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

Ways to Connect

Major Thomas Verdi, a 29-year veteran of the Providence police department, has been named deputy chief by Col. Hugh Clements, police chief.

Verdi takes the post vacated by former Deputy Chief Thomas Oates, who has become police chief in Woonsocket.

Verdi has recently served as commanding officer of the uniform division. He has also been executive officer of the administrative division and has many years  experience as a detective, an organized crime investigator, in the patrol bureau and in SWAT operations.

The first televised debate in the presidential election is Monday evening. There will be just two candidates on stage, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. 

Courtesy of the Shelton family

Henry Shelton, a Roman Catholic priest turned social justice and political activist, longtime voice in Rhode Island for those who had none, passionate advocate for the poor and dispossessed  and thorn in the side of the state’s business and political establishment, died Wednesday at home in Cranston surrounded by his family. He was 86.

RIPR FILE

Economic inequity has become a touchstone of our times. This week, NPR and the University of Rhode Island both kickoff dialogues on income inequality.

Last week brought a glimmer of good economic news to a state and nation that have grown all too used to doom and doldrums. 

  In bad news for the Rhode Island economy, the unemployment rate inched up to 5.6 percent in August  from 5.5 percent in July and the Ocean State-based jobs dropped by 700, according to data released today by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

The state jobless rate was higher than the national unemployment rate, which stood at 4.9 percent. The DLT also said the data shows that the July job losses, the state has about 5,800 more jobs than at this time last year.

John Bender / RIPR

A Providence police investigation of the August 24th accident in which a Peter Pan bus driver hit and killed a Cumberland woman in Kennedy Plaza has resulted in no criminal charges against driver Matthew Reidy of Taunton, Mass.

Michelle Cagnon, 30, of Cumberland was struck by a bus operated by Reidy as she was walking on Washington St. in Kennedy Plaza.  She died as a result of the accident and was pronounced dead at the scene. The decision against criminal charges came after what police called “an extensive” investigation and reconstruction of the events that led to her death.

Political newcomer Jason Knight defeated veteran State Rep. Jan Malik in the District 67 Democratic primary by winning a huge victory in the two Barrington precincts, even as Knight lost the two polling places in Malik’s Warren stronghold.

Elisabeth Harrison

In Tuesday's primary, Rhode Island voters ousted House Majority Leader John DeSimone and five other incumbents. Progressive Democrats picked up three wins, and mayors in North Providence and Woonsocket won re-election. Rhode Island Public Radio's Political Analyst Scott MacKay discusses these results and more with Host Chuck Hinman.

.v1ctor Casale./flickr/Creative Commons License

If you watch too much television news or listen to too many politicians, you may have the impression that crime is on the rise. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why perceptions have not caught up with the drop in crime.

Sophie Kasakove

Jim Vincent, president of the Providence NAACP, has called on Gov. Gina Raimondo to begin a formal national search for a new state police superintendent to replace Col. Steven O’Donnell, who is retiring after more than five years on the job.

Vincent said a national search is necessary because the top brass of the state police currently lacks any women or minorities in a position to apply for the job.  "We need a national search so that Rhode Island can get the best possible superintendent.’’

RIPR FILE

Voters head to the polls Tuesday for primary elections in Rhode Island, and one of those primaries will fill a House seat formerly held by Ray Gallison. The Democrat resigned under a law enforcement probe likely to include legislative grants, given to an organization with Gallison on the payroll. Rhode Island Public Radio Political Analyst Scott MacKay discussed the race with News Director Elisabeth Harrison.

Will Hart / Creative Commons License

Labor Day marks the end of summer. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay reminds us that this holiday that honors workers once meant much more in Rhode Island.

Chris Marerro
MiLB Pawtucket Red Sox

Chris Marrero, the Pawtucket Red Sox star, has been named to the 2016 post-season International League All-Star Team, the team announced today.

Marrero, 28, is leading the team in almost every offensive category and is among the league leaders as well. In 124 games this season, he is hitting .287 with 23 home runs and 69 Runs Batted In. He leads the International League with 234 total bases and is first in extra base hits with 52, and has a .501 slugging percentage, second in the league.

First Southwest Company, one of the financial institutions involved in the ill-fated 38 Studios deal, is objecting to the state’s recent settlement agreement with two other banks in the ongoing lawsuit against actors in the video game fiasco.

Lawyers for First Southwest filed a memorandum in Rhode Island Superior Court objecting to the settlement with Barclays Capital and Wells Fargo Securities, which, if approved by the court, would yield just under $26 million in payments to the state.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

  James Doyle, the popular, longest serving mayor of Pawtucket and a fixture in the city’s political leadership for generations, died Friday night. He was 78.

And old-school politician universally known as `Jim’ who climbed the city’s Democratic political ladder, Doyle served for six terms as mayor, until the end of 2010, when Don Grebien won election.

A social studies teacher at Pawtucket West High School, now Shea High School, Doyle was active in Democratic politics. He was first elected to the city council in 1970 and was reelected 13 times.

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