Sine Die party… [UPDATED]

Has anyone else heard about the fight between two lobbyists last night at the House’s Sine Die party? I have no idea who was involved, but apparently one lobbyist’s ear was partially cut off by a beer bottle to the head.

[UPDATE by Erick] The attacking lobbyist is Pete Stokes, who has been booked by Fulton County Police. Stokes works (worked?) for the Strollo Group. I wonder how much longer we’ll be talking about his present client and employer in the present tense. His employer, Maria Strollo, is the Chairwoman of Team Georgia, “a safe and sober driving coalition.” Perhaps Mr. Stokes can do some community service there.

Maybe they were arguing over healthcare policy. The victim represents various healthcare providers and the assailant represents MAG.

[UPDATE by Jason] The guys over at the Political Insider have more.

[UPDATE by Buzz] The AJC has an article:

A 911 caller said one man hit another man with a bottle during the fight at The Spotted Dog pub in Midtown, said Officer Steve Coleman, an Atlanta police spokesman. Atlanta police declined to immediately release a copy of the police report detailing the incident and the identity of the other man involved in the fight.

Several people who attended the event, however, said the fight happened between Stokes and another lobbyist on the second floor of the pub and that no lawmakers were involved in the incident.

Scott Smith, Stokes’ attorney, declined to comment on the incident except to say: “We look forward to our day in court.”

“He worked his way through college at Georgia State University,” Smith said of Stokes. “He is a good kid. He is only 26 years old and all he wants to do is really work hard.”

Stokes posted a $20,000 bond and was expected to be released from Jail Monday, Smith said.

61 comments

  1. dogface says:

    I’m told Peter Stokes, a young lobbyist with Maria Strollo Zack’s Strollo Group, blindsides Jon Clayton with Chuck McMullen’s Piedmont Group from behind with a beer bottle. Dick Pettys at InsiderAdvantage reports the details without naming names. Apparently there was a day-long feud between the two, that carried over that night at the Speaker’s sine die party. Clayton was carried away in an ambulance. The normally mild-mannered Stokes fled the scene. Pettys reports there is a warrant for Stokes arrest; Kind of symbolized the rancor and tension that was the 2007 session. Any word on Clayton’s condition, or whether the police caught Stokes?

  2. dogface says:

    I don’t know if I can posted Pettys’ material. Erick may have to delete this entry, but this is what InsiderAdvantage reports:

    Brawl Said To Have Erupted At Sine Die Party Where Lawmakers, Lobbyists Gathered To Celebrate

    By Dick Pettys
    InsiderAdvantage Georgia

    [we’ll respect Dick’s copyright on this — Erick]

  3. dogface says:

    From the closed, inside world of the Capitol, I’ll offer my lobbistys of the year away’

    Caroline Holley, Blue Cross/Blue Shield. 99% of reader have never heard of her, but she is effective, hard-working and get the job done.

    Skin Edge – the lobbyists’ lobbyist. Honorable, hard-working, effective.

    Pete Robinson – one of the elites.

    Joe Fleming – lobbyist for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce; honest, straight-forward, respected for his integrity and hard work. Able staff working with him: Nick Pearson, Brandon Reese, and Nick Pearson. A great team.

    Keith Hatcher – with Tim Kibler, a force to be recogned with b

  4. dogface says:

    Opps, hit “submit”: before finished.

    Keith Hatcher and Tim Kiber, Realtors, forces to be feared on issues in which they engage.

    Haydon Stanley – smooth, quite, behind the scenes, but very effective.

    Jean McRae – tenacious.

    Kevin Curtin – BellSouth/ATT&T, one of the very best lobbyists at Capitol Hill.

    Kirk McGhee — not well known outside the Capitol, but a true bulldog, who gets results.

    Sheila Humberstone – Troutman Sanders — a true expert on healthcare issues, effective, great spirit and attitude, and single-focused on getting her job done.

    John Poole — never heard of him? Old school lobbyists whose knowledge of workers’ compensation and employment issues is unmatched.

    Trip Martin – one of the dean’s of the lobbying delegation. Don’t cross him.

    Lee Hughes — single-handlily got the Gulfstream tax credit passed against incredible odds.

