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

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign announced that her husband and former President Bill Clinton will campaign for her in in Rhode Island on Thursday, April 14. Former President Clinton will speak at the Community College of Rhode Island Knight Campus in Warwick at 12:30.

The short statement announcing the visit read, "President Clinton will attend a public event where he will discuss why Hillary Clinton is the best candidate to raise wages and break down all the barriers holding families back.’’

Rhode Island's Democratic presidential primary is April 26.

Staci Fischer / RIPR

Heather Abbott, whose injuries sustained in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing spurred her to start a foundation which helps amputees get prosthetic devices, will be the commencement speaker at Providence College’s 98th graduation exercises on May 15 at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence.

Gage Skidmore

If campaign kick-offs are any indication of the respective strengths of the candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, Rhode Island’s April 26th primary will boil down to grass roots Democrats campaigning for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and party leaders supporting Hillary Clinton.

About 250 enthusiastic Sanders acolytes thronged the opening of Sanders Rhode Island headquarters  on Broad Street in Providence this afternoon. They held large light blue `Bernie 2016’  signs and waved them at cars and pedestrians in the South Side neighborhood.

Don Borman / RIPR File

  Baseball is back in New England. The Boston Red Sox open their home season this afternoon at Fenway Park and the team hopes to rebound after a last-place finish. Their top minor league club, the Pawtucket Red Sox, face some different challenges this season, says RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay.

Elisabeth Harrison

UPDATE: Tonight's PawSox Opener has been postponed due to rain.  The home-opener is now scheduled for Friday at 6:15pm.

Thursday is opening day for the Pawtucket Red Sox. The game comes after a tumultuous year for the PawSox. A new ownership team announced plans to move the team to Providence, but the architect of the deal died unexpectedly, the public rebelled, and the plan had to be scrapped.  

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Scott MacKay sat down with the PawSox new President Charles Steinberg to find out what’s next for the team.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

  Calling it an ``election year stunt,’’ Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has vetoed a City Council ordinance that would establish a $12.50 per hour minimum wage for city employees.

``I cannot burden the taxpayers with what amounts to nothing more than a poorly thought out election year stunt,’’ said Fung in a news release.  ``The proposed ordinance does not have a proper cost-benefit analysis, has no data to support the arbitrary selection of $12, $12.50 or the originally proposed $15.’’

Lipofsky Basketballphoto.com

Basketball icon Bill Walton, one of only four players in history to win multiple NCAA and NBA championships, will deliver the commencement address at New England Institute of Technology’s commencement exercises on May 1 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.

Rhode Islanders will particularly remember Walton coming off the bench in 1986 to help the Larry Bird-led Boston Celtics to the NBA championship. Walton won the NBA’ s `Sixth Man of the Year’ award that year.

Leon F. Tejada, a former Providence City Council member and state representative, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison for devising and executing two tax fraud schemes to steal tax refunds from  76 taxpayers whose returns he prepared and filed.

U.S. Labor Department

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will be the commencement speaker at Roger Williams University Law School commencement exercises on May 13th at the school’s Bristol campus.

Perez, the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, is no stranger to Rhode Island. He is a 1983 Brown University graduate, who later earned a graduate degree in political science from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a law degree from Harvard’s Law School.

    

Cumberland State Representative Karen MacBeth, who last week changed her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, announced Monday that she will run for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House in the First District, a seat currently held by Democrat David Cicilline of Providence.

  Dr. Barry Black, the first African-American to serve as U.S. Senate chaplain, returns to his alma mater to serve as commencement speaker at Salve Regina University at the university’s 66th commencement on May 15 in Newport.

Elected in 2003 as the first black Senate chaplain, Black had served in the U.S. Navy for 27 years, retiring as a Rear Admiral and chief of Navy chaplains. He received a master’s degree in human development from Salve Regina in 1989.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

  Controversy over the new tourism slogan "cooler and warmer" put Rhode Island in the national spotlight last week. On Friday, Gov. Gina Raimondo responded by dropping the slogan and backing away from an earlier comment that Rhode Islanders should stop being so negative.

Screen capture of VisitRhodeIsland.com
Aaron Read

Is anyone home at the Statehouse? Did the governor go to Davos after all?

Whatever one thinks about the Raimondo Administration’s new cooler-warmer passive aggressive tourism branding, there is an undisputable fact about the new website: It’s a disaster.

RIPR FILE

Once again, Rhode Island has a mediocre jobs report. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay ponders the state’s economic future.

RI Superior Court

Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Patricia A. Hurst, a jurist of wit, wisdom and legal acumen, is retiring after 26 years on the state trial court.

Hurst sent her retirement letter to Gov. Gina Raimondo today and plans to leave by the end of April.

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