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Clout: Vick's worth at least $10,000 to the Eagles

THE PHILADELPHIA Eagles, who fought for years with the city over an $8 million stadium debt, are not a team known for leaving money on the table.

THE PHILADELPHIA Eagles, who fought for years with the city over an $8 million stadium debt, are not a team known for leaving money on the table.

But PhillyClout found one payday that the team wants to pass on.

The Mayor's Office for the Re-entry of Ex-Offenders (MORE) offers a $10,000 tax credit for employers who hire people who have been released from prison.

Michael Vick, the dogfighting-disgraced quarterback signed by the Eagles this month, spent 18 months in federal prison for his crimes against canines. He's due to make $1.6 million this year.

The Eagles could recoup .625 percent of that if they sought the MORE tax credit, but team spokeswoman Pamela Browner Crawley said that it won't happen.

"It was never considered," said Crawley, adding that the Eagles weren't making a statement on ex-offenders and re-entry when Vick was signed but think that this all could help spark discussion and debate on "a very important issue for the community."

Everett Gillison, deputy mayor for public safety, hopes so.

After Vick's contract was announced, Gillison asked the city's Department of Revenue to determine if the Eagles are eligible for the MORE tax credit since the team is not signed up for the ex-offender program. Only six companies have signed on.

Gillison said that the administration is working with Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. to revise the legislation for the MORE program, hoping to draw more companies to participate.

"We have to get companies that are willing to give people another chance," he said. "I think the Vick situation helps move this to the front burner."

Save it for the campaign trail

Mayor Nutter seems to spend most of his time these days making dire predictions about the city budget, announcing layoffs and other cuts. Maybe it was inevitable that some eager politician would crash one of the mayor's many news conferences.

That's what Al Schmidt, the Republican candidate for City Controller, tried Monday when he stood to ask Nutter a question at a news conference. Schmidt wanted to know why the city was proposing to raise the local sales tax and cut services instead of looking for savings with more audits.

That would be the job of Alan Butkovitz, the guy Schmidt is angling to remove from office.

"I appreciate you taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity," Nutter said in a tone of voice PhillyClout found unconvincing. "This is a press conference talking about $20 million in cuts that we have to make. If you could restrain yourself to those kinds of activities out on the campaign trail, I'd appreciate it."

Schmidt didn't seem too offended by the mayor's brushoff.

"I thought it was a legitimate question," he said later.

Movie office swaps locations

In these tough economic times, most everyone has to trim somewhere. That includes the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, a nonprofit agency funded by the city and state.

Workers are renovating the eleventh floor of 1515 Arch St., a city-owned building, at a cost of about $20,000, to make space for the film office to move in.

The Mayor's Office explains that the film office was due to sign a new nine-year lease for $100,0000 per year to continue working out of 100 S. Broad St. Nutter's staff decided that $20,000 in renovations compared to $900,000 in rent was a good trade-off for the city.


"It was so hot today that Vince Fumo was using other people's air-conditioning." - Comedian Joe Conklin, at Stu Bykofsky's comedy night this week.

Have tips or suggestions? Call Chris Brennan at 215-854-5973 or Catherine Lucey at 215-854-4712. Or e-mail

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