    Christina Searles — waaaay under the radar, but a confidant of many Senators, and gets things done.

  5. Andre Walker says:

    What was just described can only be classified as some straight up gangsta s–t. I guess we should be grateful that no one remembered the provisions of the “Stand Your Ground” law.

  6. Romegaguy says:

    Pettys says this was first time police were involved at a Sine Die party but I seem to remember a DUI arrest after Roy’s first session. I believe it involved his press person.

  7. Chris says:

    The bigger question is did the NRA lobbyist have the guts to attend.

    And if so, will they ever find the body. 🙂

  8. Icarus says:

    From now on, when advised to lock up your women and children because the legislature is in session, we should extend that protection to the sunrise after sine die.

  9. gatormathis says:

    It would almost seem that one of the lobbyists had made a disparaging comment about the other’s mother, to bring about this sort of bad behavior.

    With a blemish such as this on his resume’, one might expect problems with their employer.

    This session has been kinda rough on lobbyists, huh…………….

  10. gatormathis says:

    The following comment is not meant to offend the great Senator from the East, nor disparage the late, Great, Louis Grizzard , it’s merely to encourage dialog.

    But…………..damn brother…………

    I don’t believe I’d tole that…………lol……

    Seriously, the plot thickens don’t it.

    Now, all day down here in south GA, I’m gonna be driving a dozer, cleaning up some fields from a little twister damage we suffered last weekend.

    Hopefully everything will run good, and I’ll get in a good hot day of work so we can be again ready to plant. 80 degree dozer driving, that’ll be a lot hotter than my tractor cab.

    And the whole time, I’m gonna be wondering:

    a) Did the other fellow mess up and say something about the boy’s mamma?

    b) Was it a fuss over a romantic interest?

    c) Did the other lobbyist’s lobbying labors lean the legislature to lavishly fund his laboriously lobbied position, instead of the aforementioned beer bottle weilding lobbyist previously listed as unlocated?

    Surely it took much “pissing off” for a supposedly educated and gainfully employed professional to get mad enough at the swanky government sine die party, to take a swipe at busting somebody up side the head with a beer bottle, in the public’s view.

    So tommorrow, I’ll be annoyed, hot and bothered all dusty day, wondering………..just wondering……why’d he do it……lol….

    John Boy & Billy, they’d probaly just take c)………without even taking in consideration this is “paycheck” competition we talking about.

    Serious dough is paid out for one’s “lobbyist”
    skills, both to the employed lobbyist “winning” his/her side of an issue, along with the receivers of funding directed to them from the State.

    ya’ll get it figured out so I can read it on here tommorrow nite…..my dozer don’t do the internet real good…..

  11. Ben Marshall says:

    Pete is not a lobbyist for the State Ethics Commission. The Insider report says that he is a registered lobbyist by them, not for them. Look him up, they’re not a client of his.

  12. DoubleDawg3 says:

    Didn’t Pete Stokes used to work for the House Republicans when they were in “Minority” status…I’m not positive, but I think I recall him working for the Westmoreland / Richardson / Keen team.

    If I’m wrong on this – please correct me. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

  13. GAWire says:

    Erick, PI doesn’t get something? Big shocker.

    Farris, that’s funny … seriously, I wonder if the NRA guys decided to attend armed or not.

    As for Stokes, rumor has it he and Vernon Jones will be teaming up for a Earl/Huey Long style Jail House Campaign. The office their shooting for is TBD.

  14. Icarus says:

    Where are the smart assed kids that made the “Would the House or Senate win in a bar fight” video? They’ve now got a ready made sequel that could make it to reality TV: Lobbyist cage matches. Cool.

  15. GAWire says:

    Has anyone pointed out yet that this is the 2nd MAG lobbyist going down in scandal in the past 3 years? Two years ago, their GR Dir was indicted. Not even sure what happen, except to say that since the liabillity reform passed 2 yrs ago, MAG has had some issues.

  16. Tommy_a2b says:

    Just to make ya’ll think outside the box a bit. Pete is a friend of mine and there is a lot to this story yet to come out. I ask that you all do not convict him before the trial. I will give more details at a later date.

