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Topics: 2008 , Pollsters , The 2008 Race

We have been watching with interest coverage of the lawsuit and countersuit involving Clinton pollster Mark Penn, his ex-partner and a former employee. The Nation’s Ari Berman reports:

A lawsuit filed in New York by a former employee of Penn's polling firm, Penn, Schoen & Berland, alleges that when the employee left the firm and started a rival consulting business, workers at PSB hacked into his BlackBerry and illegally monitored his email. The lawsuit, filed in mid-June and reported by the AP on Wednesday, claims that Penn approved of the surveillance.

The backstory is a complicated one. Penn originally sued his former partner Mike Berland and Mitchell Markel in Manhattan court for allegedly violating a non-compete clause with PSB. In response, Markel filed a countersuit detailing the supposed improper email monitoring.

Berman has more, but Politico’s Ben Smith noticed this mind-boggling number in the court filings (here and here) posted by the New York Observer:

In the original suit, PSB asserts that Berland received $15,519,492 in connection with the firm's sale to the WPP Group.

PSB's price has always been a closely-guarded secret; two of the partners, Schoen and Berland, departed at the beginning of this year, the date at which their contracts allowed them to "earn out" the full sale price. And given that Berland was the third-named partner, his payout offers a glimpse at how lucrative the polling business has been for the two founders, Penn and Doug Schoen.

As someone who earned a living in the political polling business, let me just say, that’s incredibly lucrative.

 

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