Scott MacKay

Political Analyst

With a B.A. in political science and history from the University of Vermont and a wealth of knowledge of local politics, it was a given that Scott MacKay would become a commentator for Rhode Island Public Radio's Political Roundtable.

As a former political reporter for The Providence Journal, MacKay has spent more than thirty years documenting the ins and outs of politics in Rhode Island and New England. MacKay is married to Dr. Staci Fisher, an infectious diseases specialist.

Follow Scott on Twitter: @ScotMackRI

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Democrat Hillary Clinton got some good news from Pennsylvania today with a Suffolk University public opinion survey showing her up 9 points in the Keystone State over Republican Donald Trump in the presidential election.

In a four –way contest with Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson the mix, Clinton led Trump, 46 to 37 percent. Johnson got 5 percent and Stein was at 3 percent with 9 percent undecided.

ABC 6

Update: Bill Clinton and Rev. Jesse Jackson to attend Weiner funeral Tuesday at Temple Beth-El in Providence at 11 a.m.

Mark Weiner of East Greenwich, a confidante of Hillary and Bill Clinton, former Rhode Island state Democratic chairman, and top fund raiser for the Democratic Party, both nationally and in the Ocean State, has died after a battle with cancer. He was  62.

Aaron Read / RIPR

  This comes as no surprise, but it is relevant: RI House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston is demoting embattled Rep. John Carnevale, D-Providence, from the Democratic House leadership team.

Even at the Statehouse, loyalty has its limits. In this case, pragmatism and campaign exigencies have triumphed. At the capitol, there is nothing like self-preservation as a motivation.

  The Republican National Convention that nominated Donald Trump is history. The Democratic convention that is poised to tap Hillary Clinton begins today. 

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s economy remains in the doldrums. That’s the takeaway from the latest unemployment and jobs data released Thursday by the state Department of Labor and Training

The state’s jobless rate inched up from 5.4 percent to 5.5 percent in June.  The good news is that the state gained 1,700 jobs. The bad news is that job growth remains sluggish, with a decline of 100 jobs in the first six months  of 2016.

Calling all literate Rhode Islanders and Ocean State ex-pats: For a great read get thee to the bookstore (or Internet if you must) and get Bruce DeSilva’s latest Rhody-centric mystery novel "The Dread Line." It goes on sale in September.

RIPR file photo

The plan to improve the Port of Providence and a proposal to build a new power plan in Burrillville have stirred vigorous debates in recent weeks. 

Gov. Gina Raimondo has scheduled a sit-down with plant opponents. Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if these plans will reprise the 20th Century battles  between environmentalists and business and labor interests. 

John Bender / RIPR

The environmental organization Save The Bay on Monday sharply criticized the proposal for a $20 million taxpayer-financed port development project on the Providence waterfront.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

  Rhode island Lt. Gov. Dan McKee has been elected chairman of the National Lieutenant Governors Association. The Cumberland Democrat won  the post last week at the group’s annual meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

As chairman, McKee will preside over a December 2016 confab in Arizona, a March 2017 meeting in Washington, D.C. and the annual summer meeting in Nashville.

McKee, a former Cumberland mayor elected as lieutenant governor in 2014, will also lead the group’s 17-member executive committee in directing policy discussions.

Wikimedia Commons

If you’re wealthy, you may see the British exit from Europe’s economy as an opportunity. 

Manuel C. Correira

Bristol – There will be floats, bands and puppets, the trill of bagpipes and Sousa marches.

The sailors will step smartly down Hope Street, where the  red, white and blue traffic stripes have  replaced the mundane  yellow strips. The historic harbor is filling with boats, their white sails riffling in the afternoon breeze.

There will be flags, thousands of them. Some will hang from the stately 18th  and 19th century colonials that grace Bristol’s waterfront. The wooly-headed blue hydrangeas sprout from lawns grand and modest.

RIPR FILE

A Rhode Island Superior Court judge has barred the National Grid utility and the state Division of Public Utilities from shutting off gas and electric service to about 4,000 Rhode Islanders who have medical conditions.

The ruling, from Judge Netti C. Vogel, bans utility shutoffs from those with medical conditions, such as the seriously ill and disabled, until at least September 26. The action comes after a lawsuit filed by the Rhode Island Center for Justice, which challenged state procedures for cutting off service to those with medical  conditions.

John Bender / RIPR

Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is winding down. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay ponders what’s next for the Vermont senator and the movement he and his followers built. 

Dan Beardsley, one of the most candid, colorful and hard-working of all Rhode Island Statehouse lobbyists, is retiring as executive director of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, which represents the interests of municipalities across the state.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island is all atwitter about General Assembly grants. RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay says it is time for some measured study of the pros and cons of these legislative perks.

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