Kadima primary to pit Arad against Finkelstein

Kadima strategist Arad quits post to work for Livni campaign while Finkelstein works for Mofaz.

Livni cool 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Livni cool 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Kadima strategist Eyal Arad quit his post with the party on Monday to work for the Kadima leadership campaign of his childhood friend, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. For months, Arad and other members of former prime minister Ariel Sharon's "ranch forum" had denied that they were working for Livni, because of their contractual obligation to work for Kadima ahead of the November municipal races. Arad denied charges from the campaign of Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz that the timing of Arad's announcement was connected to polls published in the past week that showed Livni nearly falling into a tie with Mofaz. "She is still leading the race," Arad said. "Don't worry, we will win." Livni will also be advised by former ranch forum members Reuven Adler and Yoram Raved. Pollster Kalman Geyer said he would remain with Kadima until after the municipal race and not join any campaign even though he is "friends with Tzipi, respects her and thinks she is the best candidate." The ranch forum's move in joining Livni's campaign sets off a clash with internationally renowned strategist Arthur Finkelstein, who is working for Mofaz. Finkelstein worked together with Adler and Arad on Sharon's campaign and they are currently working together on the campaign of front-running Jerusalem mayoral candidate Nir Barkat. "The elections aren't between advisers," Arad said. "We are not up for election. Our clients are." A Livni opponent in Kadima accused Arad of working on behalf of Livni for months while he was under contract with Kadima, a charge he vigorously denies. "If Arad received money from the party while working for Livni, she cannot claim to have clean hands while playing dirty games," the Livni opponent said.