Will John DeFrancisco’s book sell more copies than Cuomo?

John DeFrancisco represented District 50 in the New York State Senate from 1993 to 2018.
John DeFrancisco represented District 50 in the New York State Senate from 1993 to 2018.
New York State United Teachers/Flickr
John DeFrancisco represented District 50 in the New York State Senate from 1993 to 2018.

Will John DeFrancisco’s book sell more copies than Cuomo?

The former state senator recounts his 26 years in Albany.
December 11, 2019

A new book by former state Sen. John DeFrancisco reveals plenty about the inner workings of state government and the Republican conference. But the book, titled “Never Say Never: Adventures in NY Politics,” is as much a guidebook for prospective politicians as a tell-all book about DeFrancisco’s decades in public life.

City & State recently caught up with the Syracuse Republican to discuss the book and how it has been received. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

How has the book been received?

It’s not going to be a bestseller, but it’ll have more copies than the governor’s book. I don’t know if he has sold any yet – just kidding about that – but my book’s on Amazon.

You express frustration in the book with how politics works inside the Capitol, such as when the governor called you to say you would’ve been a good GOP leader but denied lobbying for state Sen. John Flanagan to be the majority leader, or the time when Flanagan said he would bring procurement reform up for a vote, but didn’t. How did you handle those issues at the time?

Those things were frustrating, but you can talk to anybody that was in the Republican conference when I was there – I wasn’t shy. I completely brought the same points and brought up the same frustrations as I expressed in the book.

It's not going to be a best seller, but it'll have more copies than the governor's book."

What did you mean when you said in the book that state Budget Director Robert Mujica got close with Gov. Andrew Cuomo while working for the Senate Republicans?

I didn’t mean that he was in some way double-dealing. I just mean that the governor saw somebody who was excellent and he took advantage of his position to get a good person to work for him. The hardest problem in my mind when that move took place is Mujica was in the Senate for many years. He knew every legislator – their strengths, their weaknesses, who is more susceptible to trying to get a vote for one reason or another. That clearly aided the governor in getting deals through the budget process.

Why did you choose to self-publish this book?

I did make efforts to try to get a publisher interested in it, and I made several contacts. As time was running out in the Legislature, my concern was that it wouldn’t be topical anymore. So rather than continue to chase publishing companies, I learned of the self-publishing opportunity and I did it. It’s a lot easier with Kindle Direct Publishing. You can get your manuscript in e-form. There’s really no upfront costs. As a book is ordered online, it’s printed so you don’t have to print a thousand copies.

The book is called “Never Say Never.” I hear there’s an open state Senate seat in Syracuse. What are the chances we’re going to see a DeFran comeback?

The chances are never.

Zach Williams
is a staff reporter at City & State.
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