SARATOGA SPRINGS – What happens when a small-town mayor whose parochial-school education, driving-force wife, and insider’s view of Democratic Party politics create anecdotes that will make you laugh, cry, and remember your own childhood?
It’s all in “Pee Not Your Pants!,” by John T. Sullivan Jr., former mayor of Oswego, NY, who also served as former New York State Democratic co-chairman.
“John Sullivan is a wonderful raconteur,” said Dr. Greg Smith, a Eugene, Oregon, psychologist, who is also a close friend of the author. “This book is an enjoyable inside look at politics and government, but, above all, an in-person look at what someone can accomplish when accompanied in life by his best friend who thinks the sky’s the limit.”
Sullivan provides inside stories of small-town politics, as well as glimpses into the famous political names he has associated with, including his political journey from his college years as an intern for Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
Told in an easy-going, almost Lake Wobegon-esque style, these stories chronicle Sullivan’s journey from his parochial school days in which nuns taught him the golden rule, as well as why it’s a good idea to keep one’s seat from becoming soiled, through to his stewardship of the NYS Democratic party during the Clinton years.
That advice came in handy as he went through life, as he relates in the book, while his career advanced, as an educator, attorney, and then Assistant Attorney General under governors Eliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo.
However, perhaps the most poignant parts of the narrative focus on the love story between Sullivan and his wife, Charlotte, who proves the old cliché that “behind every successful man is a woman.”
Life was not always easy for this couple, who had four daughters in short succession.
Throughout the complicated and intense bond between these two high school sweethearts, they overcame tragedy and celebrated triumphs.
Charlotte passed away in 1999, following a two-year bout with cancer, at the young age of 54.
This book examines the effect of her life on Sullivan’s career, as well as the chasm her death left in his heart and in the soul of their four daughters.
Sullivan is not one to rest on his laurels.
Following his retirement from New York State as a Deputy Medicaid Inspector General in the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General, he served briefly as a judge for the Department of Labor.
He also traveled to Kansas to teach college-level political science for three years, during which time he contributed opinion pieces to the local newspapers.
The later chapters trace Sullivan’s emergence as a writer and political consultant on the state level. In addition to working on this book, he has written op-ed pieces for a number of newspapers, including The Albany Times-Union and The New York Post.
The 267-page memoir covering Sullivan’s 40-year journey in government, politics and history will arrive in local bookstores on today, May 1.
It will also be available in print and electronic form from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. It is richly illustrated with photos of memorable events, including Charlotte and John Sullivan at the White House with Hillary and Bill Clinton, and a wide array of other photos chronicling various points in his career.
The writer will embark on a promotional and book signing tour during the months of May and June.