Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pols Yuk it Up With Joey Vento At Mummers Press Conference

Joey Vento, the controversial owner of Geno’s Steaks, took center stage at today's City Hall press conference announcing that the city and Mummers had reached a deal for the annual New Year's Day parade.

Pols Yuk it Up With Joey Vento At Mummers Press Conference

Joey Vento, the controversial owner of Geno’s Steaks, took center stage at today's City Hall press conference announcing that the city and Mummers had reached a deal for the annual New Year's Day parade.

Vento – who donated $40,000 to keep the parade running this year – took the podium to say that the Mummers tradition should be kept alive. He was flanked by Mayor Nutter, U.S. Rep Bob Brady and Councilmen Jim Kenney and Frank DiCicco, as well as other top officials.

“Life has been good to me and I do believe you should give back,” said Vento, who also gave $40,000 to last year’s parade.

Some of the politicians joked at the microphone about Vento. “I know who’s the finance chairman of my re-election committee,” DiCicco said. And Kenney said: “See how important this parade is? Joey Vento and I are on the same team!”

Vento drew international attention in 2006 for posting a sign at his South Philadelphia cheesesteak shop that read: “"This is America. When ordering, please speak English." Kenney publicly requested that the sign be removed. Nutter returned a contribution made by Vento to his mayoral campaign.

As we reported, the press conference confirmed that the city and the Mummers have a deal for the parade. Under the agreement, the Mummers will be charged $148,017 for city costs related to the New Year's Day parade. The Mummers will pay about $40,000 of that bill and the rest will come from Vento and other sponsors.

 Last year, due to budget constraints, Mayor Nutter ended a city policy of picking up police and sanitation costs for special events.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
 Follow Jenny on Twitter.

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