Jackson Candidates Get Large Pay-to-Play Checks From Developers, Engineers and Lawyers

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ – Jackson Township Republicans Marty Flemming, Steve Chisolm and Nino Borrelli are running unopposed for office in November, but the trio maintains a long tradition of pay to play in the township.  In most elections, powerful and influential professionals and attorneys give candidate in Jackson political campaign contributions.  In return for those contributions, those professionals are awarded lucrative contracts, some worth nearly $350,000 annually.

Despite having no opponents, the three candidates for the council continue to take campaign contributions from pay-to-play professionals looking to continue their lucrative contract services in the towns.

This fall, so far, the ticket has raised $37,800 according to a report filed by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.  All the team’s money has come from pay-to-play donors this reporting period.  The campaign reported $0 in campaign donations from individuals in amounts of less than $300.

The report is full of the usual pay to play suspects that donate money to local candidates in return for professional contracts.

A downtown Toms River developer, 244 Main Street LLC donated $500

The law firm of Dasti, Murphy and McGuckin, which partner Greg McGuckin serves as township legal counsel donated $2,600 to the campaign.  McGuckin is currently facing a lawsuit in court over his potentially illegal hiring in nearby Toms River. McGuckin’s firm serves as the Lakewood Zoning Board attorney.

Other professionals with public service contracts, looking to renew in January include French and Parrello, $900; Gertner and Gertner ($1,5000), Morgan Engineering ($7,800);  Owen Little & Associates ($3,000); Remmington and Vernick ($7,800); T&M Associates ($7,800).

When it comes to spending money, the candidates wrote a $1,666.72 check to local bodega operator Clara Glory, who also serves on the campaign; $5,911 to Chris Russell and Checkmate Strategies, a political consulting firm that lost a congressional and senate primary election in July.

The financial disclosure comes as the FBI is in the midst of an investigation into Mayor Michael Reina and possibly illegal activity within the township.  All of the donors listed above are expected to receive contract renewals on their professional appointment contracts in January.