MK Shelly Yechimovich (Labor) has asked the public to stop donating money to her election campaign Monday, noting that she has raised 274,700 shekels ($69,400) from 956 private donors and reached the permitted ceiling for donations. Labor-Hatnua's primaries are being held Tuesday.
"The 'Obama model' which we used in Israel for the 2009 primaries - a platform of small donations from many people - has been more successful this year than ever," Yechimovich stated, in comments on her Facebook page. "The public responded with astonishing speed, and this is the first time we got to the permitted ceiling."
"I cannot believe I'm writing this, but I'm asking you to stop donating money to the campaign primaries," Yechimovich continued. "I thank deeply each and every one of the 956 donors. How good is it that I am obliged to you and to the general public rather than a handful of donors."
The maximum of allowed donor contributions under Labor's bylaws is 274,706, based on the calculation of 2.75 shekel (approximately 70c) per donor from a pool of 10,000 donors, plus 167,720 shekel ($42,000).
According to rules set by the State Comptroller, donations are also allowed to be made two weeks after the primaries, but the decision was made to cap donations for Yechimovich based on her campaign approaching the donation ceiling; otherwise, future donations would have to be returned to their donors, possibly causing insult to the voting public.
Yechimovich headed the Labor party during the last elections before being replaced by Yitzhak Herzog.