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. 


The one big reason that Gov. Wolf’s third try at a state police user fee won’t work | Mark O’Keefe

By: - February 19, 2020

Charge Pennsylvanians for State Police services? In an election year? It's already impossible to gert lawmakers to execute on basic responsibilities.


The cost of these Pa. special elections is anything but special for the taxpayers | Opinion

By: - January 24, 2020

Pennsylvania state House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, says one of his main concerns is to “protect taxpayers.'' However, one of his recent moves did anything but “protect taxpayers.''


Trump’s economy hasn’t lifted all boats. Will that matter in Pa. in 2020? | Opinion

By: - January 8, 2020

A new study offers a glimpse of hope for Democrats that they can take back Pennsylvania in the 2020 presidential race. A analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows that 25 counties in Pennsylvania who supported Trump four years ago have seen their poverty rate go up since he was elected in 2016, the […]

The Pa. Legislature should resolve to tackle infrastructure funding in 2020 | Mark O’Keefe

By: - December 26, 2019

Rural lawmakers have resisted a fee on state police coverage. With the need great, will 2020 be the year they change their minds?


For Democrats, municipal races are dress rehearsal for 2020 | Mark O’Keefe

By: - December 12, 2019

Democrats celebrated the results of last month's municipal elections as they won county commissioner races in the Philadelphia suburbs of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh and Monroe counties.


What’s behind McConnell’s support for coal miners’ pension bailout? Political self-preservation, most likely | Mark O’Keefe

By: - November 27, 2019

The Senate's top Republican is up for re-election in 2020 and faces a stiff Democratic challenge.


Scrapping cross-filing for candidates is another path to election reform | Mark O’Keefe

By: - November 12, 2019

And what about getting the GOP to do away with gerrymandering? Well, let's not get crazy here. But stranger things have happened.


Should the state help volunteer fire companies? Yes. Let them shield their records from the public? No | Mark O’Keefe

By: - October 31, 2019

The proposal now goes to the state Senate. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf hasn't decided if he's going to sign the measure, a spokesman said.


As enrollments continue to slide, is there a way to save Pa’s state-owned universities? | Mark O’Keefe

By: - October 16, 2019

State system schools have been waiting on a bailout that probably will never come. It's time for them to take their fate in their own hands.


Should the number of liquor licenses in Pa. be public information? A Cambria County lawmaker thinks so. So he’s suing the state

By: - October 1, 2019

"It's like we're dealing with a Wall Street company instead of a state agency,'' said Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, who's waging a one-man fight


If Wolf wants a win on his State Police fee, he has to change tactics. This is how | Mark O’Keefe

By: - September 17, 2019

Wolf will have to get his hands dirty. There would have to be some give and take and compromises on both sides. But it could produce results.


Cheyney University’s turnaround is a blueprint to saving Pa.’s state-owned universities | Mark O’Keefe

By: - September 3, 2019

Instead of waiting around for a state bailout, Cheyney officials acted on their own to cut waste and start programs that can attract new students.