Frank Rizzo’s Daughter Won’t Face Gambling Charge

NewsWorks reports that Frank Rizzo’s daughter will escape prosecution in a gambling case. “Joanna Mastronardo, daughter of the late Mayor Frank Rizzo, will have a banking charge dropped if other defendants plead guilty to racketeering and gambling charges. Her husband, Joseph “Joe Vito” Mastronardo Sr., and son, Joseph F. “Joey” Mastronardo, pleaded guilty on Friday. A federal judge said Tuesday that he will drop her case when they are sentenced.”


Frank Rizzo Becomes Democrat, Probably Running for Mayor

Former City Councilman (and now former Republican and former Independent and former Frank Rizzo, Jr.) Frank Rizzo is switching his party affiliation to Democrat. According to the Daily News, Rizzo fils will announce whether he’s actually running for Mayor “after the holidays.” This news broke Friday, but I waited until today to say anything because these days long-shot white guys are entering/withdrawing from the mayor’s race faster than we can keep track.

Oh, look, there he is with Bob Brady signing the paperwork.

The List: Top Five Mayoral Zingers, Dave Chappelle Edition

Yesterday, Mayor Pedro Segarra of Hartford, Conn., thought he’d show Dave Chapelle how it’s done when he tweeted some facetious advice to the comedian, who left the city in a huff last week after some hecklers disrupted his performance at the Funny or Die Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival.

“Dave Chappelle should quit whining, do his job and try some yoga,” Segarra tweeted. He ended the dig with the civic pride-oozing hashtag #HartfordHasIt. Amid all the chuckling, we’ve compiled a list of Philadelphia mayoral zingers, because, y’know, #PhillyHasIt, too.

1. “Ain’t no immaculate conception happening up in here. —Mayor Michael Nutter
The Mayor made this statement while expressing legitimate concern about the phenomenon of absentee parents during a speech at his church. What he meant was, unless your kid’s the messiah, you’ve got no excuse for not supervising your kids.

2. “You’re going to name your baby Hostile.” – Mayor Wilson Goode
And yes, that’s hostile as in aggressive and argumentative. The ever-serious former Mayor shot this quip at then-pregnant journalist Tia O’Brien, who was known for relentlessly questioning public officials. Guess she officially had his blessing.

3. “Nation of Wusses – Mayor Ed Rendell
Former (and future?) Mayor Rendell named his memoir based on a statement he made while expressing disdain about a cancelled Eagles game. The quote, he later explained, had a much larger social context. Not that it was necessary. Canceling a football game is all the proof we need for the “wussification of America.”

4. “A conservative is a liberal who got mugged the night before.– Mayor Frank Rizzo
Put that in your memoir, Ed. Mayor Rizzo was a lot of things, but a wuss wasn’t one of them.

5. “#dropthemic—Mayor Nutter


Bonus, sad-trombone zinger: “I’m having a great day.” —Mayor John Street
It’s funny because, well, he kind of wasn’t… ever.

Zimmerman Verdict Postpones Frank Rizzo Celebration

KYW Newsradio reports that protests following the George Zimmerman acquittal have resulted in the postponement of an annual celebration commemorating late Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo. Supporters gather at Rizzo’s statue near City Hall every July 16, the anniversary of his death.

Organizer Hank Cisco said the Rizzo memorial was put off to avoid any potential confrontation.

“There was a possibility there would be demonstrations, and we didn’t want to give police any more problems,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “We want peace and calm.”

Supporting the decision is Frank Rizzo Jr., the late mayor’s son and a former city councilman.

“We don’t need people screaming back and forth at each other — not that that would happen,” Rizzo Jr. said today.   “Probably a good decision.  What I wouldn’t want to have happen is anyone who supports my father, or people there for the George Zimmerman case, the Trayvon Martin case, get into any kind of dispute.  This is not what this day is intended to be.”

And really, it’s good to keep the two events separate. Rizzo’s reign, after all, was totally about using the power of the state to round up, harass, and humiliate African Americans. The Zimmerman trial was about private vigilantism against a young black kid. So, you know, totally different things.

(A) Stallone to Play (A) Rizzo in New Biopic

It’s a veritable family affair! Playboy Harry Jay Katz has bought the rights to Sal Paolantonio’s Rizzo biography, and his son David Bar Katz, whose Wikipedia page drops more names than it has any right to, will write and direct. Meanwhile, Frank Stallone will play former Fire Commish Joe Rizzo, and is begging his own brother Sly to play Joe’s brother Frank. Got it? [Daily News]

The Daily News’ Helen Ubinas Asks: Is It Time Rename the Italian Market?

The enormous Ninth Street mural of Frank Rizzo is like the Mona Lisa of Philadelphia: that inscrutable expression stares at passersby–many of whom probably don’t even recognize the former mayor’s iconic mug. But what would happen to that face if Rizzo heard the assertion that the Italian Market should be renamed because the Italian population has been superseded by other ethnic groups?

Read more »

WATCH: Lee Marvin And Frank Rizzo Fight Crime In The 1960s

Until today, we’d never heard of Lee Marvin Presents: Lawbreaker, an early reality-style show featuring real cops and real crime victims re-enacting the real crimes they’d been involved with. The Philadelphia episode—which appears to have aired around 1963—features (among others) Detective Frank Flood, Inspector Frank Rizzo and Detective Sgt. John “Stevie” Stevenson playing themselves as they try to resolve a standoff with an angry husband who took a shot at police. If you love hard-boiled bad acting with a Philly flavor, this video should make your day:

Is Frank Rizzo Running for Mayor?

Frank Rizzo–fils–is mulling a run for Mayor. And like his father did several times in his career, the 70-year-old former City Councilman plans on switching party affiliation to do so, from Independent to Democrat. (Rizzo II served as a Republican in City Council for 15 years, until being ousted in 2011.) Asked to recall a few specific accomplishments from his time in City Hall, Rizzo came up with this:

Persuading the state police to provide 50 state troopers to patrol interstate highways in Philadelphia, and initiating the creation of a cellphone lot near the airport where people could wait for arriving flights without parking on the shoulders of I-95.

To make his life even more difficult, Rizzo has come out as a fan of Michael Nutter, who these days has managed to irk everyone from homeowners to public sector unions to, well, people who get sick. The Mayor “has done a great job, in my opinion, after getting the city’s financial situation back in line,” Rizzo said. []


Coming Soon to A Stage Near You: Frank Rizzo

Before he left the Inquirer for ESPN, before he published a manifesto on “overrated and underrated” players, before he stalked Barry Bonds for a year, Salvatore Anthony Nicholas Paolantonio wrote a biography of former Mayor Frank Rizzo. And now, that biography is being converted into a play to be staged in South Philly.

Philadelphia’s Theatre Exile inked a deal March 22 to bring the best-selling biography of the larger-than-life mayor to the stage.  “It’s still in the very early stages, right now,” said Joe Canuso, artistic director of Theatre Exile. “We need to do a lot of research and development, decide whether it would be a one-man show, or how many actors, what the framework would be.”, eager to help, has polled its readers to find a leading man. (Note: clicking this image will do nothing, but thank you for your enthusiasm.)

Has anyone alerted these men they’ll be opening Off-Broadway? []