Mofaz, Livni to Return Some Donations

Shaul Mofaz and Tzipi Livni have promised to return extra funding they raised ahead of the Kadima party primary - meaning money donated that they can't use, under the rules, based on the actual number of seats the party received.

Transportation Minister Mofaz promised to dismantle the organization that was his fundraising arm for the Kadima party primaries, and return some of the money to contributors following yesterday's release of a report from the State Comptroller, Micha Lindenstrauss. Foreign Minister and Kadima chair Livni also promised to return contributions in light of the report.

Mofaz raised over NIS 1.4 million in his primary bid as Kadima leader, including about NIS 950,000 from abroad and NIS 20,000 from family members. The law limits fundraising from an individual donor in the nine months prior to a party primary. An amendment to the law also barred contributions of over $40,000 from an individual at any time prior to a primary. The comptroller therefore suggested that it would be appropriate for Mofaz to return large contributions which he had received, prompting Mofaz to close his fundraising organization and return funds. Lindenstrauss also requested changes in campaign record-keeping.

Livni raised some NIS 2 million, including about NIS 831,000 from abroad. She received services in kind from two corporations, valued at NIS 9,000 and NIS 1,200 respectively, despite a ban on receiving corporate contributions. In the wake of the comptroller's report, Livni returned the cash equivalent of the services rendered. Lindenstrauss also found that Livni had not recorded or paid for office rental expenses and meeting hall expenses. To correct the omission, Livni paid NIS 3,700.

On the financing of Kadima MKs Avi Dichter and Meir Sheetrit, after all had refunded money, Lindenstrauss determined that they were in compliance with the rules.