'Lapid Bill 2' passes final votes in Knesset

Journalist-turned-politician Yair Lapid will be forced to report campaign finances after declaring intent to run for office.

Yair Lapid speaks at a business conference in Eilat 390 (photo credit: Ezra Levi)
Yair Lapid speaks at a business conference in Eilat 390
(photo credit: Ezra Levi)
Television personality turned politician Yair Lapid will have to report all of his campaign’s donations to the state comptroller, even before he registers a political party, according to the “Lapid Bill II”, which passed its final Knesset readings on Wednesday.
The bill, proposed by House Committee chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) and MKs Otniel Schneller (Kadima) and Daniel Ben-Simon (Labor), would require any person or group that declares “in writing or in speech, clearly or through behavior,” an intention to run for a Knesset seat without joining an existing party to follow campaign finance laws and report all donations and income.
The legislation passed with 32 MKs in favor and 13 opposed.
According to Levin, the new law guarantees transparency. Lapid should have revealed his donations of his own volition, Levin said.
“Now that the law has passed, the public will know ‘where the money comes from,’” the Likud MK said, in reference to Lapid’s campaign slogan, “Where is the money?”
The aspiring politician will have to open a dedicated bank account, report any donations over NIS 50,000 to the state comptroller within 14 days, and follow other campaign finance regulations as well. Not reporting contributions carries a jail sentence of six months or a fine.
Someone who announced his or her candidacy before the law was passed, such as Lapid, will have to report all campaign contributions of over NIS 10,000 to the comptroller within 30 days. The comptroller will then publicize the details.
Earlier this week, State Comptroller’s Office representative Shmuel Golan said there are 80 registered political parties that are not represented in the Knesset, and that the two previous comptrollers chose not to examine them.
Therefore, the law is unlikely to be effective, unless the State Comptroller’s Office chooses to examine the inactive parties with monetary activity. Golan said the change in policy is under consideration.