NY GOP Demands Weiner Return Campaign Funds

Monday, Jun 20, 2011  |  Updated 4:12 PM EDT
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Representative Anthony Weiner announces his resignation from Congress. *Warning: A heckler uses inappropriate language during this press conference.

Representative Anthony Weiner announces his resignation from Congress. *Warning: A heckler uses inappropriate language during this press conference.

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The New York GOP is demanding Rep. Anthony Weiner return all the campaign cash he is still holding, declaring that keeping the money sends the "wrong signal about his intentions and motivations."

Before he announced his resignation from Congress last week, Weiner had raised more than $5.1 million for a potential New York City mayoral run in 2013. The New York City Campaign Finance Board told NBC New York last week that he can hold it indefinitely, as long as he files the proper disclosures according to the deadlines.

The congressman representing parts of Brooklyn and Queens also can give it to charity, contribute to other campaigns or give it back to donors, the CFB said.

State GOP Chairman Ed Cox, along with the Republican chairmen for Brooklyn and Queens, said in a statement Monday that he must return the cash.

"Mr. Weiner received those funds from people who believe he was working for the people -- not doing what he did," the three leaders said.

There was no immediate comment from Weiner's spokesman. The congressman handed in his official resignation letter on Monday.

The other candidates for mayor who have raised considerable cash include Council Speaker Christine Quinn, with more than $3.2 million, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, with $1 million and Comptroller John Liu with $513,000.

The last disclosure date was January 18. The candidates will next file by July 15.

Weiner announced his resignation on Thursday, 20 days after he mistakenly sent a photo of his groin into the Twitterverse and 20 years after he launched his first City Council campaign. He had resisted calls to step down for several days, but said he felt the scandal was too much of a distraction to go on.

One donor who has given $4,950 to Weiner's mayoral effort told NBC New York that he hasn't "given a moment's thought" to what should happen to the money.

Peter Buttenwieser, whose brother, Larry Buttenwieser, has helped Weiner raise campaign cash, said he thinks "it's important to let the dust settle and give him and his family a chance to put himself back together again."

"2013 is a long way off," he added.

During Weiner's brief appearance Thursday, the 46-year-old married Brooklyn native gave no indication on what he will do next, other than to say "I'll be looking for other ways to contribute my talents to make sure that we live up to that most New York and American of ideals."

Read Weiner's full resignation statement here.

Go here for NBC New York's complete Weiner coverage.

Follow us on Twitter @NBCNewYork and at Facebook/NBCNewYork.

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