  17. Demonbeck says:

    Did he slip and accidentally break the glass bottle over the other lobbyist’s head?

    There may be more to the story, but he’s still the person who introduced a weapon into a fight.

  18. Bill Arp says:

    I do not know either but I really want someone to tell me how you could legitimately provoke someone to hit the other party across the head with a beet bottle. That is insane….this guy has problems…they said he was hit from the back…what happened did he fart on the guy and provoke him to try and tear his ear off.

  19. georgiaguy5050 says:

    Who is this Pete Stokes guy anyway? Clayton is a extremely hard working guy, and would never have compromised is job. I hope Stokes clients realize they have an insane person working for them…who swings bottles?

  20. Ben Marshall says:

    I would hold off calling anyone insane, especially when you freely admit that you don’t even know the guy.

  21. GAWire says:

    Stokes will always be known as the guy that pulled a Mike Tyson on another lobbyist at Sine Die. What sucks is that MAG made another bad choice on their people – they’re really becoming a foregone conclusion in GA’s health policy circles.

    As for Clayton, don’t know him, but s/t tells me he wasn’t exactly sitting quietly when the situation took place.

    All that aside, though, who really cares?!? You have a 26 yr old lobbyist for major state organizations drunkly (sp?) attacking with another 20 something lobbyist who represents big organizations. Sounds like these guys should go back to Athens and stick to things like UGA vs Florida games, rather than influencing legislators.

    There you have it, folks … these are the guys who are working with our policymakers, influencing them and the policy that costs GA taxpayers billions of dollars a year. These are the douchebags that our legislators and Governor are listening to.

    Anyone else a little annoyed by that?

  22. elephantgirl says:

    I would probably be saying the same thing as most of you are if I did not know both Pete Stokes and John Clayton, but most of you are wrong.
    Yes–Pete did work for House Republicans for two years when they were in the minority–I think it was Jerry Keen specifically.
    Of course it is not right to hit someone over the back of the head with a beer bottle but I cannot imagine that Clayton is 100% guiltless. Clayton is a hardworking guy but he can also be an arrogant, cocky, pain in the ass. On the other hand, Pete is one of the nicest, most laid back guys you would ever meet. Something obviously really got to him and I would not be surprised if alcohol was a contributing factor considering it runs quite freely at the Capitol on Sine Die.
    Of course it was not right but painting Pete Stokes as some crazed maniac isn’t either.

  23. georgiaguy5050 says:

    I do not care it the guy is a extreme pain in the butt. Slamming a glass of beer into someone’s head at a legislative party certainly avails the term “insame.” Who does that? I cannot see how someone who does that can be termed “laid back, or nice” what a joke….I wonder what name they will gve the pretty boy in the pokey….

  24. Donkey Kong says:

    Bar fights aren’t always fun, but these guys had it rough. They had the misfortune of doing it in front of a bunch of attorneys. Rumor is that a few lawmakers ran after the two guys, shouting, “Oh, violation of 16-5-21!! violation, 16-5-21!!”

  25. GAWire says:

    Donkey, correction … GA lawmakers wouldn’t know a 16-5-21 if it hit them in the back of the head (or ear) with a beer bottle.

    Instead, what they were actually thinking was, “damn, now which one of these other lobbyist suckers are going to hook me up with on of their cute intern friends in exchange for a NRA vote.” Either that, or “with those two young guys out of the picture, more hot interns for me!”

    Laissez le Bon temp rouler!

  26. atlantaman says:

    “a) Did the other fellow mess up and say something about the boy’s mamma?

    b) Was it a fuss over a romantic interest?”

    I’m hearing it was a lot worse than any of the above. Not that it’s any excuse for slamming a beer bottle of a guy’s head.

  27. Donkey Kong says:

    GAWire, you seem to know their thoughts all too well…were you one of those interns? 😉 After the MARTA Chair incident, you never know…one’s gender is no longer a restrictive issue…

    Does anyone know if the bar where this incident occurred has security cameras? I’d LOVE to see this on youtube…

  28. yellowhammer says:

    I know both parties involved and while there are two sides to every story, only one person hit the other over the head with a glass and that was Stokes. That’s all that matters. Even if there was a disagreement, all that matters is that he struck first and struck with a weapon. Neither one of these guys is very physically imposing, so I can’t imagine a situation where Stokes felt threatened enough to justify his actions. He’ll pay the price.

