claim in her statement over the weekend, nor did she say she regretted speaking at the event.
Bass asserted in her statement on Saturday that few were aware of allegations against the Church of Scientology in 2010. “Everyone is now aware of the allegations against Scientology,” she said.
Despite the claim, allegations of impropriety against the Church of Scientology were well documented before Bass spoke at the ceremony.
ABC’s “Nightline” program aired a documentary in 2009 detailing allegations of misconduct against the church and its president, David Miscavige. According to The Guardian, the Australian government opened an investigation into the church there in November 2009 after former members claimed they blackmailed and tortured other members.
Bass has also come under scrutiny in recent days for her remarks praising Fidel Castro and a leader of the Communist Party USA.
In 1992, as an activist in Los Angeles, Bass called it a “miracle” that hundreds of liquor stores were “burned to the ground” during the riots after the Rodney King verdict. Bass at the time led a campaign to reduce the number of liquor stores in poor neighborhoods in South Los Angeles.
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