Yacimovich campaign raises 100,000 from small donations

While Yacimovich utilizes campaign strategy from Obama, opponent Herzog gets large sums from wealthy donors.

Shelly Yacimovich on the phone, raising campaign funds 370 (photo credit: Bar Peled/Yacimovich campaign)
Shelly Yacimovich on the phone, raising campaign funds 370
(photo credit: Bar Peled/Yacimovich campaign)
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich’s re-election campaign boasted Wednesday that she had raised NIS 100,000 over the last week in small contributions from new donors, utilizing a strategy taken from US President Barack Obama.
Obama made a point of building his fundraising base on small donations from average citizens online. Supporters of former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who lost to Obama in the 2008 presidential race, have already started adopting that strategy for the 2016 US presidential race.
Yacimovich’s campaign said late Wednesday that after 1,500 volunteers spoke to 41,386 Labor members, 21,509 back her and 12,543 support Herzog, a lead of some 22 percent.
For Yacimovich, receiving small donations from unknown people helps her present herself as a socio-economically-minded candidate who is the enemy of so-called “tycoons” who control much of the local economy.
She also differentiates herself from her opponent in next Thursday’s primary, MK Isaac Herzog, who is close with many wealthy Israelis and has received contributions from millionaires in Israel and around the world.
Past contributors to Herzog include Slim-Fast billionaire S. Daniel Abraham, Birthright Israel founders Michael Steinhardt and Charles Bronfman, and South African-born businessman Mick Davis, who is chairman of the board of trustees of the Jewish Leadership Council of the United Kingdom, the umbrella body of the UK’s largest Jewish charities and institutions.
In this campaign, he has received large donations from Israeli philanthropist Jay Ruderman, United Kingdom Joint Israel Appeal President Trevor Chinn, British Lord Michael Levy, respected Cincinnati Jewish leader Kim Heiman, and New York financier Leon Black, who paid Sotheby’s auction house nearly $120 million last year for Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream.
In a telethon Tuesday, Yacimovich and MKs who support her raised NIS 40,000 from 120 new donors in one day. Her campaign said she has raised NIS 350,000 from more than 1,000 contributors. The State Comptroller’s website, which shows contributions up to November 5, said Herzog had raised NIS 946,139 in 2013.
Yacimovich and Herzog also differ in the endorsements they have received. Yacimovich boasts the support of two thirds of the Labor faction, while Herzog has been endorsed by the former ministers who worked with late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and mayors from across the country.
Karmiel’s Adi Eldar and fifteen other mayors endorsed Herzog Wednesday, joining Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, Rishon Lezion’s Dov Tzur and Kfar Saba’s Yehuda Ben-Hamo who had already expressed support for him. In a joint statement, the 16 mayors criticized Yacimovich for avoiding the diplomatic issue and distancing the periphery.
“The time has come to return Labor to lead Israel, the mayors said in the statement. “Herzog can unite the party and bring all the people who left it back home.”