The Raging Bull Moose Gets Restrained By A Court Order [UPDATE]

[UPDATE]: Sources familiar with the incident between Clint Murphy and Robin Wheeler tell me that Wheeler dropped the restraining order almost two weeks ago.

Peach Pundista Clint Murphy, also known as “Bull Moose” around these parts, is back in the news again after a female campaign staffer for a rival campaign accused Murphy of “stalking her to the ladies’ room.”

Clint Murphy, a Savannah political activist, had a magistrate court judge order him to stay away from Robin Wheeler until September 1st after things got a little rough between the two of them at the Wild Wing Cafe in Savannah last month. According to Wheeler, who works for 12th district congressional candidate Ben Crystal, Murphy assaulted her last month at the restaurant leaving “bruises on my arms where he was pulling me.”

However, Murphy disputed Wheeler’s account of the events saying that she shoved him into a wall when he attempted to speak to her [Source: 6/24/2008 Savannah Morning News article “Congressional campaign spat turns physical”]. He says that Wheeler was spreading rumors around town about how he was bringing to attention to Ben Crystal’s messy divorce along with raising questions about Crystal’s campaign practices including supposed problems with the Crystal campaign’s yard signs and Crystal telling contributors that donations were tax deductible.

At the time of the incident, Murphy was working for Republican Ray McKinney’s congressional campaign. McKinney will take on Ben Crystal and John Stone in the 12th congressional district Republican primary on July 15th. Clint Murphy has since left McKinney’s campaign and taken a job as the Southeast Deputy Regional Campaign Manager for the John McCain presidential campaign.

After filing the restraining order, Robin Wheeler said, “I didn’t get any sleep last night. I missed work this morning because I was so exhausted.”


  1. Icarus says:

    We get GOPeach sprung, and now I have to re-generate the Free Bull Moose! campaign again? My work here is never done….

  2. Skeptic Tank says:

    If this had only happened after the state’s new gun carry law goes into effect July 1, the two individuals in this situation could have both carried guns into the Wild Wings Cafe. That might have settled the matter.

  3. John Konop says:

    I have never met Clint to my knowledge. I do not support his candidate McCain. Yet he seems like a rational reasonable person from reading his comments. I think it was a cheap shot to post this on the PP. He is not running for any local office in Georgia and has moved to Florida.

  4. jsm says:

    This kind of stuff is unfortunate and really unnecessary to the election process. Can’t campaigns dislike each other without public confrontations between staffers?

  5. fishtail says:

    I wonder when the Obama staff will call for Bull Moose to be fired from the McCain campaign….and the McCain folks will probably oblige and boot ol’ Bull Moose. McCain doesn’t need the distraction of a campaign staffer having restraining orders taken out against him….right or wrong, Clint Murphy is toast.

  6. onthefence says:

    I don’t think it was a cheap shot at all. I think that it called attention to the behind the scenes efforts and sometimes over effort of campaign staffers for their candidates. If PP can talk about Richardson’s divorce, Vernon Jones’ sex life, a state legislative staffer hitting someone over the head with a beer bottle, etc. then a Congressional campaign staffer (whether living in GA or not) being issued a restraining order is important news as well!

  7. Ms_midtown says:

    The Moose should be charged with assault.
    You can’t be grabbing and bruising women in politics.

    What size are these two? Could she even shove the man up against a wall?

  8. SpaceyG says:

    Honestly? All I thought when I read this post was that some bloggers sure are having a lot more excitement in their social lives than I am.

  9. Icarus says:

    “some bloggers sure are having a lot more excitement in their social lives than I am.”

    didn’t you spend an hour this week watching 10 council members watch other people fill a pothole? How much more excitement can you ask for?

  10. Doug Deal says:

    It shows you why there are so many problems in politics. People have turned it into a replacement for religion. Their side is always right and good, and everyone else is evil and bad simply because they are an opponent.

    When so much emotional energy is invested in something like politics, no wonder there is so much conflict.

  11. dewberry says:

    I was there the night this happened. While I didn’t see exactly what led to this I did see the lady in distress as she was backed up against the bar by Murphy. There were several people, men and women restraining Murphy.

