MONEY IS THE MOTHER'S MILK OF POLITICS, EH We've shown you ours... So the fundraising-for-unofficial-leadership-campaign lists are out -- well three of them are. Industry Minister Allan Rock's list is for $420,000 and change. The Ottawa Citizen and The Toronto Star reported last week that going back to 1994, Mr. Rock has collected a war chest of up to $1.12-million since 1994 for his leadership bid. John Manley, Minister of Finance and a Whole Bunch of Other Stuff, picked up $171,000 and Heritage Minister Sheila Copps bagged $54,000. Paul Martin is keeping his secret for now. The first amazing thing about these numbers is how low they are. Hey, 50 grand might buy you a used Mercedes, but it won't cover your bus fare on the campaign trail. Even $400,000 would barely get you around the first turn. Boy, if Brian Tobin really had $10-million in the bank, maybe he shouldn't have quit so quickly. Were these people ever serious about organizing for a leadership campaign? Of course, that's part of the game here. The low figures are supposed to be good from the PM's point of view. They show that these good folks obviously weren't seriously working to replace him. From this we are supposed to assume that Mr. Martin was, and that the reason he won't reveal his donor list is that it involves so much cash, it will be clear he was plotting a coup. Of course, Mr. Martin can't be forced to reveal anything -- he paid the price of non-disclosure with his sackignation as finance minister. And he gave a strong performance last Thursday -- pointing out his strong record on the issue of disclosure, the firewall he set up in the terms of a blind trust for donations, and his promise to reveal all 30 days before a leadership convention And then there was his inference that he can't reveal his supporters names yet because the Prime Minister is a vindictive man who would wreak retribution by blackballing donors to Mr. Martin's fund from doing any business with government. What am I saying -- "inference" my Aunt Nelly -- it was as close as he could get to a direct allegation without poking Mr. ChrÃ©tien in the chest. There was a weak spot however. Even accepting his reasons for not revealing the identities of his supporters, what moral or legal obstacle is there to at least declaring how much money he has amassed so far? By the way, the lists that were made public indicate that donations do not necessarily indicate support. For example, Sheila Copps' list reveals a $500 donation from Nick Masciantonio, who is a Martin loyalist. However, he also represents the cable television industry, which has dealing with Heritage. Ms. Copps also got $500 from Herb Metcalfe, who is John Manley's main man. Mind you, Mr. Metcalfe's wife Isabelle Metcalfe, who is on Ms. Copps's team and also provides advice to Heritage Canada and lobbies the department on behalf of clients, contributed $1,000. As for Allan Rock's list, I wonder if the Gerald Schwartz who contributed $25,000 is the same Gerry Schwartz of Onex fame who is supposed to be one of Paul Martin's big backers. Of course, now you are going to have to let him win... One secret Jim Munson just wasn't able to keep as a reporter was about the time he beat the Prime Minister at golf. It was on a sweet 20-ft. putt back in 2000. It is a rule of the game that if you play a round with the PM, you never discuss the score. But somehow Mr. Munson's great victory managed to surface in a certain gossip column. Hope the memory is still fresh, because it is going to have to last Big Jim for awhile. Now that he's signed on for a contract term as senior communications advisor to Jean ChrÃ©tien, he's going to have to let the boss win. And no leaking stories about those mulligans. Wouldn't be surprised if that is actually in the contract. The popular former veteran CTV reporter stunned a lot of his colleagues last week when he agreed to take on the job at the PMO -- but truth is, Mr. Munson was pretty stunned himself. Fresh off a successful gig providing media mentoring and strategy advice to Indian Affairs Minister Bob Nault on that native self-governing thing, Mr. Munson was packing for his annual month-long pilgrimage back to the land of his birth, New Brunswick, when the phone rang at his Glebe home two Fridays ago. T'was the PM himself, inviting Mighty Munson to come on board and help him out. Mr. Munson took the weekend to think about it, found he couldn't say no, and agreed to a contract, provided they wait until he got back from the Maritimes. So he won't be starting work until Aug. 6, giving him three weeks to brag about old golfing victories to the gang back home. Meanwhile, the luring of Jimmy Munson to the PMO helped fuel whispers around town that something was afoot with Mr. ChrÃ©tien's communications director Francie Ducros. Fuel has been added by a big hit on Ms. Ducros in a certain well-known scandal mag and the resurfacing of her predecessor Peter Donolo as a media spinner for the ChrÃ©tien camp (he made The Globe and Mail, CBC's As It Happens, and CBC Morning last week). Reports of Ms. Ducros' demise have been greatly exaggerated in the past -- she's outlived many an attack from many a columnist in the past (yours truly included) -- and so far it seems history is repeating itself. It is true that there have been a number of departures of veteran staff this year. (By the way Bernie Seguin, sorry about that little typo a couple of weeks back which had your last name as Sequin -- guess I was thinking of your glittering work as the PM's travel advance man and media babysitter for the past five years.) But the upshot is Ms. Ducros is now the oldtimer -- she celebrated her third anniversary as Mr. ChrÃ©tien's communications director June 12, and says she's staying put. Her No. 2, Ken Polk and press secretary Duncan "Slam-dunk" Fulton are also in for the ride, Ms. Ducros says. As for Mr. Munson joining the team, Ms. Ducros says she has been hoping to lure him over for months, and figures he will be a huge boon to the team. And just in case anyone is wondering, he will be reporting to her. Which leaves the resurfacing of "Bubbles." Mr. Donolo is an old hand at the media wars and certainly a match on the television pundit circuit for Martinite Mike Robinson. And with all respect to Ms. Ducros, television punditry isn't her forte. But beyond a little spinning for old times' sake, Mr. Donolo is settled in Toronto with a fun new consulting job and one doubts he's looking for his old job back.