BERKELEY TOWNSHIP, NJ – If you’ve been following the news, you’ll know that New Jersey Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin has been gobbling up jobs across Ocean County faster than Ms. Pac Man gobbled up dots on the banana level. McGuckin, after rising to a heightened level of power in the aftermath of the 2019 GOP Chairman election through his close personal friend Frank Holman, also a serial public job-gobbler McGuckin used that power base to enrich himself.
But what does that have to do with Berkeley Township Councilman John Bacchione you ask?
Bacchione and Berkeley Township were one of the few towns to NOT hire Greg McGuckin as Township Attorney. McGuckin holds several other jobs in Berkeley, but Bacchione’s defiance is what led Chairman Holman to declare, “Berkeley is an island of its own” ahead of the 2019 election. That proved to be true. Berkeley was an island of its own and they didn’t need Holman or McGuckin’s money to win their election by more than 80% over their Democrat opponents.
Berkeley won their election on their own, without a single drop of county GOP support and at the end of the day, they weren’t beholden to the power base of McGuckin, Holman, attorney Jerry Dasti and the ringleader, Freeholder Virginia Haines.
Haines, a lifetime public patronage job holder was working menial jobs before she was thrust back into the political spotlight. She was made a freeholder at the request of former GOP Chairman George Gilmore. Gilmore had recently rescued Haines from banishment by her fellow RNC committeeman, Bill Palatucci. Palatucci tried to ditch Ginny, but Gilmore rose to her defense and 4 years ago she won her state committee election.
After Gilmore was indicted, seeing the writing on the wall for her, with this year being another state committee election, Ginny jumped into the lap of new power broker Greg McGuckin. Haines, McGuckin and Holman call all the shots. Who gets jobs. Who gets fired. Who gets hired all across Ocean County. This is especially true in Lacey, Toms River, Jackson and Manchester where the group has it’s power.
Still, why is Ginny trying to fire John Bacchione?
You see, Ginny Haines is from Jackson Township.
Frank Holman is from Jackson Township.
Shortly after Frank Holman became party chairman, Mayor Mike Reina told everyone at a December 2019 political caucus, “Jackson Township is taking over Ocean County.”
Jackson had always been the dysfunctional land of misfits when it comes to county politics. With a history rife with corruption, nepotism, patronage and job-jockeying that was at levels the county couldn’t imagine, many in county politics have distanced themselves from Jackson over the years. After all, in the 70’s Jackson was home to one of the dirtiest political corruption scandals in New Jersey history.
When Jackson boy Frank Holman won the GOP election, Reina, along with Haines and Jackson Republican Committee Chairwoman decided it’s time for Jackson to have a bigger piece of the county financial pie.
Mike Reina even said he would start mending fences by dishing out public jobs to ease old political battles…he called his plan, which he presented to Holman, “Giving everyone a little piece of the pie”.
That piece of Jackson’s pie started with giving McGuckin the job of township attorney. Since taking the job 6 months ago, McGuckin has lost every case for the town…so he’s pretty much been a failure since he took the job, but Reina needs his county job. He’s the assistant supervisor of the bridge department. That job expires this year and you better believe Reina needs his appointment, so he’s not going to piss off Haines or McGuckin, if he knows what’s good for him…look at what they did to poor old John Bacchione in Berkeley who dissented.
Haines wants to appoint another resident from Jackson to the Natural Land Trust Board so Jackson land can start being bought up by the board. Remember, this isn’t about political power, it’s about diverting tax money into the hands of friends and family.
That’s why they picked Marty Flemming to be on the board. Marty is also a long time Jackson guy and he fell right in line with the Clan Glory here in Jackson once he was appointed as a councilman. He still has to win in November.
John Bacchione had the courage to say no to Virginia Haines, 75 and her band of boys, Frank Holman, Greg McGuckin and Jerry Dasti…the Freeholders all know this and until this past week, they never had the courage to fight Ginny and McGuckin…because they would like to eventually also be re-elected…and crossing them now means they would be tossed aside like anyone else who challenges the authority of Ginny.
While you may not understand what’s at stake, the reason they want one more seat from Jackson on the natural land trust is because MANY politically connected individuals in Jackson own worthless land that can never be built on and selling that land through the Natural Land Trust Fund is the only way Ginny can ensure her friends in Jackson can make bank of land that has been handed down through many generations.
Today, we applaud Freeholder Joe Vicari, Berkeley Township Councilman John Bacchione and others who have said enough is enough and are beginning to fight against the very corrupt political enterprise headed by McGuckin, Holman, Dasti and yes, dear old Ginny Haines.