    I can’t stand Clint Murphy and I really don’t know how he got my email but this is what he sent to me the day after this happened

    > I tried to have a private conversation with Robin last night and she shoved me aside and wouldn’t let me talk to her. That’s what happened.
    > She has been going around saying a lot of things that aren’t true about me and spreading just general dirt and I didn’t appreciate it.
    > As you know, I’m a fairly passionate person. I don’t think you can attack someone one day and be there friend the next. Some attacks are out of bounds, some go along with the process.
    > That’s about all.
    > I’m glad that we talked, don’t stir up trouble, and enjoy the election season James.
    > Clint

    Me? Stir up trouble?

  12. Doug Deal says:


    Regardless of your opinion of Clint Murphy, it is in very bad taste to post a private email to a public forum without his consent.

    It is just a means of kicking someone who is down, and is despicable.

  13. Catherine says:

    There are witnesses to the abuse suffered by Ben Crystal’s wife. Mr. Crystal is openly in another relationship while still married. Obviously, both Clint Murphy and Robin Wheeler have temper issues…or at the very least, issues behaving in public!

    Why are any of these people allowed to participate in politics? Are these the people you want representing and shaping the 12th District?

    My vote is going to John Stone!

  14. Doug Deal says:


    It is not a blogging rule; it is a rule of common decency. If it is public, it is public. If it is private discourse, it would remain private.

    Only jerks post their private e-mails to public forums without permission of the sender.

  15. dewberry says:

    I have posted emails before when I thought it was important.

    The truth is I have a suspicion that this same mail was sent to many others except he personalized the last couple of lines for me specifically.

    If this guy didn’t have a guilty conscience over this matter what other reasons would he have had to send this mail out to everyone in the first place?

    If you all remember, my difference with Murphy go back to him criticizing me for poking fun of our elderly tax and spend liberal county commission chairman. What did I repeat which got Murphy upset with me? I simply repeated the words of the chairman “we don’t have the money” when I asked the chairman why we don’t have sidewalks, shelters, and benches for the elderly folks who depend on public transportation to get around town. Murphy has attacked me for pointing out the shortcomings of our liberal tax and spend chairman and for that reason and others I think Clint is a dirt bag. There is no excuse for Clint Murphy putting his hands on Robin Wheeler. None.

    If the little pug wants get upset over this then fine. He surely loves all of this attention for better or worse.

    Don’t forget about him cozying up to one of the biggest liberal PACs in Savannah last year. How is it that this liberal activist group can’t make an endorsement for Mayor but easily endorses Murphy? Why? In my opinion Murphy knows how to speak out of both sides of his mouth very well to gain whatever it is he is after. That liberal group would never endorse a true conservative republican.

    Surely Clint Murphy must have some good qualities but when I met him in person and took note of his actions, I find big differences between your perception and the reality. I don’t trust Clint Murphy. I don’t think Clint Murphy is in it for the good of the people, I think Clint Murphy is in it for what is good for Clint Murphy.

    We are all opportunists.

    Clint Murphy is someone I would never support and surely not someone I would trust to hold a position on any single thing. I believe Murphy can be swayed very easily.

    I am a jerk if this is what defines a jerk in this day and time.

  16. Doug Deal says:

    I am not defending Clint’s behavior. I don’t even know him other than his Bull Moose persona. However, I think the gotcha style of politics that you are resorting to shows a lot more about your lack of character than Clint’s.

    You have every right to say what you think of him, I would not challenge you on that, but sorry, no matter what it wins you, posting private email correspondence is tasteless when you do not have permission of the author.

    Perhaps every detail of your life when you had the expectation of privacy should be retold and blabbed in and out of context for the entire world to see by someone unfriendly to you. You would not come out looking good, and would probably lose your job.

    You only goal is to embarrass Clint. Not beat him on real merits, just get revenge because you have personal differences with him

    Congratulations on one-upping him.

  17. dewberry says:

    I have no hard feelings Doug. We all have opinions. I just was just hoping to bring a little more clarity to the subject.

    The same night this incident took place he would not shake my hand but the next day he sends me an email.

