Did Meretz Collect Illegal Campaign Funds?

Nationalist activist Shai Glick has reached out to the Central Election Committee (CEC) and the Attorney General's Office (AGO) on Tuesday, demanding an inquiry into the Meretz party's conduct on Elections Day in March. 

According to report in Haaretz on Monday, Meretz forced workers hired for elections day to hand over their earnings – thereby making an additional million shekels ($257,350). 

"The party mainly chose to employ workers who agreed to return their salaries for their work at the polls – a contribution to the party," the report stated. The majority of some 3,000 workers donated their earnings. Similar amounts were gained during the 2013 elections using the same tactics. 

Workers gave their credit card information as part of the agreement, the report said; Meretz would pay each worker, who would then write a check for that amount to the party, effectively balancing out the transaction.

However, in some cases, checks from Meretz bounced, the report noted – and thus some people actually paid the party to work for them on elections day. 

Haaretz cites CEC law in the report, noting as well that the entire practice is illegal. Senior officials in each party sign documentation before the elections declaring that all funds paid to workers on elections day will go to workers – and not to the parties themselves. 

Meretz has denied wrongdoing, claiming that payments are simply delayed and that workers have the freedom of choice to donate money if they so desire; despite this, Glick has proposed an immediate investigation into the party.

This is not the first time a leftist party has been found to flout elections laws. 

In February, Labor activists handed out oranges to customers in Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda market on a Friday, violating laws against handing out gifts to encourage voters. 

Labor even posted photos of the act on its Facebook page, but openly denied having ever launched the campaign when questioned by Arutz Sheva

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/194994

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