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 at Rhode Island Hospital.

Follow Scott on Twitter: @ScotMackRI

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RI News
9:02 am
Thu December 12, 2013

What's At Stake In Exeter's Recall Election

Tow Clerk's Office in Exeter
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Voters head to the polls in Exeter on Saturday for a recall election that could send a majority of the town council packing. 

The recall was sparked by a dispute over gun permits.  It started after four out of five town councilors supported a move to put permits for concealed weapons in the hands of the attorney general instead of the town clerk.

Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison sat down with political analyst Scott MacKay to find out what's at stake in this unusual election.

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On Politics
2:51 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Charles Pinning to read from new novel at Brown Bookstore

Novelist Charles Pinning will  be reading and signing his new book tomorrow (Thursday, Dec.12)  at 5:30 at the Brown University book store. Pinning’s new work, entitled `Irreplaceable’ is set in Rhode Island and is about an art theft at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum that is reminiscent of the great, unsolved heist of precious art from the Isabella  Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

The Brown bookstore is at 244 Thayer Street on Providence’s East Side. The store has a café.

Scott MacKay Commentary
5:34 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Scott MacKay Commentary: Providence Journal, We Knew Ye Well

The Providence Journal building in downtown Providence
Credit Emma Ruddock / RIPR

For nearly two centuries, the Providence Journal has been Rhode Island’s most important news organization. Now that it is up for sale, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay brings us the ProJo’s  storied  past and uncertain future.

When the first edition of the Providence Journal  was printed in 1829, it was a four-page broadsheet hand pressed into paper fashioned from recycled linen rags.

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On Politics
1:44 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Herb DeSimone Sr. and Richard Nixon

Herb DeSimone was a respected Rhode Island Republican politician and lawyer. He died last week after a long and distinguished career in the law and politics, having served as RI Attorney General, in the federal government during Richard Nixon’s administration and  twice was the GOP’s standard bearer for governor.

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On Politics
3:58 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Raimondo supports drivers' licenses for undocumented immigrants, criticizes Taveras

State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo has fired a salvo at her like Democratic gubernatorial opponent, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras over the issue of drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants.

In a statement on the social media platform Twitter, Raimondo said she is ``disappointed’’ in Taveras’ position of leaving this matter up to the U.S. Congress.

``This is a public safety issue,’’ said Raimondo, who supports licenses for undocumented immigrants.

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On Politics
12:42 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Raimondo: Happy Thanksgiving, send me campaign money

A window into just how relentless campaign fund-raising has become: Democrat  Gina Raimondo’s latest email wishing Rhode Islanders a Happy Thanksgiving.

The Internet missive contains a photo of the state treasurer with her husband Andy and children Tommy and Ceci. ``At Thanksgiving…I think about everything we are grateful for. We live in an amazing state with so much potential, we are surrounded by family and friends who care about us, and living up to our Italian traditions, we are preparing and eating way too much food.’’

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Scott MacKay Commentary
10:37 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Scott MacKay Commentary: 2014 Providence Mayoral Campaign Up For Grabs

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras will be vacating the mayor's office, and who steps into the role is still anyone's guess.
Credit RIPR FILE

The 2014 campaign for Providence mayor has become a most difficult campaign to handicap. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why.

With Mayor Angel Taveras running for governor, the parade is forming to take over City Hall in New England’s second largest city..

So far, five serious candidates are preparing campaigns: Four Democrats and Republican aspirant Dr. Daniel Harrop, a psychiatrist.

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On Politics
1:19 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Tax-free wine and art coming to Rhode Island Sunday

If you are a aficionado of wine and works of art, you’ll be pleased that beginning Sunday you’ll get a sales tax break.  This means that if you purchase win and spirits from a Rhode Island liquor store, you will not have to pay the state’s 7 percent sales tax.

And if you buy original works of art or limited edition art works anywhere in the Ocean State, the 7 percent sales tax is waived.

These tax breaks are the result of action taken by the 2013 General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
8:57 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Scott MacKay Commentary: Clay Pell And The RI Race For Governor

What chance does Clay Pell stand in the 2014 race for governor.
Credit RIPR FILE

Just when we thought we knew that next year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary field was set, it suddenly was not. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay talks about the Clay Pell factor.

Herbert Claiborne `Clay’ Pell  IV is a scion of a storied Rhode Island political family. He’s the grandson of U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell, a quirky, even eccentric politician who nonetheless never lost an election in six terms, despite facing the toughest opponents our small state could muster.

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On Politics
3:57 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

The Clay Pell factor in 2014 RI Governor campaign

Just when we thought we knew that next year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary field was set, it suddenly was not. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay talks about the Clay Pell factor.

Herbert Claiborne `Clay’ Pell  IV is a scion of a storied Rhode Island political family. He’s the grandson of U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell, a quirky, even eccentric politician who nonetheless never lost an election in six terms, despite facing the toughest opponents our small state could muster.

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