Fianna Fail still bringing in the lion’s share of donations…

If people in and around Fianna Fail are sanguine about their party’s future, there may be good reason… Despite the many troubles besetting the Cowen regime, the money is still flowing into the party’s coffers in good measure… The bad news is that, according to Aine Kerr, it may not help when they go to the polls:

According to the Standards in Public Office Commission, Fianna Fail topped the league for disclosed donations, taking in €94,983, compared to Fine Gael’s €17,663. Former Fianna Fail MEP Eoin Ryan topped the league for hefty political donations — but still managed to lose his seat in the European elections.

He amassed €22,300 of the total of €182,000 raked in by MEPs, TDs and senators. Ten politicians failed to make the initial deadline for disclosing all donations and another three missed further deadlines.

In fact, Labour in came in slightly ahead of Fine Gael… If the party’s of opposition are keen to become sustainable parties of government, the fund raising issue is one they need to give some attention to now rather than later… But in an era of greater transparency, it is becoming as important to know who and how much your donors are giving…’s data base of donors for TDs tells a story about just how dependent Fianna Fail had become on the Property and Construction industries (and how dependent Labour is on the Unions) to keep their politicians afloat.

Comparisons with Obama and the way the Democrats equalled up the money fight with the Republicans often draw moans from opposition pols. Every party supporter knows there is a good reason why their preferred party needs their money: TV ad time. Here, the reasons are not so obvious.

And fundraising, even online, is costly both in terms of initial investment and more particularly in time. It is hard to imagine how any elected official ever gets his or her work done for all the planning and scheming to make enough money to run for the next election…

But there is an opportunity to start making a more pitch to the public for politics and to begin to rebuild meaningful connections between themselves and ordinary people…

Reminder: Still a couple of places left in our last session Politics online: campaigning and representation

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty