Likud after probe: Livni no longer 'Mrs. Clean'

The Likud denounced Kadima as corrupt following a Channel 10 investigative report that revealed alleged misuse of the party’s budget.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
June 2, 2011 02:47
2 minute read.
Tzipi Livni at a live Q&A session, Sunday.

tzipi livni_311. (photo credit: Idan Gross )

 
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The Likud denounced Kadima as corrupt following a Channel 10 investigative report Wednesday night that revealed alleged misuse of the party’s budget.

The report by Channel 10 senior analyst Raviv Drucker said the party wastes much of the NIS 22 million in taxpayer funding it receives on bloated administrative salaries, empty party branches, employing vote contractors who have side jobs and paying back the party’s NIS 30m. debt accrued from unwise and unsuccessful municipal campaigns.

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According to the report, the difference between administrative costs in Kadima and Likud is more than NIS 2m. Kadima pays its director-general Moshe Shehori NIS 52,000 a month compared with the NIS 43,000 earned by his Likud counterpart, Gadi Arieli. Kadima also pays its treasurer, legal adviser and pollster much more than the Likud, the report said.

Drucker suggested that Livni had employed vote contractors to gain their support in the next leadership primary in which she is expected to face off for a second time against her party rival, MK Shaul Mofaz.

Kadima MKs Meir Sheetrit and Otniel Schneller complained about the party’s management in the report. Both accused Livni of hiding information from the Kadima faction, which is supposed to be the party’s governing authority.

“It’s not proper for the party to be run this way,” Sheetrit said. “I have never seen the budget of the party.”

Schneller said, “We are supposed to be the board of directors of the party but we don’t see any of these numbers.”

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Kadima said in response to the report that Livni had cut the party’s budget to deal with a debt that predated her chairmanship of the party. The party said the salaries quoted in the report were incorrect, and it denied employing vote contractors and noted that much of the staff of the party did not support Livni.

“The bottom line is that despite political problems and challenges, Kadima under Livni not only does not waste resources, it cuts millions to save money, and it will continue to do so under Livni’s instructions,” Kadima’s spokesman said.

Drucker’s last probe two months ago investigated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s travels abroad.

The report led to a scandal and libel lawsuit from Netanyahu against Drucker.

The Likud released a statement following Wednesday night’s report mocking Kadima’s promises of good governance and changing the way politics works in Israel.

“The banner of clean politics that was hoisted by Mrs. Clean was dirtied tonight and fell to half mast in shame,” the Likud statement said.

“Kadima was revealed to be a wasteful party that distributes favors to vote contractors and bloats the salaries of its leaders and their lackeys at a time of economic crisis.”

The Likud added that Kadima was “born in sin and endures in sin.”

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