Democratic mega-firm MSHC shutting its doors

Democratic mega-firm MSHC Partners, a giant in the political consulting industry, is shutting its doors after Nov. 2.

The firm, which provides direct mail, fundraising and online strategy and targeting for candidates, is breaking up into into what Chairman Hal Malchow calls "two successor firms."

The company's client list includes the Democratic National Committee, the AFL-CIO, EMILY's List, numerous state Democratic parties and House and Senate campaigns.

MSHC has also worked on the presidential campaigns of former President Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Three of the firm's current partners will head two new companies. One will continue most of the firm's direct mail business and be led by Trish Hoppey and Dean Levitan, while the other will be an Internet strategy firm headed up by Amy Gonzales.

"Politics has gotten too negative for me," Malchow told The Hill. "Every year it gets worse, and I really just need to take a step back from it at this point."

Malchow, one of the founders of the political consulting industry, said he is "mostly leaving the business" after Election Day, though he anticipates still having some involvement with a handful of clients.

Rumors of financial trouble for the firm accompany the news of the firm's split, but Malchow said "there's not any financial problem that we can't handle."

Fellow consultants are already scouring the firm's client list, which is one of the biggest in the industry, in the hopes of picking up new business.