JACKSON-Jackson Township Mayor Michael Reina, 61, who is battling four religious and land-use discrimination lawsuits says the rift between the township and Orthodox Jews is nothing but a fabrication on social media.
“There is no division line,” Reina said. “There is no I don’t like you because of your black coat. I don’t like you because you wear your baseball cap backwards.”
Reina also took a shot at the news media.
“This is fabricated on social media and on unworthy news press,’ Reina said. “When I’m getting fuel…you don’t here these horror stories you hear on social media and in these driveby press reports, whether they’re inside the town or not.”
“Not everyone is evil, not everyone is corrupt, politicians today have given us all a bad name,” Reina said. “If sitting behind a computer and listening to rantings by few stark raving maniacs on social media turns you on, that’s nothing we can help you with.”
Sometimes, being a politician is about not forgetting your roots, or where you come from and how you got to where you are now.
When Reina began his political career, sparked by his firing of former Mayor Mark Seda from the township’s auxiliary police force, began his political career attending town meetings, but also posting messages in online message boards formerly operated by the Asbury Park Press.
These message boards existed in a time before Facebook and social media. Reina and his team of loyal supporters would flood “the blogs” with political opposition messages and rants about Seda’s regime and former township councilman Michael Kafton. It was those “ranting maniacs” on “social media” that eventually propelled Reina into the political spotlight in Jackson Township. Reina’s online thugs would trash any dissenters through anonymous postings that attacked people’s personal lives and credibility.
Now, Reina is complaining about residents exercising their first amendment rights to follow his lead and express themselves freely online, as he once did before he rose from a painter living in 60 Acres to the mayor of Jackson and head of the Ocean County Bridge Department.