House Race Turns Ugly After Mailer Targets Candidate’s Spouse

by | Aug 20, 2018

This story has been updated since it was first posted. 

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

A number of residents reported over the weekend receiving an anonymous mailing alerting them about a 2012 warrant out of Ohio for David Caldwell, the husband of House Dist. 30 candidate Justine Caldwell, for failing to appear in Cleveland Heights Municipal Court over a housing matter.  

“They cited my house after I moved away,” said David Caldwell on Monday. “I didn’t get the notice because I had moved.”

He said he did not know about the warrant until various residents reached out to the campaign on Saturday after having received the mailing. Caldwell said he contacted Cleveland Heights Municipal Court Monday morning and was referred to the housing department. He was told his house had been cited for paint and roof issues. He said those issues have long since been remedied and he no longer owns the house.

“I am beyond disappointed to have seen this mailer,” said Justine Caldwell in a press release. “It’s deceptive and dishonest, but my neighbors got it, parents at my kids’ school got it, and that feels awful. This should not be the price of trying to do public service.”

“The people who researched, authored, printed, stuffed, and paid for this mailer are so hell-bent on harming Justine that they are ruthlessly researching her spouse and who knows who else,” said David Caldwell. “They found something out about me that I didn’t know and even local police couldn’t find.”

It is unclear who paid for the mailer, which went to an unknown number of registered voters in East Greenwich and West Greenwich and was sent by regular mail in envelopes stamped, “DISTRIBUTED – Voter Information Enclosed.”

According to a clerk at the Cleveland Heights Municipal Court, Pawtucket resident Matthew Fecteau, a former Democratic state Senate candidate and freelance writer, submitted a public records request for the information in July. The clerk said Fecteau was the only person to have requested that information in the six years since the warrant was issued.

Fecteau has been critical of Justine Caldwell on social media. On Monday he said while he had requested the information, he was not behind the mailing. 

“I was interested in it because I was going to write a story about it,” said Fecteau. In the end, he said, he decided not to write about it but he admitted sharing it with “a group of people.” He declined to be more specific, but he said none of those people were connected with the campaign of Justine Caldwell’s opponent, Republican Anthony Giarrusso. 

“I don’t agree with the way it was handled,” Fecteau said of the mailing. But, he added, “At the end of the day, David Caldwell had a warrant out for his arrest.”

While Fecteau has been critical of Caldwell, he has been much more positive about Giarrusso online, including in this article on GoLocalProv.

Reached late Monday, Giarrusso, meanwhile, said he was not involved.

“The issues that Mr. Caldwell has with the courts in Ohio will have to speak for themselves but rest assured, neither I nor anyone associated with my campaign had any knowledge of this mailer. I very much dislike these political tactics,” he said. “Normally these things creep up on the weekend before an election so I am even more confused as to the ones responsible for this. And the timing of mailer makes it seem more personal than political.”



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Judi Zimmer
Judi Zimmer
August 20, 2018 10:46 pm

Fecteau has had it out for Justine Caldwell for sometime and for no clear reason. He doesn’t know how information HE specifically requested got into someone else’s hands? And he expects people to believe that? It is altogether possible that he either was paid to get some kind of negative info about the candidate by an interested party or he gave or sold the info to an interested party. In any case, this is a relatively mild ‘crime’ and his pitiful efforts will go nowhere. I’m just curious about who else stooped as low as Fecteau, because he’s not in this alone.

Matthew J Fecteau
Matthew J Fecteau
August 21, 2018 3:18 pm
Reply to  Judi Zimmer

Thank you for your comment.

You are correct. I did NOT. I didn’t think much of it at the time to be all honest, and I believe it was shared. I passed on the story because I had other things going on at the time and wanted to move on with my life.

However, there is an active warrant for Mr. Caldwell’s arrest. That is a fact, and while you may not like that fact, it doesn’t change anything. The fact someone exercised their First Amendment rights is something that should be respected. I also do not view this as a personal attack because it is based on solid evidence, and not directed at anyone’s character — you can judge for yourself.

Thank you.

Matt Fecteau

christian roos
christian roos
August 21, 2018 9:59 pm

“… to be all honest and I believe it was shared … ”
you were the guy who searched for it and found it, you own this dirty game, it all comes back to you and reflects on you.
But you dare to put “First amendment right” in the next paragraph.
This is probably the lowest anyone ever got in EG, in addition to your history in EG, I recommend you stay away from this town, far away please.

August 22, 2018 12:07 am
Reply to  Judi Zimmer

Judi, Matt is the one being harassed and he is only defending himself. I don’t blame him one bit.

Judi Zimmer
Judi Zimmer
August 22, 2018 8:25 am
Reply to  Jody

I’ve known Dr. Caldwell for two years, well before she decided to run for office. I also have followed the cyberstalking by Fecteau. Please don’t tell me I’ve been lied to. And in case you haven’t noticed, Mr. Caldwell isn’t running for public office.

Judi Zimmer
Judi Zimmer
August 21, 2018 6:18 pm

Can you possibly be more ridiculous? You didn’t think much of it, yet you went to the trouble of looking for dirt. Active warrant for some roofing issues that Mr. Caldwell wasn’t even aware of because he had moved and never received the original notice. Not based on anyone’s character? Then why did you bother to have this sent to EG residents? It’s not even about the candidate. You went out to dig up dirt and this was the best you could do? I think you might consider finding a new line of work, since this was such a miserable fail. As the old saying goes, I was born at night, but not last night.

Michael S. Collins
Michael S. Collins
August 21, 2018 11:40 pm

So let me get this straight…. David Caldwell (EG’s anti Town Council, freedom of hate speech/ Fire Department advocate) is now a victim and his family is suffering? How? By explaining to his kids and his neighbors that information that was shared about his warrants is accurate? He has on numerous occasions personally attacked Town Council members and justified the attacks because they are elected officials. Sounds like his progressive voice is now cackling injustice when the same standards are applied to him. His deflection of the truth and his self declared victimization is just sad.

On another note… East Greenwich News censored this same article posted on East Greenwich News Facebook page and all the comments associated with the article.

John Galt
John Galt
August 22, 2018 10:28 pm

Where are all the earlier comments? Is David Caldwell a shareholder, or do you just lack any integrity at all?

Judi Zimmer
Judi Zimmer
August 22, 2018 10:32 pm
Reply to  John Galt

Learn how to navigate the website. All the comments are there. Or maybe you just want to stir up trouble.

Judi Zimmer
Judi Zimmer
August 22, 2018 8:22 am

David Caldwell is not running for office. On another note…David Caldwell is not running for office.


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