Edgy political comedy by retired New York State Senate parliamentarian
offers satirical e-book poking fun at 2009 state political coup

A Parliament of Fowls
A Parliament of Fowls

JACK CASEY, former parliamentarian of the New York State Senate, has published a novel take on the infamous senate “coup” that brought state government to a standstill in 2009.

StoneGate Ink, a cutting-edge digital publisher, is offering the title as an ebook this September 2012, as the presidential race enters its final heat. A print-on-demand edition will be released within one month.

“Three years ago, I was living in a cartoon,” Casey said.  “The Republicans welcomed two criminals to join them and retrieve the majority after they lost it during the ‘08 Obama landslide. The staid, dignified senate where I’d worked a dozen years became a sideshow of barkers, hawkers, freaks and even a clown.”

Casey lost his position as parliamentarian as a result. But it’s always better to laugh than cry, so the novelist-turned-politico returned to his literary roots to write what he knows. With a wink and a smirk, Casey names all his fictional senators after birds and lets them fly. The story sneaks the reader through the backrooms of the capitol, where deals are hatched and nasty, squawking politicians claw out their pecking orders.

“A Parliament of Fowls” is told from the vantage point of attorney, parliamentarian and man-about-town Christopher Sparrow. Sparrow ran the New York Senate floor for aging white-guy Republicans until the Democrats squeezed into the majority, 32-30, on Obama’s coattails. He lost the job he loved — a great gig for an attorney/political junky (and not a bad way to meet chicks either). Now he wants his job back at any cost and hasn’t learned to be careful what he wishes for.

Meanwhile, a deep racial chasm divides the newly empowered Democrats. When the Martin Luther Crowe and his African-American base deny the Hispanics any leadership posts, Jesus Paloma enlists Rico Cuervo, a freshman senator, and plots to join the Republicans and flip power back, 32-30 the other way.

And Sparrow springs into action. If he can mastermind this coup, he’ll get his old job back. With his superior parliamentarian skill he scripts the takeover, and on the big day he dupes his new love interest, journal clerk Robin Kennedy, to read the resolution and bring it before the house. For one brief shining moment he ascends to his old post… then all hell breaks loose.

“We learned a lot of lessons during the five weeks of the coup,” Casey said of the real senate coup that inspired his novel. “It became apparent why people seek power, what will they do to get and keep it, how much the media tries to influence who wins and who loses. I raise a lot of these serious questions by exaggerating them in the novel. The ‘coup’ was one of the wilder experiences of my life –— news conferences and new lawsuits popping off every hour.   We can pull positive messages out of now, with some distance, and I hope two things happen now: first, that folks enjoy my spirited lampoon, and second, that the ‘coup’ is never repeated.”


“A Parliament of Fowls” was released as an e-book on Sept. 24, 2012 by StoneGate Ink, a Boise, Id.-based publishing house that specializes in a “digital first” model. Amazon Number International best-seller Vincent Zandri is among their authors.

“Parliament” is available on Kindle, Nook and other e-book readers. A paperback edition will be available later in October.

For review copy and interview requests, contact: Duncan Crary.