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Money to both parties slows to a trickle

After an election cycle that saw both the Democrats and Republicans raise tens of millions, is donor fatigue finally kicking in? Both the Republican Party of Florida and the Florida Democratic Party this week reported some of their worst fundraising numbers in years. Between November and the end of the year, the RPOF reported collecting nearly $648,000, while the Democratic Party took in more than $435,000.

This reporting period wasn't a full three months long so it's hard to compare the totals, but looking back over the last few election cycles show that this is the worst post-election fundraising period for both parties since the '90s. Of course, both parties are also in a period of potential transition. Gov. Charlie Crist wants the GOP to choose Jim Greer as the next chairman to succeed Carole Jean Jordan _ who has so far refused to endorse Greer _ while the Dems are today expected to name a new executive director to replace Luis Navarro, who is leaving to go work for the presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. Joe Biden.

Both parties also reported spending more than collected during the last two months of the year, but many of the expenses appear to be related to campaign, including media buys. The biggest contributors to the Democratic Party this last cycle were national party organizations _ including a check for $25,000 from the Democratic National Committee and nearly $69,000 from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as well as a committee of continuous existence named MARK-PAC that appears to be a conduit for money from the Democratic Governors Association.

Notable contributors to the RPOF include $40,000 from phone company Embarq and $50,000 from the Florida Retail PAC, $50,000 from the campaign of Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson, and $5,000 from the campaign of Ken Littlefield, the state House member who gave up his seat after Gov. Jeb Bush nominated to be on the Public Service Commission. (Of course Littlefield's tenure on the PSC may not last long. More here.)