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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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.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

As the presidential candidates trade barbs on television, and parents worry about whether the result is "family-friendly" viewing, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the dialogue could be improved if Americans were better educated about history and civics.

RIPR FILE

Since the 1950s, Providence College basketball has been one of the great stories in all of college basketball.

This year’s edition of the hoop Friars are once again in the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year under coach Ed Cooley, a Providence native.

RIPR file photo

Dr. Arun Singh, one of New England’s top cardiac surgeons, is ending surgeries next month after performing more than 20,000 open heart surgeries on adults and children at Rhode Island’s Lifespan hospital system.

Sign’s announcement ``marks the close of a truly remarkable one-of-a-kind era at Rhode Island Hospital and Lifespan,’’ stated Dr. Timothy Babineau, president  and CEO of Lifespan in a message to the hospital community.

James Baumgartner / RIPR

Even though they are illegal, it’s the season of March Madness and gambling pools.

Now, an East Providence state representative wants to make those bracket basketball bets legal in Rhode Island.

Rep. Gregg Amore, a Democrat, has introduced a bill to make `social gaming’ in private residences, taverns and private clubs legal, so long is there is a `social relationship’ among bettors and no person other than bettors receive anything of value.

Wikimedia Commons

This week marks two holidays honoring St. Patrick and St. Joseph, the patron saints of Irish and Italian-Americans. All of this has RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay thinking about the rich history of Irish and Italian immigration in Rhode Island and the recent debates about new immigrants. 

RIPR FILE

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence, today announced his support for providing Rhode Island drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants.

In his statement, Bishop Tobin noted that Catholic bishops in the United States have supported enactment of comprehensive immigration reform. ``Until that finally happens, particular, ad hoc issues such as providing drivers licenses for undocumented individuals will inevitably arise,’’ said Tobin.

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