The Republican primary for the University of Colorado Regent’s race has already made quite a bit of noise, what with candidate Matt Arnold claiming he has a master’s degree when he actually doesn’t, and in an Arapahoe County imbroglio over campaign emails that misused the county party’s insignia.
And now, Arnold’s website has been reported to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s office.
Former CU Regent Norwood Robb, who is 76 years old and served on the board for 18 years, called the sheriff’s office after his wife received several phone calls Tuesday night from friends, warning her that Arnold had posted Robb’s personal information on his website. Arnold listed Robb as a supporter of his opponent, Republican Brian Davidson, and asked supporters to call Robb and others to ask them to stop “haranguing” people who had endorsed him.
That worried Robb enough for him to call the sheriff and file a harassment report at nearly 8 p.m. Robb said he was afraid that Arnold’s supporters might come to his home and become violent.
The deputy filing the report wrote, “Several of his friends also advised him Matthew has been known for his irrational behavior when it comes to campaigning, such as throwing bricks through windows or having one of his supporters damage property on his behalf.”
Robb said Wednesday that he was worried that might happen to him.
“My concern is that this could incite someone to take some inappropriate action,” Robb said. “I’m really disappointed that Matthew would go to these lengths.”
On his campaign website, Arnold published the home and work phone numbers for Davidson, his brother Mark, one of his campaign consultants Mike Ciletti, and Robb. He wrote that many of the people who have endorsed him have been harassed by Davidson’s supporters, and published the phone numbers in an effort to stop that.
“I call upon the Davidson campaign to cease their relentless haranguing of my supporters,” Arnold wrote.
He also told his backers to be polite when calling Davidson and the others, and wrote, “Do NOT stoop to the level of harassment that our endorsers have been subjected to by their campaign. There is NEVER any excuse for threatening or abusive language or behavior.”
Davidson said he had never called anyone who had endorsed Arnold, and neither had any of the other three Arnold listed. He said the posting was a reaction to the scandals over the supposed master’s degree and the emails, and called Arnold’s move “intimidation and desperation.”
“It’s a new low. I never dealt with anything like this in a past race, and never expected to deal with anything like this,” Davidson said. ”
Davidson said he called the state Republican Party chairman, Ryan Call, and asked his help in getting the phone numbers taken down. He said Call had agreed to contact Arnold over the matter. Davidson said he hadn’t talked to Arnold himself, and won’t unless absolutely necessary.
Call didn’t comment on the situation, and said conversations between him and candidates are private.
Arnold did not immediately return a call seeking comment.