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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On Politics
5:42 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Watering down NECAP diploma requirement

One of the most contentious issues in education remains high-stakes testing. In Rhode Island most of the strum and drang revolves around the New England Common Assessment Program Test.

This year, for the first time, R.I. high school seniors will have to pass the NECAP test to get a diploma. But the Rhode Island Department of Education, with little fanfare, on January 3rd issued a waiver policy that has been slowly circulating among education wonks and professionals around the state.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
3:54 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: The Rhode Island Politics Of Poverty

What hand does politics play in the state's poverty?
Credit Don Boorman / RIPR

From the Vatican to the White House and the Rhode Island Statehouse, the talk these days is about poverty. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what our small state can do to alleviate this scourge.

The Gospels tell us that the poor shall always be with us. Pope Francis has dedicated the early months of his papacy to highlighting the need to help the poor and plane the rough edges from unfettered capitalism.

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On Politics
5:51 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

First woman firefighter recruit finishes atop new Providence class

Mayor Angel Taveras reports that for the first time in the 159-year history of the Providence Fire Department, a women recruit –Alison Philbrick, 28, of North Providence – is graduating at the top of the 54-member recruit class.

The new recruits range in age from 20 to 44, include 20 Providence residents and three women. Four grads are military veterans, two of whom served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This year marks the 50th class of fire academy graduates in Providence.

Scott MacKay Commentary
5:02 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Hello To The 2014 General Assembly's 2013 Hangover

Credit RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s General Assembly convenes a new session Tuesday. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why this year’s legislature may sound a lot like last year’s.

By now, most of us have cleared our heads of those New Year’s  hangovers. That’s not the case for Rhode Island’s 113 lawmakers.

The 2014 Assembly that convenes tomorrow will resemble nothing so much as the …2013 Assembly. The reason for this is all too evident:  As has too often been the case, the Smith Hill Crowd decided not to decide some big, prickly issues last session.

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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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