Scott MacKay commentary

The recent 38 Studios lawsuit disclosures have provided an inside view of how Rhode Island state government let you down. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay points to other state agencies in dire need of oversight.

One of the most damning aspects of the 38  Studios disaster was the utter lack of monitoring of the $75 million taxpayer-backed subsidy to the failed video game company.  Investors were promised that IBM would offer an independent, third-party check on the firm and its performance.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The 38 Studios lawsuit disclosures have once again cast a cloud over the Rhode Island Statehouse. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders when Rhode Islanders will finally be fed up enough to bring change to Smith Hill.


Once again, a Providence mayor is ensnarled in a bitter battle with a city employee union, in this case, the firefighters. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if the capital city should go back to the future with city workers.

The plan for a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox in Providence has hit a roadblock. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses how this field of dreams turned into a nightmare.

AFGE / flickr

While the Donald Trump surge in the Republican presidential sweepstakes has dominated media coverage among GOP hopefuls, the Democratic side has been suffused with reports about Hillary Clinton’s foundering campaign and her drop in public opinion poll favorability ratings.

Wikimedia Commons

For  workers and unions, there hasn’t been much to celebrate on Labor Day in recent years. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says things may finally be looking up.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Students head to classrooms this week in the annual back-to-school ritual. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says this should be the year our public schools embrace teaching history and civics.


Opponents of mandatory HPV vaccinations want the Rhode Island General Assembly to stop requiring the vaccines for all seventh graders. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if  politicians should be allowed to interfere in medical decisions.


Rhode Island’s two U.S. senators, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, announced today that they will be supporting President Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement.

In a joint statement, Reed and Whitehouse said the agreement is the best way to ensure that Iran does not manufacture nuclear weapons.

Reed said he supports the deal, ``because it cuts off Iran’s pathway to a nuclear weapon and gives international inspectors unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and supply chains.’’


Gov. Gina Raimondo wants to attract more tourists to Rhode Island. As summer winds down, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some ideas.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Alan Fung says he is sorry for police misconduct on his watch. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay assesses the damage to the once-promising political career of Republican Fung.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo wants to raise the salaries of some of Rhode Island’s top state employees, a move Republican State Chairman Brandon Bell calls ``absurd.’’  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the latest dust up over state employee salaries.

There’s a Rhode Island cliché: Question: Which state worker makes too much money? Answer: Anyone who makes more than I do.

AFGE / flickr

Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders has become the leading challenger to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay, a former Vermont reporter, spent a few days in the Green Mountain state parsing the Sanders campaign.


Work is the fulcrum of social mobility in our country. In Rhode Island, lawmakers have approved an increase in the minimum wage. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says that falls far short of what’s needed to help the working poor.

Democrats claim to be the party of working people. Come campaign season, Democratic candidates boast at every turn that they care about ``working families’’ more than Republicans, the party Democrats brand as the tool of the rich and the one-percent.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Every Rhode Islander knows our state’s roads and bridges need repairs. Yet lawmakers closed up shop at the General Assembly without taking action on a plan to raise the money via truck tolls. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what the General Assembly needs to do to pay for the needed fixes.

Despite six collegial months, the General Assembly did not have a happy ending. The 2015 session crashed and amid the usual Smith Hill blame game. Several big issues were left without resolution, notably a plan to shore up the state’s aging bridges and roads.