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.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Former Gov. Donald Carcieri has finally broken his silence on 38 Studios. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay on what the former governor did not say.

It was a grim-looking Don Carcieri who ended his retirement hiatus from media scrutiny with an interview with WPRI-TV's Tim White. If not contrite about the disaster that was the state's $75 million investment in the video game company, the former governor at least took responsibility for pushing the deal.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Chafee didn't have to do an intergalactic search to find the person best qualified to run the state's latest effort to extend health insurance to all citizens. For once, the person best suited for the job is a Rhode Islander, Christy Ferguson of Jamestown.

PROVIDENCE, RI – The crash of the 38 Studios-Curt Schilling video game deal has sent shivers through Rhode Island's economic development efforts. Rhode Island Public Radio Political Analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts on how we can get our jobs mojo back.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

PROVIDENCE, RI – When it was proposed two years ago, the plan to build a new $60 million nursing school in Providence's Jewelry District was what politicians, business leaders and educators like to call a "win-win."

The idea was to put a 121,000 square foot school near the sprawling near the sprawling Rhode Island Hospital, Women & Infants and Hasbro Children's Hospital campus. It was to be shared by URI and RIC.

PROVIDENCE, RI – The cliche that organized labor controls the General Assembly has become one of the biggest fallacies in Rhode Island politics, as Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay explains.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

PROVIDENCE, RI – The campaign for Congress in the 1st district is shaping up as Rhode Island's most exciting election this year. Rhode Island Public Radio's Scott MacKay wonders if candidates can deal in issues rather than slogans.

Scott MacKay's commentary can be heard every Monday on Morning Edition at 6:35 and 8:35. You can also follow his reporting and analysis at Rhode Island Public Radio's "On Politics" blog.


After more than two decades of progress against the scourge of domestic violence our state appears to have recently fallen behind.

A report done by the Justice Assistance group shows that between December 1, 2011 and February 3, 2012 that nearly 60 percent of domestic abuse cases in Rhode Island District Courts resulted in charges being dismissed.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Proust had his madeleines. New Englanders have our own rituals that connect us to our collective childhood. One of those vivid memories is the first time you went to a baseball game at Fenway Park or McCoy Stadium.

Providence, RI – Should Providence city government address its deficit mess by declaring bankruptcy? Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay says this is no panacea for the red ink in the city budget.

Staff photo

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island's U.S. Senate election this year ought to generate interest, excitement and debate. But so far it has yielded only yawns, says RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay.

Last week's Brown University public opinion survey carried some bad news for incumbent Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. Almost 60 percent of respondents think the Newport Democrat is doing only a "fair" or "poor" job. And his good or excellent ratings are only about 30 percent.

PROVIDENCE, RI – There has been more rhetoric than reality in the latest dispute between Brown University and Mayor Angel Taveras and his city council allies. With city government awash in red ink, the pols are hungrily eyeing the tax-exempt Brown property on College Hill as a source of sorely needed money.

PROVIDENCE, RI – As 2011 winds to a close, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it's time to reflect on the contributions of some Rhode Islanders who won't be around to celebrate the New Year.

That nostalgic Scottish ballard Auld Lang Syne will be sung over and again this New Year's Eve as we toast the end of the year with a cup o' kindness.

The question Robby Burns asks in this anthem is timeless: Should those we loved and knew be forgotten?

PROVIDENCE, RI – More and more holiday shoppers are buying presents online. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay tells us why this is bad for both mom and pop stores and state government.

Rhode Islanders of a certain age will remember when the only mention of a mouse and Christmas came during annual recitations of Clement Clarke Moore's classic poem, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Islanders pretty much always know where U.S. Sen. Jack Reed stands on issues. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has found a hot-button social issue on which Reed has been mum.

Jack Reed has long been Rhode Island's most respected political figure. Even in the anti-Washington and anti-incumbent swirl that has enveloped the nation's capitol, every Rhode Island public opinion survey for years has shown high job approval ratings for Reed.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Both sides are impassioned in the debate over the pension overhaul. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay reminds us that in order to fix this critical problem, everyone must be willing to compromise.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.