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´Lapid Bill 2´ passes final votes in Knesset (JERUSALEM POST) By LAHAV HARKOV 03/21/12)Source: http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=262792 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Television personality turned aspiring politician Yair Lapid will have to report all of his campaign’s donations to the State Comptroller, even before he registers a political party, after the “Lapid Bill 2” 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 and said Lapid should have revealed his donations of his own volition.

“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 separate bank account and report any donations over NIS 50,000 to the state comptroller within 14 days, among other campaign finance regulations. Not reporting contributions carries a jail sentence of six months or a fine.

Someone who announced his or her candidacy before the law is 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 that there are currently 80 registered political parties that are not represented in the Knesset, and that the last two comptrollers chose not to examine them.

Therefore, the law is unlikely to be effective, unless the Comptroller’s Office chooses to examine the inactive parties with monetary activity. Golan said the change in policy is under consideration. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 03/21/12)

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