Dear Editor,

I would like to nominate Amy Handlin for the Tony Palughi Loyalty Award. She has certainly earned it.

The Tony Palughi Loyalty Award, which I just created, should be awarded to the person who has consistently spit upon those most responsible for their own success.

As you know, some years back Tony Palugi got himself into a peck of trouble with the feds, then turned on Harry Larrison by incriminating him in order to receive a lighter sentence. Harry had been like a father to the bum.

Now, once again, Ambitious Amy throws Harry Larrison under the bus, when in fact she should thankfully pray for him and for all Harry did to further her career in politics (Harry would affectionately call Amy, “The Gentle Lady”).

First, he supported Amy in her initial quest for the nomination. Without his support she would never have advanced up the political ladder. Moreover, when Amy rankled many Republicans who had worked hard for her elections over the years, it was Harry Larrison who, on at least two occasions, saved Amy from being dumped from the ticket. When most Republicans abandoned her, it was Harry Larrison who asked me to help her raise funds for her empty war chest, produce campaign materials and other such necessities of a successful re-election effort. I assure you Harry did a lot more than I did on Amy’s behalf.

I knew Harry Larrison for 40 years. I never once detected a crooked bone in his body. He loved Monmouth County and worked very hard for it. He was a visionary who looked beyond the problems of the moment to plan for a Monmouth County “for our children’s children.” No one, dead or alive, has done more for this county than Freeholder Director Harry Larrison, Jr.

Now, on the eve of her latest re-election campaign Amy comes out with a new book about her years on the Board of Chosen Freeholders – calling it “Crony Capitalism.” 

She was a member of the Board for 16 years; why has she waited so long to “expose” this nasty system. Where was she for 16 years? She had 16 opportunities to vote against Harry Larrison as Director of the Board, the leader and head crony; 16 opportunities to speak out and do something.

She did nothing!

Instead, for 16 years she was an integral part of it - she was a Principal Crony - and helped perpetuate its existence, if in fact it did exist at all, other than in her mind. 

When Tony Palughi was appointed Bridge Superintendent, did Freeholder Handlin rise in protest? No! She did nothing! In fact, she willingly accepted Tony’s help in all of her re-election campaigns without so much as a whimper.

So now, Amy Handlin authors a book about the bad Republican freeholders just before her two Republican running mates are vying to retain their well-deserved seats on the Board. The timing of the release of her book is intended to help Handlin get re-elected but it sure won’t help her fellow Republican freeholder candidates. 

As always, Amy Handlin thinks only of Amy Handlin.

Amy Handlin is a self-absorbed, self-righteous human being who doesn’t deserve the loyalty of Republicans nor the electorate.  

Romeo Cascaes

Former Republican Chairman

Freehold Township