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Poll vaulting 

When he was asked last week about polling numbers, mayoral candidate Robb Pitts was non-plussed. The only poll he takes, he said at a forum sponsored by the Young Entrepreneurs Organization, is the one he conducts every day on the street.

An odd statement from a candidate who, according to his latest financial disclosure, paid $73,248 to the Mellman Group to, um, take polls.

Maybe it's because the poll is showing roughly similar results to one conducted by his opponent, Shirley Franklin. The Franklin poll shows her with a 5-point lead -- 35 to 30 -- over Pitts. Gloria Bromell-Tinubu is in the single digits, while the margin of error is 4 percent.

Meanwhile, Franklin's poll also shows Councilwoman "Able" Mable Thomas leading the race for City Council president. She's captured nearly a quarter of the electorate, while District 3 Councilman Michael Bond has slipped to 15 percent. Julia Emmons and Cathy Woolard round out the race without making it into the teens.

Thomas' numbers are doubtless due in part to her tireless campaigning. She's at malls, MARTA stations, going door-to-door. The joke is that she'd go to the opening of an envelope.

Apparently, Thomas has been so busy she hasn't had time to file her latest financial disclosures, which were due Sept. 30. David Stokes, Thomas' campaign manager, says he thought the information had already been submitted.

She's not alone. Bond is another City Council president candidate who hasn't filed his financial disclosures. Both he and Thomas are subject to $50-per-day fines because of the tardiness. The point isn't the fine, but the fact that some candidates just can't seem to follow simple campaign laws.

Woolard and Emmons turned in their disclosures by the deadline, and according to those submissions, Woolard continues to lead her challengers in fund raising with $284,416 collected. Last week, Creative Loafing published the incorrect amount. Sorry, Cathy.

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