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 at Rhode Island Hospital.

Follow Scott on Twitter: @ScotMackRI

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Scott MacKay Commentary
9:01 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Scott MacKay Commentary: A Commercial Christmas Can Help The State's Economy

The 2013 Christmas tree at the Rhode Island Statehouse.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

The hours are dwindling to Christmas and the annual shopping frenzy is on.

Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay says we should shop local to support the Rhode Island the Rhode Island economy, and details what Congress can do to help.

Scott MacKay’s commentary can be heard at 6:35 and 8:35 every Monday on Morning Edition and at 5:50 on All Things Considered. You can also follow his political reporting and analysis at our ‘On Politics’ blog at ripr.org.

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On Politics
4:58 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Scott MacKay's favorite books of 2013

In keeping with what has become an annual tradition, here are our 10 favorite books of 2013. In no particular  order, of course.

Good Prose by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd: A wonderful book for the writer on your Christmas list. This inspiring and instructive work is about the partnership of a great narrative writer (Kidder) and his editor (Todd).

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On Politics
3:01 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

So you think your family is dysfunctional? Try to top Rep. Charlene Lima's

So you think you have a dysfunctional family and are dreading the holidays. Well, the odds are very good that your kin are not as divided as that of Rep. Charlene Lima, a Democrat who represents parts of Cranston and Providence.

Lima is married to a former Democratic state representative, Frank Fiorenzano, a notorious  Providence pol who was convicted in the 1990s of obtaining money under false pretenses after he bilked Statehouse employees and other politicians out of thousands of dollars in a doomed Ponzi-type scheme.

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On Politics
11:49 am
Thu December 19, 2013

What the pols can do to help RI small business

The hours are dwindling to Christmas and the annual shopping frenzy is on. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says we should shop local to support the Rhode Island economy and details what Congress can do to help.

The twinkle of  seasonal  lights on new fallen snow are everywhere,  Christmas shopping is in full blush and youngsters are readying for the annual reading of Clement Clarke Moore’s classic `Twas the Night Before Christmas.’

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Scott MacKay Commentary
9:02 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Scott MacKay Commentary: In The Governor's Race, Can Taveras Raise The Money He Needs?

How much does the governor's race in Rhode Island rely on hefty campaign finance?
Credit RIPR FILE

Money isn’t everything in political campaigns. Yet, it is a lot of things, explains RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay who ponders the role of campaign cash in the 2014 RI Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Jesse Unruh, speaker of the California Assembly, coined the term back in 1966. ``Money,’’ said Unruh. ``is the mother’s milk of politics.’’

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On Politics
5:12 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Can Taveras raise enough money to beat Raimondo?

Money isn’t everything in political campaigns. Yet, it is a lot of things, explains Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay who ponders the role of campaign cash in the 2014 RI Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Jesse Unruh, speaker of the California Assembly, coined the term back in 1966. ``Money,’’ said Unruh. ``is the mother’s milk of politics.’’

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RI News
9:02 am
Thu December 12, 2013

What's At Stake In Exeter's Recall Election

Tow Clerk's Office in Exeter
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Voters head to the polls in Exeter on Saturday for a recall election that could send a majority of the town council packing. 

The recall was sparked by a dispute over gun permits.  It started after four out of five town councilors supported a move to put permits for concealed weapons in the hands of the attorney general instead of the town clerk.

Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison sat down with political analyst Scott MacKay to find out what's at stake in this unusual election.

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On Politics
2:51 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Charles Pinning to read from new novel at Brown Bookstore

Novelist Charles Pinning will  be reading and signing his new book tomorrow (Thursday, Dec.12)  at 5:30 at the Brown University book store. Pinning’s new work, entitled `Irreplaceable’ is set in Rhode Island and is about an art theft at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum that is reminiscent of the great, unsolved heist of precious art from the Isabella  Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

The Brown bookstore is at 244 Thayer Street on Providence’s East Side. The store has a café.

Scott MacKay Commentary
5:34 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Scott MacKay Commentary: Providence Journal, We Knew Ye Well

The Providence Journal building in downtown Providence
Credit Emma Ruddock / RIPR

For nearly two centuries, the Providence Journal has been Rhode Island’s most important news organization. Now that it is up for sale, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay brings us the ProJo’s  storied  past and uncertain future.

When the first edition of the Providence Journal  was printed in 1829, it was a four-page broadsheet hand pressed into paper fashioned from recycled linen rags.

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On Politics
1:44 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Herb DeSimone Sr. and Richard Nixon

Herb DeSimone was a respected Rhode Island Republican politician and lawyer. He died last week after a long and distinguished career in the law and politics, having served as RI Attorney General, in the federal government during Richard Nixon’s administration and  twice was the GOP’s standard bearer for governor.

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