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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Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The campaigns are over, but the debates about voting rage on. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for Rhode Island to consider some election changes.

Michael Vadon, Cecil Stoughton, White House / Publicn Domain, Creative Commons License

A divisive election and Rhode Island’s legacy of organized crime have gotten lots of media attention lately. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay reflects on an anniversary that he worries has become an afterthought.

RIPR FILE

An earthquake election left Republicans in control of Congress and the White House. How will Democrats respond? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay posed the question to Sen. Jack Reed, the senior Rhode Island member of Congress.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate inched down to 5.5 percent in October and the state gained jobs, but the Ocean State’s jobless rate was higher than neighboring Massachusetts and Connecticut, according to the state Department of Labor and Training.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Longtime Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin has a new chief of staff. Kristin Nicholson is leaving Democrat Langevin’s office to take a job at Georgetown University.

Nicholson, who has been with Langevin since his first election to the House in 2000, will become director of the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown. Taking over for Nicholson as chief of staff is Todd Adams, currently Langevin’s legislative director.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The afternoons are growing dark, a chill leavens even sunny days and a New England winter beckons. It’s time to get ready for the holidays, with Thanksgiving up next.  The chill and the holiday remind us once again that it’s time for us to reach into our hearts and search the closets for old winter coats to donate to the 20th annual Rhode Island Buy Nothing Winter Coat Exchange.

BU Rob13, Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons License

Every American election brings an assessment of how well the media covered  things. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says there should be some vigorous scrutiny of the 2016 election cycle.

RIPR FILE

On the no-drama Rhode Island political front, the Democratic leadership of the state senate has scheduled a caucus at the Statehouse at 6 p.m. tonight to re-nominate Newport Sen. Teresa Paiva Weed as Senate President and Providence Sen. Dominick Ruggerio as majority leader. The meeting is public, according to Senate spokesman Greg Pare.

chensiyuan / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

Raymond `Beaver’ Tempest Jr. remains a free man, the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled again in a decision released today.

The high court rejected Atty. Gen. Peter Kilmartin’s attempt to re-argue the 1982 murder of Doreen Picard, a Woonsocket homecoming queen. The court ruled that the state had not raised novel legal issues in the bid to argue the case again.

The opinion carried dissents from Chief Justice Paul Suttell and Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg. Both said the state’s case had merit.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

All you needed to know about yesterday’s  election in Rhode Island  was on display last night at the Garden Room at Biltmore Hotel in downtown Providence, the ancestral home of Democratic Party election  bashes for generations.

BU Rob13, Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons License

After a toxic presidential campaign, the national question will become how to unite a fractured country. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay says Rhode Islanders will hopefully be better at this than other states. 

RIPR staff

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo is headed to New Hampshire Thursday night to join New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, who is the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in the Granite State, at a campaign event for Hillary Clinton’s presidential quest.

Raimondo and Hassan, both Democrats, will appear at a telephone bank kick-off in the southern New Hampshire town of Exeter. Raimondo is scheduled to return to Rhode Island Thursday evening.

Dank Depot / flickr/Creative Commons License

With all the focus on the ugly, roller-coaster presidential campaign, a referendum closer to Rhode Island’s borders hasn’t received much media attention in the waning days of the campaign. That would be the Massachusetts ballot question that would legalize recreational marijuana, which voters consider on Tuesday.

The latest public opinion survey for WBUR, Boston’s npr affiliate, shows a 15-point gap in favor of making the weed legal. The poll, conducted by MassINC, showed 55 percent in favor and 40 percent opposed.

RIPR FILE

The days are dwindling in the most caustic presidential campaign in modern history. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if  we can learn some lessons.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Another month, another poor jobs report in Rhode Island. The September unemployment rate remained at 5.6 percent, but Rhode Island-based jobs were down 900 from August, according to data released today by the state Department of Labor and Training.

The data show job losses in educational services, health care and social assistance, ambulatory health care services and government and professional services.  There were also smaller job declines in manufacturing, information and transportation and utilities.

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