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

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February is black history month, a time when we celebrate the contributions of African-Americans. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says that when it comes to the Rhode Island judiciary, there isn’t much to cheer.


The days are getting longer. The General Assembly is back. And yes, the pols have been cooperating – from the White House to the State House –with the usual shenanigans.

The last Friday in February is fast approaching. Rhode Island political junkies know what that means – as the song trills – It’s Follies Time at the Veeeenusss  DeeMilo, the Veeenus….

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Barrington middle schools have decided to end publicizing its student honor roll. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if this is a good idea.  


Courtesy of Whitehouse office.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., took to the Senate floor this evening to back colleague Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, who was stopped from reading a letter in the Senate from civil rights icon Coretta Scott King about Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, President Trump’s nominee for U.S. Attorney General.

John Bender / RIPR

The NFL is designed to be the parity league. Dynasties aren’t supposed to happen. A limit on player salaries  allots each team the same payroll. Last place teams get the top college draft choices; first place get the last picks.

The Patriots have shattered that image and the NFL's design.  The Brady-Belichick era has produced five super bowl titles, the most improbable on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

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As the Trump Administration’s policies strike fear in immigrant communities, it’s a good time to reflect on how immigration has made Rhode Island. It’s also time for some of us to consign to history’s dumpster the immigration myths that too often ill inform the public.

A coalition of six mayors of Rhode Island cities and towns have announced support for Gov. Gina Raimondo’s plan to guarantee two years of tuition-free college at the state’s public higher education institutions.

The mayors are Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, Cumberland Mayor William Murray, Central Falls Mayor James Diossa,  and Johnston Mayor Joe Polisena.

John Bender / RIPR


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Organized labor has faced tough times in recent years as manufacturing has moved abroad, Republican governors and legislators have gone after public employee unions, and weak labor laws make union organizing more difficult.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Monday we renew a tradition at Rhode Island Public Radio: our recurring series  "One Square Mile." It’s designed to take you deep inside one  Rhode Island community and bring you insights about the people and places of the Ocean State. 

Elisabeth Harrison

The multi-million dollar investment it would take to upgrade McCoy Stadium, home of the Pawtucket Red Sox, or raze the ballpark and build a new one on the same site, is not worth a big public  investment, according to a  long-awaited engineering and economic report released Friday.

Elisabeth Harrison

Maybe all you have to know about Gov. Gina Raimondo’s free tuition plan is this: Americans with no more than a high school education have now fallen so far behind in salaries that the earnings chasm has reached its widest point on record.

While all the chatter in Democratic Party circles is on boycotting and protesting Donald Trump’s inauguration, Rhode Island Republicans are planning a celebration of their candidate’s ascension to the White House. The Rhode Island Republican Party is hosting an Inauguration Watch Party at GOP state headquarters at 1800 Post Road in Warwick, in Airport Plaza. There will be a potluck buffet and beverages. The headquarters is outfitted with a bevy of large screen television sets to watch the changing of the guard in Washington, D.C.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island dropped 1,000 jobs in December even as the state’s unemployment rate inched down to 5 percent, from 5.3 percent in November, according to data released today by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

The U.S. Unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in December.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo unveils a new state budget proposal to lawmakers on Thursday. She already revealed one of the signature programs– a plan for two years of free tuition at state colleges and universities. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison and Political Analyst Scott MacKay take a look at what to watch in the governor's FY 2018 state budget, and how it’s likely to fare in the state legislature.


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