Mark O'Keefe

Mark O'Keefe

Opinion contributor Mark O'Keefe, of Mechanicsburg, Pa.,  is the former editorial page editor of the Herald-Standard of Uniontown. His work appears biweekly on the Capital-Star's Commentary Page. 


Will Pa. lawmakers pass local police radar bill — or let it pass them by again? | Mark O’Keefe

By: - April 16, 2021

The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, the union representing members of the Pennsylvania State Police, added its support this year for the first time.


My family’s experience explains why mental health reform has to be part of the solution to mass shootings | Mark O’Keefe

By: - April 7, 2021

While taking the guns out of the hands of the mentally ill who are dangerous would be a good start, actually helping those people deal with their problems would be the best course of action.


The Pa. Gaming Control Board is a patronage dumping ground. It’s time to fix it | Mark O’Keefe

By: - March 18, 2021

Despite a massive outcry over several recent questionable appointments to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, it appears as if the dust has settled with no changes in sight. The hirings included Democrat Frank Dermody, of Allegheny County, and Republican Frances Regan of York County. Dermody, the former Democratic floor leader in the state House, lost […]


Judicial remap amendment is on hold – for now. The risk remains | Mark O’Keefe

By: - February 26, 2021

Once again, the Pennsylvania Legislature is proving that it's an institution full of uncertainty and unpredictability.


The House and Senate fixed a pricey mistake by scheduling two special elections for primary day | Mark O’Keefe

By: - February 9, 2021

In 2020, lawmakers called special elections six weeks before the primary election. Taxpayers got nothing of value from the early timing, other than a bill.

A state liquor store front in Harrisburg (Capital-Star photo by Elizabeth Hardison).

Johnstown lawmaker scores big win in fight with Pa. liquor board. But the fight continues | Mark O’Keefe

By: - January 26, 2021

The real losers, noted Burns, were taxpayers who paid for the futile legal battle.


Fayette County was already struggling. Now the pandemic could break it | Mark O’Keefe

By: - January 15, 2021

Fayette County's residents were already struggling with a poor economy and high unemployment. Then the pandemic hit.


In elections, education, like demographics, is now political destiny | Mark O’Keefe

By: - December 31, 2020

It seems inevitable, for now anyway, that education levels will take their place among gender, race, and income levels in determining how elections are won and lost.


What 5 counties tell us about the changing face of Pa.’s elections | Mark O’Keefe

By: - December 5, 2020

The five counties had been the solid rock built by the Democratic party to control Pennsylvania politically. However, that rock began to crumble in the early 2000s.


Dems rolled the dice on ending straight-ticket voting. They paid the price with row office losses | Mark O’Keefe

By: - November 22, 2020

Perhaps the Democrats should have run some televised ads, stressing the importance of casting votes in all races. The bottom line is that while counting all ballots is essential, it's also crucial that all ballots are filled out.


Remember the good old days — when Wolf and Republicans could actually compromise? That’s gone | Mark O’Keefe

By: - September 27, 2020

Too bad, it's doubtful to happen this election year when the future of our democracy is on the line.


Trump breaks with Birx on virus threat. Now we know why | Mark O’Keefe

By: - September 11, 2020

Birx, who has had a roller-coaster relationship with Trump, appears to be on the outs with the president along with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease official.