“Freedom of information it isn’t…”

In the Irish Times, Noel Whelan takes a look at the Irish presidential candidates’ declared expenditure[So you don’t have to? – Ed]  Indeed.  He starts by comparing that declared expenditure with what they said, during the campaign, they would spend.  From the Irish Times article

One of those mental notes was made during the televised election debate on the Late Late Show as candidates were asked how much they would spend on their campaigns.

Seán Gallagher answered first, making much of his no-poster policy, and saying he expected his expenditure would be about €200,000. He ended up spending €323,318.

Mary Davis was next and said her final figure “could be €350,000”. She spent €414,041 during the statutory period.

David Norris told Ryan Tubridy he didn’t know what the figure would be and ended up spending €331,975 in the eight weeks.

Gay Mitchell said he would spend “in the region of €350,000”. It transpired that the “region” was substantial because the Mitchell campaign actually spent €527,152.

I remember being struck at the time about how precise Michael D Higgins was in his reply. He said his campaign budget was €321,000. He ultimately spent just under €360,000.

When Martin McGuinness turned to answer the question, he sneered at the figures mentioned by Mitchell and Higgins saying his expenditure would be “considerably less than Gay and Michael D” and “definitely nowhere near” the figures they had suggested. As it turned out McGuinness spent €302,563, just €57,000 less than Higgins.

You can take your own look at the candidates’ declared expenditure, and donations, here.

, , , , , , , , , ,

  • Well, who ever took a campaigning politician at face value? On the stump is the time for deniable promises, circumlocutions, whistling at dogs, blue skies just over the horizon, and porkie pies.

    That said, I read Whelan with Timothy Egan’s piece on US primary expenditures still in my head.

    So, allowing for my prejudices, I reckon that, for €360,000 all in (about 50c a vote), Ireland got the right one with Michael D, and at a bargain price. [See he took the Missus to Warhorse for their Valentine’s Day outing? You didn’t get that with Dev, now, did ye?]

    Don’t miss out on the bit about where the McGuinness money went, which Whelan presumably intended to imply something:

    Indeed the orientation of McGuinness’s campaign is reflected in the detail of his spend. For example, he spent €15,000 on newspaper advertising but more than a fifth of it was spent on newspapers circulating primarily in Northern Ireland.

    I wish I could discern any deep, dark undertones in all of that errant €3,000.

    The bottom line is the whole thing, at least on the candidates’ part, came in at €2,318,577 and (don’t forget this) nine cents. Now, how much is that per word in all the media?

  • Pete Baker

    “On the stump is the time for deniable promises, circumlocutions, whistling at dogs, blue skies just over the horizon, and porkie pies.”

    Not just “on the stump”, Malcolm.

    Of course, the extent of those “porkie pies” differs – dependent on the “politician” concerned.

  • HeinzGuderian

    You forget Malc,marty spent €302 of those euro thingys,and STILL ended with an abject defeat.

  • socaire

    Don’t forget that the anti-treaty forces are mobilising at Clonoe tomorrow Sunday at 2.00pm.

  • No, HeinzGuderian @ 12:45 am, I don’t forget it.

    I remember I celebrated it by opening a second bottle of something red.

    Not just because Máirtín is any wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing, but because, in office, he has proved a sheep-in-sheep’s-clothing. And to think his “presidential” campaign had the backing of “Socialist Unity” (no oxymorons there, then), — pah!