Atlanta Business League warns of phony poll release

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

ATLANTA - An Atlanta business organization is trying to find the person who sent a mass email claiming to show the results of an Atlanta city elections poll done in its name, but the Atlanta Business League said it never commissioned a poll and that the email is nothing but a fake.

"I was angry," said Atlanta Business League President and CEO Leona Barr-Davenport. "It's fraud. It's illegal. It's unfair, and I would really like for whomever it is who's behind this, if it's a politician, I don't want that person elected. If it's his camp or her camp, I still don't want that person elected."

Someone sent the mass email Sunday afternoon. It purports to be an ABL poll of every city of Atlanta political race from mayor to city council to school board.

The data appears to show the latest polling numbers along with a check for the candidate it thinks will win the election.

The bottom of the email reads, "Polling provided courtesy of Atlanta Business League 2013 Candidate Watch."

But the ABL insists it never conducted the poll because in its 80-year existence, it's always tried to stay out of politics, not supporting any single city, state or national candidate.

"We do not support any candidate," said ABL Board Chair Mary Parker. "We were very concerned about what that would do to our reputation."

Parker said they have Information Technology experts working to trace the origin of the email. If they find them, Parker said they could face legal action.

Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell is among the politicians named in the phony poll.

Because the email credits the poll to the ABL, he thinks the author could be in legal trouble if they're caught. Otherwise, he chalks it up to the rough-and-tumble world of Atlanta politics during election season.

"It's the crazy season," said Mitchell. "Its campaign season, and you're likely to see a whole lot of stuff between now and Nov. 5."

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