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

Rhode Island’s New England neighbors are moving aggressively forward with legalizing marijuana. RIPR political analyst says the Ocean State shouldn’t be last to tap a new source of state money. (Advance copy for airing Monday).

Whatever you think about legal marijuana, it is difficult to defend the current prohibition of the weed. Four decades of the war on drugs has been as abject a failure as the early 20th Century ban on alcohol.

New Hampshire Public Radio

The only sure element of the 2016 presidential sweepstakes, in the aftermath of the New Hampshire primary , is that both Democrats and Republicans now face long nominating battles.

The party elites hate this – short and sweet nominating contests work best for them. Long campaigns drain money and effort away from the general election and create internecine jousts. That doesn’t mean, as in the Democratic battle of 2008, that the primary wounds can’t be healed, but it does take time.

cmh2315fl / flickr

The moment of truth in the presidential primary campaign comes tomorrow as voters in New Hampshire head to polls for the New Hampshire primary. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay, who has covered Granite State primaries since 1980, has a roadmap to the contest.

Mourners can pay respects to the late Buddy Cianci at City Hall on Saturday and Sunday (Feb 6 and 7). His body will lie in repose at City Hall from noon to 6 p.m. both days. Those wishing to pay respects should enter via the Washington Street City Hall entrance.

John Bender / RIPR

Billy Reynolds, the longtime Providence Journal columnist who is one of the nation’s very best basketball writers, has written a remarkable new book entitled Hope: A School, A Team, A Dream.

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Rhode Islanders will have a  chance to pay final respects to Buddy Cianci later this week, when his body lies in repose at City Hall. Even in death, Rhode Islanders debate the legacy of Providence's longest-serving mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay shares his thoughts on Cianci.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In Providence and in Rhode Island, Buddy Cianci was one of the most influential political figures of his generation, as well as one of the most controversial. His time as Providence mayor was marked by significant economic redevelopment, but also marred by violence, cronyism and corruption.

Greg Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons License

Former Rhode Island Republican governor Lincoln Almond has agreed to support former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. Almond says he believes that Bush is the best choice among the large field of Republican presidential aspirants.

``I’m very friendly with the Bush family and have been for many years,’’ Almond said in an interview. Almond cited Bush’s tenure as Florida governor and his leading role in education policy.

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The Providence College Friar's men's basketball team faces off Tuesday night against the Xavier University Musketeers. Rhode Island Public Radio political commentator, and sports nut, Scott MacKay, talks with veteran Providence Journal sports columnists Bill Reynolds, about what to watch out for.

Gas prices in Rhode Island and Massachusetts  continue to drop. That’s the latest word from the American Automobile Association.

Gas prices have dropped by three cents per gallon in both states. The Triple-A’s survey of prices in Massachusetts finds the average gallon of self-serve, regular unleaded gas at $1.84 per gallon.

The Rhode Island, that same gallon carries an average cost of $1.91. ``Crude oil prices haven’t been this low since 2003,’’ says Mary McGuire, AAA spokeswoman.

The Providence snow parking ban will begin at 10 p.m. this evening, according to an announcement from Mayor Jorge Elorza.

The Pawtucket parking ban will start at 2 p.m. this afternoon and continue until 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Providence residents with overnight parking passes cannot park on a city street during the parking ban. Vehicles left on streets in violation of the ban will be subject to ticketing and towing.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island has yet another study on what ails our state’s economy, this time from the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. think-tank. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what it will take to translate this plan into action.

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As we celebrate the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why we still haven’t made the progress that King envisioned.

Today is the day we honor King, the preacher and activist who pricked the conscience of a nation. 

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The General Electric move from Fairfield County, on Connecticut’s Gold Coast, to Boston was probably inevitable, given the direction in which the iconic company is moving.

Richard Culatta, a former Obama Administration education adviser, has been chosen by Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as the state’s new  $210,000 a year "chief innovation officer."

Raimondo said Culatta will lead an effort to find better approaches to deliver government services in an efficient manner.

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