A follow-up to Ed’s post on Tuesday. Kos claims Research 2000 made up some of its numbers; Research 2000 claims Kos is a smear merchant and a deadbeat. The plaintiff’s case:

1) The suit alleges that Research 2000 founder Del Ali repeatedly promised to volunteer to Kos the raw polling data behind the surveys, but never came through — potentially raising further suspicions. The suit quotes multiple emails from Ali to Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, vowing to share the data…

2) The suit alleges that Research 2000 had money problems, which could prompt further questions about the firm’s business practices. It alleges that Ali asked Moulitsas to make one lump-sum payment in advance, in exchange for some free polling, because it would provide “immense” help for cash flow reasons…

4) The suit says that there was no formal written contract between the two parties, claiming the deal was made verbally and by email.

We’ll come back to the boldfaced stuff in a minute. The defendant’s case, per Research 2000’s Del Ali:

I am floored that the any media outlet would print anything Kos releases publicly because just looking at the suit there are so many lies and fabrications that will expose them in litigation, not in the media. Additionally, this Kinkos story and this alleged two weeks to get raw data to them is the best illustrations not only in our defense but in our suit against them. The fact that Kos would publicly release cherry picked emails and not disclose others and to not think aggressive legal action would be taken is just mind boggling. We are not going to litigate or release any key evidence we have collected on Kos and others over the past two weeks. I think you would agree that it could compromise our case as well as give Kos and supporters in the media witch hunt for them time to spin their way out of it. Every charge against my company and myself are pure lies, plain and simple and the motives as to why Kos is doing it will be revealed in the legal process and not before that. I will share one little minor reason that Kos is doing this and it pertains to the fact they owe us a significant sum of monies that is in the six figure category and payment was on June 15, 2010. There are several more sinister ones that will come out.

Follow both links for more details. So what’s really going on? I highly recommend this post by Patrick Ruffini, who, unlike me, actually knows what he’s talking about when it comes to polling. In a nutshell, at least one of the polls R2000 conducted for Kos should have been fabulously expensive by industry standards. It was based on live interviews (unlike Rasmussen, who uses robo-polls), it encompassed a gigantic sample — way beyond what an outfit like dKos should have needed or realistically could afford — and it involved cold-calling people instead of relying on a list of people known to be Republicans or likely voters. A pollster source tells Ruffini that a poll like that would easily run someone six figures. The question, then: Is that the price R2000 quoted to Kos or did they quote him something much lower to attract his business? Kos’s argument, of course, will be that they gave him a great deal, which explains why they allegedly had to start cooking the numbers. If, as the complaint alleges, R2000 had money problems, they might have quoted him a rock-bottom figure to win his business and then realized that they simply couldn’t afford to conduct the poll for that amount. R2000’s argument, I assume, will be that they quoted him a six-figure price all along and now that he realizes he can’t pay, he’s trying to wriggle out of the contract by claiming that they breached it by giving him phony numbers.

So who’s telling the truth? Ruffini’s theory:

I’m guessing R2K sold it to him for far less, say $10,000? And anyone with a rudimentary understanding of polling would have known you can’t do a poll like this for that amount of money. So the question now is what this says about what Kos should have known about this. Is he so rich he can drop 100K on a single poll to drive a single day’s news cycle — something not even the major networks would do? Is he simply gullible? Or was he negligent in not checking out what what I can only guess were R2K’s absurd price quotes compared to live operator pollsters?

Given the detail in his own complaint about never having reached a written agreement with R2000 — which seems insane considering the sums involved — I’d say the “negligent” theory is looking good.

So now you’re more or less up to speed, which you should be given the national repercussions generated by this clusterfark. The one lingering issue for the moment: Why, as Nate Silver has requested, doesn’t R2000 release the raw data from the interviews conducted during polls (or at least the invoices from the call center that did the interviewing)? That would prove that they actually did the work they said they did and that the numbers weren’t made up wholesale. R2000’s answer:

This is clear dog whistle support for Kos and a disregard for the legal process and our case. I say this because for discussion purposes, let us assume that we gave the Kos what they wanted, Kos himself stated on his Tuesday blog that it would NOT vindicate us. We already knew that and as I stated the reasons will come out during litigation. As I said, his account of the data and the Kinkos story is slander and will be proven. It is also important to know I was never warned about a report, what Kos said in an email to me is that the last thing he needs is for someone showing a report that says his data is flawed the past two years.

To be continued!

Tags: Republicans