Campaign activity of Tzipi Livni’s husband seen as possible conflict of interest

Tzipi Livni. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( The campaign activities of Naftali Spitzer, the husband of Hatnuah party Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, could be a conflict of interest for the Zionist Camp ticket in March’s Israeli elections.

Spitzer has been very active in meetings and in defining the direction of the campaign, allegedly as a representative of his wife, who is the number-two candidate on the joint Knesset list of the Labor and Hatnuah parties. His activities are the same as those practiced in his profession: advertising and branding consultation.

According to Israeli law, during an election period, a party cannot employ a volunteer in the same field as his profession, which is considered the equivalent of a paid donation beyond the permissible campaign funds legislated for each party.

Israel Hayom reported that Spitzer, who visited the Zionist Camp’s campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv almost daily in its initial stages, has recently minimized his presence there, apparently in an effort to be more cautious. Yet Spitzer still visits the headquarters on occasion, meets with campaign managers, and participates in budget meetings. In one discussion, Spitzer sought to reduce the Zionist Camp’s budget for campaign managers and additional appointments, and to use the extra funds for purchasing advertising space for the campaign.

Within the framework of the unity deal between Labor and Hatnuah, aside from the agreement to have Livni and Labor leader Isaac Herzog rotate the role of prime minister if Zionist Camps win the election, Israel Hayom reported that Livni would have the power to veto any campaign expenditure exceeding the sum of $64,000.

Zionist Camp said in a statement, “There is nothing wrong or invalid about Livni’s or her partner’s conduct.”

Posted on February 5, 2015 .