    I really didn’t come here to score any brownie points and I didn’t mean to offend you or others by me posting a communication I received in an email.

    I just want everyone to know that if I have caused any of you any grief by posting this email I received from Clint Murphy then I am very, very sorry that you are so sensitive.

    Please know that it was never my intent to weigh so heavily on anyone’s sensitive side over emails.

    I am candidate Dewberry and I won’t take money from strip clubs and futher, I don’t mean to weigh heavily on anyone’s sensitive side.

    (I hope I don’t lose my job now)

  18. Doug Deal says:


    It’s mainly me (and I guess Konop) I guess. I sometimes do have a strong sense of ethics that a lot of people do not necessarily share. You are right to bring your concerns, I just think that private emails are intended to be private, and sharing them without permission a taboo.

  19. dewberry says:

    Your ok Doug. I took a money making ethics course for grad school so I will plead my ignorance to what they might be teaching as ethics in this decade. I am fairly new to blogging and new to this site so please train me in the best ways. I will put all of my trust into the bloggers as seasoned as you must be. I aspire to be recognized as a blogger with manners and this is my new commitment.

    (oh gawd I’m at work and blogging. I hope I don’t lose my job)

  20. Doug Deal says:


    There’s no need to be sarcastic. I am by no means a blog cop, and being in a blog does not excuse behavior that is nasty in a non-blog situation.

    I was just pointing out my personal opinion that it is not a good thing to betray a confidence. It is even less so if you did it to “get” someone.

  21. dewberry says:

    Doug, really, I have a hard time not being a smart***. It is just my style of writing. I’m not doing it at anyone’s expense and not at yours at all. Some folks will find it amusing and folks who know me understand this.

    Really, please don’t take any offense at any of this. I just learned that the email I posted here was submitted as evidence in the court proceeding in the case of the restraining order against Clint Murphy and also I have learned that the restraining order was never dropped.

    Peach Pundit, please update the record. The restraining order against Clint Murphy is in affect. Robin Wheeler DID NOT drop the restraining order.

    PP, please explain how and why you have promoted that the restraining order was dropped when it was not.

  22. Doug Deal says:


    If it was submitted as evidence in court AND that evidence is public record, then I guess you didn’t do anything wrong.


    Thanks for the backup. Let’s hope the Beercats make the BCS bowls this year. Cincy needs a pick-me-up.

  23. Bill Simon says:

    Dewberry, are you actually running for an office, or just content to see how many people decide on election day to make their choice a random one?

  24. Wayne Mosley says:

    Wow this seems to be much about nothing. I dare say that without their intense support for the candidate that each represents, this would have died exactly where it should have at the Wild Wing Cafe. The unfortunate aspect is that both the candidates have been brought somewhat down by this matter.

    As for Clint, since he is taking on some flak right now, I want to come out on the record and state what a straight up, honorable, intelligent man he is. Perhaps a bit more passionate that some appreciate, but I think it appropriate.

    Last summer while I was in Iraq, my wife Jennifer met Clint. She liked him and for me that is the gold standard. I was impressed by how often he emailed her and I both just to check in and see how all things were progressing. It was easy to discern that he had a genuine interest in understanding the dilemmas that a family with a loved one deployed faces, as well as what was the impression of actual soldiers on the ground with respect to this war.

    Clint, if I can be of any help, give me a call anytime.

  25. drjay says:

    i had really been just trying to ignore this but feel compelled to check in ever so briefly as my wife was dragged into this whole episode as it unfolded–1st i find it odd that peterson at the smn felt the need to publish this story at all–if it was such hot breaking news why did he wait almost 2 weeks after the whole thing went down–2nd as i said my wife got dragged into all this and was a witness at the hearing way back on june 13 –i may not have all the facts as i am reciting from memory–but there is no “restaining order” and there never was –it is a “good behavior” warrant which has a much lower threshold for enforcement (basically the complaintant has to show annoyance to get one of these things) than a real live restraining order–in fact the events as described in the email’s shot out to everyone and their brother were much more sinister than her (robin’s) own witness to the event when under oath in court described– this witness did not allege any contact only that clint reached for robin and that people got in between them–it appeared to be quite a waste of court time and i am surprised to see actual adults act like such petulant children–my children get timouts when they play the “he’s touching me” game in the car on long trips–not to get to bogged down in my own rant–but this whole episode going back to before convention is why i have left the yr’s and am sad for that organization for whom it should have been quite a feather in its cap to have both sav’h based 12th campaigns run by yr’s–but clearly it has not turned out that way–i have friends in both campaigns and hate seeing this bizarre turn of events unfold…

