Since The Clarion-Ledger began looking into the details of City Council travel, relations with the long-serving councilman have been, um, strained. Facing questions about a series of unusual trips to trade shows and industry conferences in Chicago and New York where he was only elected official there, Stokes responded by picketing the newspaper. He also took the newspaper to task on the Paul Gallo show, although he seemed to say that he had not fully read the piece himself. “I’m taking notes,” he told Gallo as the host read excepts from CL stories. Stokes said he doesn’t read the paper.
But the best came Friday when Stokes responded to a call from yours truly by saying he only would take questions submitted in writing. I accommodated with some follow up and restatement of some questions that I did not get complete answers on in our difficult conversations prior to the publication of the first piece.
Here’s a sample of the questions I asked about his 2008 trip to a real estate trade show.
Regarding the Cooperators Condo and Co-Op Expo in NYC
What kind of convention was that?
It appears to be a regional real estate trade show. Why would a Jackson city councilman go there?
Were there educational or training sessions for local elected officials? If so, please list which sessions offered such training.
Which sessions did you attend?
What could you learn about real estate in NYC that you couldn’t learn in Mississippi?
Stokes had a response hand-delivered to the newspaper within a couple of hours. Here it is:
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