Michael O’Connell is a writer, activist, and musician originally from Binghamton, New York. O’Connell is the son of Michael J. O’Connell (1942-2007), and is often referred to as Mike O’Connell Jr.

O’Connell grew up in Binghamton, New York, and attended Binghamton University from 2000-2005. While a student at BU O’Connell wrote for Binghamton Review, the campus’s conservative newspaper. As a graduate student he served as editor, then in 2004 started his own commercial newspaper, The Binghamton Vanguard. O’Connell was editor and publisher of the Vanguard from 2004-2009.

Concurrent with the newspaper O’Connell hosted a television show on Binghamton’s public access station, Politics After Dark. The show focused on politics but reflected O’Connell’s views on sports and pop culture as well. A weekly show in its original run (2004-2009), O’Connell now airs one new episode a year on his birthday.

O’Connell has run for political office three times. In 2003 at age 21 he ran for a seat on Binghamton’s City Council. He won the Independence Party primary but was defeated in the general election. In 2005 he ran for a seat on the council but was again defeated. In 2006 he ran for a seat in the New York State Senate, though ended his campaign when his petitions were invalidated by the State Board of Elections.

As a musician, O’Connell has recorded seven full-length albums and has been a part of numerous demos and promotional releases as a pianist. His most recent release is a live album of holiday music, I paid for this Christmas party! (2023).

Among his many articles, blog posts, and short stories, O’Connell has published two full-length books. The first, 2007’s The Other Side of the Coin, is a conservative response to Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed. O’Connell’s book uses the same premise as Ehrenreich’s–a writer posing as an impoverished person–though with a different attitude and goal. He sought to show that with hard work and initiative one can succeed in America, even from humble beginnings. O’Connell spent the early part of 2006 living in Raleigh, North Carolina, writing the book.

During his time in North Carolina O’Connell also began writing his second book, The 365 Greatest Movies Ever Made and the Days You Should Watch Them. O’Connell lists a movie for each day of the year, describing it and why it should be watched that day. Worked on for many years, it was published in 2022.

O’Connell began his teaching career in 2008 at Broome Community College in Binghamton. After moving from Binghamton to northern Virginia in 2011 he taught at Westwood College in Arlington, and now teaches for the Loudoun County (Virginia) School District. He hosts a weekly podcast, Math and Musings, and maintains a personal blog at

O’Connell has been married since 2010. He and his wife have one son.


Music albums

  Mike O’Connell Trio

Wallpaper Jam (2005)

Live ‘n On Q (live, 2006)


  Mike O’Connell

The Perfect Girl for Me (2008)

Mike O’Connell Meets the Mike O’Connell Trio (2010)

An Evening with Mike O’Connell (live, 2015)

Jazz Impressions of a Boy Named Franklin (EP, 2018)


   Mike O’Connell and His Jazz Quartet

Still Playing at 33 and 1/3 (2015)

I paid for this Christmas party! (live, 2023)


Musical associations

In Common Time, 1999-2000

Blue Velvet, 2000-2005

Rye Bread, 2003-present

Mike O’Connell Trio, 2003-present

PRISM, 2004-2011


Electoral history

2003: Binghamton City Council District Two… lost

2005: Binghamton City Council, District Three… lost

2006: New York State Senate, District 52… petitions invalidated by State Board of Elections