Mayor de Blasio is returning $20,200 in campaign contributions from a real-estate firm involved in the corruption scandals involving two disgraced Albany legislative leaders — a move that puts Gov. Cuomo in a political jam.
De Blasio is the first elected official to heed Post editorials calling for the return of millions in campaign cash from Glenwood Management, a powerhouse developer that figured in the corruption trials of both former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
Cuomo has pulled in $1.2 million over the years from Glenwood, its officials and subsidiaries.
Cuomo spokesman Austin Shafran declined on Thursday to say whether the governor would follow the mayor’s lead and give back the money.
When The Post raised the issue earlier this week, Shafran insisted “the governor’s decisions are not influenced by contributions, as testimony in the trials showed.”
The mayor’s campaign — which would certainly say the same about de Blasio — nevertheless decided it would refund Glenwood’s money, according to a campaign spokesman.
Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin puts this into perspective:
It should be a no-brainer for Cuomo to return the Glenwood $.... too late to lead by example, now he's in a jam.
— Steve McLaughlin (@SteveMcNY) December 18, 2015
It should have been a no-brainer, all right, but Cuomo insisted he was going to wait for the outcome of the Silver/Skelos trials before making any move and then, after both were convicted, clearly still decided to wait to make any move (perhaps hoping the hullabaloo would go away?) and now de Blasio beat him to the punch.
Of course, it's quite easy for de Blasio to return $20K, less so for Cuomo to return $1.2 million in bagman cash from Glenwood.
And if Cuomo had to return every dirty donation from a contributor, sheesh - they would cost him most of his campaign warchest.
That's why the feds are looking into his donors in the first place.
So I get why he's not led on the Glenwood donation issue.
Nonetheless, the de Blasio move, meant to tweak him, will make him very, very sad.
And you know what happens when Cuomo gets sad - somebody gets hurt.
Expect some kind of retaliation from Cuomo against de Blasio very, very soon.