  26. Lady Gator says:

    What is being lost is the fact that the magistrate court, not superior court, issued a “peace bond” which is good behavior warrant for both to stay away from each other. This bond expires in September. The magistrate court of chatham county gives these things out like candy in this county. The judge reasons that since someone felt compelled to file it, a peace bond will be issued unless the complaint is patently false. I tell clients to not waste their money to hire an attorney for these cases because the peace bond will be granted. It is not big deal that is being made on this site.

  27. Lady Gator says:

    drjay, agree with you. Savannah news sat on it. The peace bond threshold is very low. In fact, I feel that the magistrate court hands those things out like candy. Everyone should read your post.

  28. Bill Simon says:

    Dr Jay,

    I have discovered a lot of self-identified “reporters” often sit on stories waiting for the right moment to release them for maximum impact for their, or their editor’s, own personal feelings as to use it as a hammer on one party or another.

    As such, the next time you read an op-ed written by some HUA* editor of a newspaper bemoaning the “decline” of societal norms and standards of integrity, whip-out your trusty electronic pen and fire-back a letter-to-the-editor that suggests that the TRUE blame of the decline of society is likely due to the selling-out of “journalistic integrity” on behalf of personal agendas by newspaper owners.

    *HUA stands for Head Up A–

  29. GOP Girl says:

    Dr. Jay,

    I find it amusing that you comment on what was said in court under oath when neither you nor your wife were in the courtroom to hear the testimony. Otherwise, you would have heard Clint himself admit on the stand to grabbing me. Witnesses were sequestered outside of the courtroom until each were called to give their individual testimony. Your wife was dragged in to this by Clint, which in itself was amusing, since she was not a witness to the assault. The two witnesses that I brought saw everything unfold. The best Clint and his lawyer (I didn’t feel the need to “waste” time as you say, by having my own lawyer present) could provide were two character witnesses and the judge agreed with me after your wife testified that her testimony was irrelevant to the matter at hand.

    You accuse me of emails that were sensationalized. First, the email was sent to TWO people, not everyone and their brother as you accuse. “Everyone and their brother” is who received the mysterious mailers that went out to targeted 12th District voters, thru the U.S. Mail. Let’s not go there, eh? I really don’t think we want to start trading barbs.

    I, too, wonder why Larry chose to run the article so late in the game. All I can figure is that someone tipped him off and there was nothing else to write about and this was a filler. I would at least thought he would put in on an inside page, not the front. But as he stated in the article, Clint and I both were contacted twice and neither of us chose to comment on it.

  30. drjay says:

    actually i did not want to get into this at all and only responded b/c of dewberry specifically mentioning the term “restaining order” which based on my understanding of what happened is not the correct term and is an important distinction–no i was not there at all but the missus was there for the other persons testimony that i mentioned–and for an email that went out to two people it sure has gotten its fair share of press at this point-i had no idea who did or did not get them regardless they appear to be rather common knowledge at this point-i did not mention the mailers–you of course felt the need to bring it up here and now–i was not starting a “barb trading contest” at all–that of course has been your red herring for not dealing w/ their content up to this point, but again i really have been trying to stay out of that so my tongue has been held to a much greater extent than tricia’s even, as you are well aware after your little courtroom escapade–as i said i think the whole thing is absurd and petty and neither of you have served your candidates well through this process–and the emails and voicemails about the other stuff started coming to ray and his mom before he ever met clint and they came from a person whose name i know (and you probably do to b/c clint called to tell you about them as soon as ray brought him onboard) as i have had multiple conversations w/ ray about this and asked him point blank if he was responsible for the mailers and furthermore made it clear that if his denial turned out to be a lie, i would very publicly end my support for him –i readily admitted i may not have all the facts–and would have ignored it here as well (i have plenty enough to keep me busy–the kids have karate class at 1130 this morning in fact) except that it appears to have given dewberry an outlet for his distaste for clint and wanted clear up the whole notion of a “restraining order” as it applies here …

  31. dewberry says:

    It was never my intention to call this peace bond anything other than what it was.

