August 18, 2014 7:45 pm -

A Cuban-born grocery store owner who starred in a Rick Scott Spanish language television campaign ad which touted the Florida governor’s job creation record was convicted on human smuggling charges in St. Maarten just four years ago.


This is reminiscent of 2013 when Satanists held a rally featuring a sign proclaiming “Hail Satan! Hail Rick Scott!” while rallying on the steps of the Florida capitol building.

In the 30-second ad, Maikel Duarte-Torres gives Gov. Rick Scott a hug and he’s  featured as a Florida success story.

“Four years ago, the economy was very bad. Rick Scott helped Florida’s economy and you can see the difference. He’s created jobs. That’s why I support Rick Scott. I’m just like him. I’m like the American Dream,” Duarte-Torres said.

The Miami Herald reports:

Gov. Scott, his campaign staff, and the Republican Party of Florida were apparently unaware, however, that Duarte-Torres was arrested on Nov. 14, 2010, in the Caribbean nation for his alleged role in a smuggling ring that attempted to ferry 10 Cuban migrants from St. Maarten to Miami. Duarte-Torres was convicted five months later by a St. Maarten criminal court judge.

He was sentenced to two years in prison, but served just two days because of jail overcrowding on the island, according to Tineka Kampfe, a spokeswoman with the St. Maarten Attorney General’s office. Kampfe told that Duarte-Torres was allowed to return home to Tampa on the condition he never sets foot in St. Maarten again…

David Custin, a Miami-based political consultant who has worked for Republican candidates running for state and federal office, urged Scott’s campaign and the Republican Party to quickly cut ties with Duarte-Torres and stop running the ad, which began airing in the Miami market on local station America Teve in late July.

“It’s pretty bad to have the governor running an ad with a convicted human trafficker,” Custin said.. “But if his people respond quickly and own up to what happened, then it won’t be as bad as sweeping it under the rug and not dealing with it.”

“The most important thing [in Florida] are jobs,” Duarte-Torres said in the ad. “Let’s continue working toward that.”

But Duarte-Torres was the alleged mastermind of the human smuggling ring busted in St. Maarten.

David Custin explained that it’s unlikely the Republican Party or Scott’s campaign were aware of Duarte-Torres’ conviction. “It’s not a presidential or congressional race that requires a high degree of vetting and research before you use the person in an ad,” Custin said. “They don’t do international background checks on people.”

It’s still funny though.

In contrast, this is Charlie Crist’s new ad, which does feature a criminal-type: Rick Scott.

H/T: My awesome buddy @TomCinmidlife with thanks.


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

28 responses to Gov. Rick Scott’s Ad Features Shop Owner Convicted Of Human Smuggling Who Endorses Him

  1. Tommy6860 August 18th, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    OMG! You just had to use that image of Scott, didn’t you? No comment required!

    • Carla Akins August 18th, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Seriously, it makes my skin crawl.

      • Tommy6860 August 18th, 2014 at 8:05 pm


      • edmeyer_able August 18th, 2014 at 8:08 pm

        Well Rick is lucky in that when his skin starts to crawl he can just shed it.

        • Karma_Hitman August 19th, 2014 at 2:33 pm

          LOLOLOLOL awesome

    • Anomaly 100 August 18th, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      You’re welcome!

    • burqa August 18th, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      It makes one wanna toss a nugget of popcorn in there……….

      • tiredoftea August 18th, 2014 at 11:52 pm

        No, dog turds.

  2. NW10 August 18th, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    A better photo of the Governor:–nkguNRnnPQ/TefzTFWZnkI/AAAAAAAABj4/FUZq0RF18pw/s400/rick_scott_Stern-1-1.jpg

    • I_B_ME August 18th, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      I think this is his older twin LOL

      • whatthe46 August 18th, 2014 at 9:58 pm

        ya’ll both funny!

      • tiredoftea August 18th, 2014 at 11:53 pm

        No, Voldemort had skills.

  3. burqa August 18th, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Originally, Scott wanted OJ in the ad, but OJ was otherwise occupied. ….

  4. Always Right August 18th, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Great Governor, lousy politician, which is why I voted for him.

    Charlie Crist on the other hand is a great politician and was a lousy governor.