  29. elephantgirl says:

    As I said before, of course Pete was in the wrong. I would never say otherwise. To claim that this one isolated incident makes him insane is ridiculous. I am sure we all know someone who has done something extremely out of character at some point that we do not consider insane.

  30. BFranklin says:

    Here is the deal. Peter was acting in self defense. He was asked to go upstairs, he thought the individual who was waiting for him was going to apologize for the way he acted throughout the evening, but when Peter got upstairs he was blindsided and this guy started started attacking him. Therefore self-defense.

  31. Josh Willis says:

    That makes a lot of sense. I’ve often been afraid of people sitting at a bar with their back turned to me. Everyone seems to forget that Stokes came up behind him unnannounced and hit him with a pint glass, unprovoked.

  32. PeggyP says:

    BFranklin,
    Please explain how Pete was “blindsided” by a guy whose back was turned to him. This Clayton fellow must be pretty darned talented if he can pull off the rare “backwards attack.” That would be straight-up Steven Segal shit!

  33. YouGuysAreIdiots says:

    You guys are idiots. I know Peter very well and personally, he is not the type at all to do this. DRUNK OR NOT. He was attacked and it was SELF DEFENCE.

  34. Doug Deal says:

    Ah, the ol’ I wasn’t there and he is “not that type” defense.

    Much like O.J., as a wealthy actor and former athlete “was not the type” to brutally murder his wife. Your assurances that it was self defense, settle it.

  35. Ben Marshall says:

    Is there anyway this post can be locked so no one else can comment? This has turned from a story into a gossip/rumor fest, which typically is alright for blogs like this, but not when people are attempting to affect the credibility and legitimacy of the alleged assailant and the alleged victim in this incident.

  36. BFranklin says:

    Doug Deal you are so right to equate this to OJ Simpson. That’s a perfect example. Can anyone hear the sarcasm in my tone? I’m laying it on pretty think here.

  37. Icarus says:

    Now that O.J. has been dragged into this, I think we need an equal time response from Whitemalevoters.

  38. blackmalevoters says:

    Black male voters believe O.J. Simpson was innocent.

    And Black male voters will not rest until the true killers of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman are caught.

  39. GAWire says:

    Ben, to answer your question, yes, there is a way to lock commenting. What you have to do is login with Erick’s user information and click on the little buttons and highlight some stuff and then select and deselect a couple of things. All very simple really.

    Other than that, welcome to the world of blogging where we can turn a story about the most legitimate subject into a sarcastic, satirical, patronizing sack of excrement … on a dime.

    Feel free to dive in the sh&% pile or stay out of it.

  40. Doug Deal says:

    BF,

    I was not responding to you, but “YouGuysAreIdiots “. Thanks to Erick’s newish trusty-color-coded-comment-identifier, I ignore the gray stuff, and the only new comment was the one above mine.

    Sadly, it did not look all that out of line from the posts by people like MadDog or ChrisHardCore, so I assumed it was for real.

    Plus, I had the opportunity to inteject the juice. How could I pass that up?

  41. Holly says:

    What color coded comment identifier? I think I’m being discriminated against as a Mac user, ha ha. 🙂

  42. gatormathis says:

    I’ll be glad when I get back in my tractor. Been on the bulldozer pushing trees out of the field and I done missed this stuff all day.

    My tractor, it’s new enough to have a computer in it. I bet it probabaly won’t pick up all this though, I think it runs the air conditioning………..

    One thing for sure, neither one of these ole boys gonna get to play the hero in this fracas.

    And them other lawyers and lobbyist, if ya listened real hard, they were probably giving the “startled” look, smiling uneasly, looking around “thoughtlessly”…….

    softly humming under their breath……..

    “Another one bits the dust……another one bites the dust………

  43. whitemalevoters says:

    White male voters and Dave Chappel all believe that O.J. Simpson is guilty as sin. Don’t let little things like a a reverse-racist jury (letting him off ONLY because he was a fellow black man) get in the way of the truth!

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