Social media plagiarism really not paying off for candidate
SAN JOSE — For the second time in a month, Costa Rican presidential candidate Otto Guevara is being accused of borrowing words from the Facebook page of an international politician. This time, however, it is likely to prove even more costly for the Movimiento Libertario leader after he went “full Rob Ford” in a post Monday morning.
“I shouldn’t have got hammered down at the Danforth,” the post said. “If you’re going to have a couple of drinks you stay home, and that’s it #partyinthebasement.”
The bizarre post, which echoes words used by Toronto’s “crack-smoking mayor” Rob Ford in defense of his recent outlandish behavior, follows last month’s gaffe in which Guevara posted a statement eerily similar to that of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Guevara said the Rajoy-like post was simply coincidental, though he might not have as much ease brushing aside Monday’s comments.
“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine,” Guevara’s Facebook post said. “I’ve made mistakes. All I can do is apologize and move on #imnotanaddict.”
The post, which was taken down within half an hour, followed a statement published to Facebook by Guevara to reduce drug trafficking in Costa Rica. A member of Guevara’s social media campaign team, who spoke with El Pejibaye, said he was immediately fired after the post went viral.
“Guevara asked ‘Who’s the most talked about politician when it comes to drugs right now?’ said the fired campaign employee, who asked not to be named due to embarrassment for working for Guevara. “When I said Rob Ford, he said ‘copy the last thing he said publicly about drugs and post it to my account’. I tried to talk him out of it, but he just kept yelling ‘post it now! Now!'”
Similar to the alleged Rajoy plagiarism incident, after national media lit up with shock and mockery, Guevara attempted to backtrack through his publicist.
“Toronto politicians and Tico politicians have similar issues with drugs and alcohol,” Guevara publicist Brian Lizano posted on Facebook. “You would be surprised at the number of national politicians that smoke crack #allofthem #butnototto.”
An hour later, Guevara posted that he intended to say “Yes, I will crack down on smoked cocaine,” claiming he was so unfamiliar with drugs that he misused the reference.
As for marijuana, Guevara said he has tried it but “didn’t inhale”, a testimony very similar to that of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, whose Facebook page he had ‘liked’ a few hours before the press release. Guevara also said “he did not have sexual relations with that woman”, without offering further explanation.