    You can tell he used to be Republican based on the new charges against him

    “Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida now seeking his old seat as a Democrat, has received the worst type of attention at the start of his campaign: a jilted former fundraiser testifying under oath that judicial nominations were up for sale on Mr. Crist’s watch.”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

    • Anomaly 100 August 18th, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      Thanks for that. It’s good for people to know that others in your party are abandoning the GOP.

      You RAWK!

    • burqa August 18th, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      What about the story at hand – Scott putting a smuggler in his ad to endorse him? How about the part where the smuggler says he is just like Scott?

      • Always Right August 19th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

        What about the part where Scott removed the ad showingt a smuggler?

        How is it that you ignore the headline when you don’t like what it says, and attack the news source that published it. Why don’t you see if the news is factual instead? There are plenty of resources available. Here is another reporting the same story.

  5. granpa.usthai August 18th, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    don’t see how this will affect the WHITE RACIST REPUBLICAN vote?
    They didn’t mind a bit with Mitt Romney exploiting human misery for mega deposits in his non taxed offshore bank accounts, guess it depends on the profits taken in?

    • Always Right August 18th, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Why does the left attack Romney with not so true statements, but love on George Soros? Romney’s company saved more jobs than it lost. He is a capitalist in a capitalist country and no one has shown he did anything illegal except maybe becoming successful. It is interesting how equity firms operate.

      George Soros is chairman of Soros Fund Management, a hedge fund company. Soros is number 27 on Forbes list with a net worth of $23 billion. He’s made his fortune in large part by selling short against international currencies and collapsing financial institutions.

      In 1997, he was dubbed “the man who broke the Bank of England”;
      and he was blamed by the Malaysian Prime Minister for collapsing their
      currency during the Asian financial crisis. He was also convicted
      of illegal financial dealings in France. His big bet now is
      collapsing the U.S. dollar and the free enterprise system.

      Economist Paul Krugman has been critical of Soros and others like him,
      “who not only move money in anticipation of a currency crisis, but actually do
      their best to trigger that crisis for fun and profit. These new actors on the
      scene do not yet have a standard name; my proposed term is ‘Soroi’.”

      With most of Soros’ political “investments” going into 527s, the funds are less traceable, and has earned Soros the dubious honor of being dubbed the “Godfather to the left.”

      • arc99 August 18th, 2014 at 9:48 pm

        another unattributed copy/paste

        as for the Soros accusation

        Last year, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad wrote in the Wall Street Journal that hedge fund operators such as George Soros had driven down the Malaysian ringgit “to enrich themselves and their rich clients.” But inHedge Funds and the Asian Currency Crisis,(NBER Working Paper No. 6427), Stephen Brown, James Park, and NBER Research Associate William Goetzmann find no indication that major hedge funds profited from the collapse of Malaysia’s ringgit or other Southeast Asian currencies during the summer and early fall of 1997. In fact, the ten large hedge funds they studied do not appear to have had large exposures –negative or positive– to the ringgit in the summer of 1997, and they appear to have been buying into the currency as it collapsed in August and September 1997.

        There are problems with the data on hedge funds’ currency exposures used by Brown, Park, and Goetzmann, though. Because hedge funds release no data on their holdings, the three researchers had to estimate exposures to the ringgit and other currencies by correlating the hedge funds’ returns with exchange rate changes. Brown, Park, and Goetzmann acknowledge that these calculations may misrepresent the funds’ true exposures. Still, they argue, if Soros rigged the ringgit’s collapse so he could profit from it — as Malaysia’s Mahathir alleged — it is curious that his three funds only broke even during the meltdown.

      • burqa August 18th, 2014 at 10:08 pm

        Good thing arc99 is around to give the facts regarding the issues you raised, eh?
        Be sure to say thank you.

  6. mmaynard119 August 18th, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    A new money making enterprise for the Human Callus because Medicare under Obama just isn’t as fun as it was before to swindle.

  7. I_B_ME August 18th, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Just saying

    • whatthe46 August 18th, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      good eye. now that’s funny.

  8. crc3 August 18th, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Criminal Rickie Scott really needs to be forcibly “checked in” to prison where he can spend most of the rest of his life eating disgusting prison food and fighting off his cell mate “Big Bubba”…

  9. tiredoftea August 18th, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    What, human smuggling doesn’t create jobs?

  10. Obewon August 19th, 2014 at 12:56 am

    Can’t FL’s guber Scott get a Limbaugh endorsement from the deafened Hillbilly heroin addict and underage Dominican boy brothel Viagra smuggler?