Scott MacKay's Commentary

Monday 6:35 AM and 8:35 AM

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 weekly commentator for RIPR on Ocean State politics.  He also sits on the RIPR 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.

John Bender / RIPR

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders brought his insurgent Democratic presidential primary campaign to Rhode Island Sunday, giving an impassioned speech to 7,000 cheering supporters at a sun-dappled Temple to Music at Roger Williams Park in Providence.

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Providence’s precarious finances are once again the top topic at City Hall. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says capital homeowners should be prepared for a tax increase this year.

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.

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.

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

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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.

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. 

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The presidential primary campaign is in high gear, but Rhode Island gets scant attention from White House hopefuls. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some ideas about how we can change this.

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Once again, Rhode Island lawmakers are ensnared in a joust over extending ethics oversight of the General Assembly. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the measure isn’t likely to usher in change on Smith Hill.

Gage Skidmore / Southern New Hampshire University/flickr

Rhode Islander Tad Devine is the chief messenger for insurgent Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay caught up with Devine recently to talk about Sanders surprising success.

Federal Wildlife Service

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.

Whatever you think about legal marijuana, it is difficult to defend the current prohibition of the weed. 

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.

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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