    I don’t hate Clint but when he made baseless attacks against Mary Ellen Sprague who once worked with my mother at a prestigious accounting firm, then attacked me for criticizing our liberal commission chairman I formed an opinion of him.

    Further, Clint got on that environmental wacko wave here in Savannah and promoted and continues to support boondoggle curb side recycling which will cost the tax payers millions to accomplish nothing for years until it ends in complete failure.

    If he admitted to putting his hands on Wheeler as he is alleged to have done from the witness stand then he should be thankful that a peace bond is his biggest worry.

    I agree that this has done the candidates no good.

    Almost all of my disdain for Clint has to do with politics and very little to do with anything social or personal.

  32. GOP Girl says:

    As for the emails, they were made part of the court record. They are now public documents. I would imagine that is where Larry got them. He certainly did not get them from me.

    Red herring? I think we have in fact dealt with the mailers. But I will wait until after the election to make a public statement about that.

  33. dewberry says:

    Well, it is not alleged as far as I am concerned as Wheeler just said matter of factly he admitted from the stand he put his hands on her. Is simple battery still called simple battery?

  34. DoubleDawg3 says:

    I’ve got a question that perhaps one of you from the district can help out with – do the GOP candidates believe they have a good shot at beating Barrow?

    Assuming Barrow comes out of the primary (given his significant money advantage over Regina and Obama’s support), I would imagine that there are currently more Dem. voters registered in that district than there were in 2006 – if national patterns hold true to that district. Plus, Barrow’s had 2 additional years time to solidify his contacts in the district.

    It just seems to me like a lot of bridges are being burned and a lot of enemies made in the GOP in that area, over a race which looks like a steep uphill climb (especially given that it appears some candidates supporters will not be supporting the winning candidate in the GOP field).

    Is this true – or do you sense that the district could actually swing Republican?

  35. GOP Girl says:

    The 12th District has been considered “vulnerable” to both republicans and democrats for the past 6 – 7 years. Regardless of who wins this year, they shouldn’t get too comfortable in their seat.

  36. fishtail says:

    All this blather gives credence to a seasoned old Democrat who once told me that the Republicans always find a way to eat their young. Also, if I were Wayne Mosely, I’d wonder why Clint Murphy kept in constant contact with my wife while I was overseas defending my country. Murphy sounds like a wacko to me.

  37. John Konop says:


    That was out of line and disrespectful to Wayne Mosely, his wife and family who are serving our country.

    The strain on a family during this time is very difficult and you should show the proper respect.

  38. IndyInjun says:


    Savannah GOPers now can join the ‘elite’ club with the Clayton County BOE and the Augusta Coliseum Authority.

    Icarus – the Savannah River Nukes are cooler than the GOPers, but may have irradiated their water…..

    Mutants in politics….ugh.

    Barrow is looking good if he gets past the primary.

    Barrow is looking fantastic up against these antics.

  39. voice of reason says:

    gay homosexual??? So he’s straight???

    I’d be careful if I were you, dewberry, this group of SAV GOPers have already shown they’d run to the courts to solve disputes…..

  40. dewberry says:

    Just the other day I wrote a blog about the buses in Panama and noted that you would never see advertising for gay, lesbian, bi-curious, transgender support groups for teenagers on those buses like we have on our buses here in Chatham County.

    I saw Tony Thomas, the local gay homosexual Republican poster boy, who sold those ads at a GOP fundraiser and he called me a racist for mentioning those ads on my blog. While trying to explain I was not a racist because of my Baptist upbringing and beliefs he then turned from calling me a racist to calling me a psycho.

    I guess Tony will sue me for simply mentioning his sale of the gay, lesbian, bi-curious, transgender ads. Gawd people are sensitive.

    Sue me. I’m a Baptist.

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