MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Florida Governor Rick Scott is defending an attack ad where a man claimed he was swindled by gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein.
The man in the ad is Fort Lauderdale investor Dean Kretschmar.
CBS4’s Joan Murray tried to talk to Kretschmar at his home. No one answered the door.
He responded to a phone call by texting a message to call his lawyer.
“The ad is true. He’s a victim of Scott Rothstein and Charlie Crist,” said Scott.
Scott was making a campaign stop at the Guayabera Lady Clothing in Miami on Wednesday.
According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, Kretschmar never made the allegation against Crist in a successful lawsuit to recover millions of dollars lost in the Rothstein Ponzi scheme.
Kretschmar recouped the millions of dollars he lost in the scheme.
While he was not named in the suit, Rothstein and Crist did know each other. Rothstein contributed tainted money to Crist and other politicians. Rothstein used his close relationships with officials to dupe investors.
The assertions in the ad are false, says Nova Southeastern University Political Science Professor Charles Zelden.
“The implication is that Charlie was part of the Ponzi scheme and that’s not true, and he didn’t buy judgeships. What’s true is he took money from a man who turned out to be dirty,” said Zelden.
Kretschmar also failed to mention that his lawyer is Scott donor and GOP operative William R. Scherer.
According to the paper, Rothstein had referred to Scherer as a “mentor.” He also tried to get a lenient sentence for Rothstein.
The battle for the seat is not over, Crist campaign’s answer is an ad linking the governor to his former health care company’s massive medicare fraud.
But Zelden said it won’t be the ads that will decide this election.
“Can Crist get the base out? If he does he will win. If he can’t then the governor will win the race,” said Zelden.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)
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