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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The Bottom Line
1:17 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

The Bottom Line: Healthsource RI Starts Second Round Of Open Enrollment

This week Rhode Island Public Radio's political analyst Scott MacKay joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Scott talk with Christine Ferguson, director of Rhode Island health insurance exchange, Healthsource RI.  They discuss the challenges facing the exchange as it heads into its second open enrollment period even as its future remains up in the air.

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

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On Politics
3:44 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

If Sanders runs for president, Tad Devine is in

If Bernie Sanders, Vermont’s left-leaning U.S. senator, decides to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, one Rhode Islander who will be on his team is veteran Democratic political consultant Tad Devine.

Devine, who has held top roles in the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, Mike Dukakis and Al Gore, has had Sanders as a client, going back to the 1990s, when Sanders held Vermont’s lone seat in the U.S. House.

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On Politics
3:51 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Raimondo A Plurality, Not Majority, Governor. Time For Runoffs?

Democrat Gina Raimondo won the governor's seat with 40 percent of the vote. Should RI hold runoff elections?
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Once again, Rhode Islanders have elected a governor with far less than a majority of the vote. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what we can do about this.

The boisterous cheers among delirious Democrats crammed into the Providence Biltmore’s 17th floor ballroom on election night have barely quieted. You can’t blame them for hoisting drinks and shouting themselves hoarse:  Gina Raimondo became the first woman to win election as Rhode Island's  governor and the only Democrat to capture the state’s highest elected office since 1992.

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On Politics
3:45 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Shekarchi, Grant And Duffy Appointed To Raimondo Transition Team

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo, the day after her victory with husband Andrew Moffit.
Credit John Bender / RIPR FILE

With reports from Ian Donnis, RIPR political reporter

Gina Raimondo’s first transition three transition team appointments reflect three Rhode Islanders from the worlds of politics and business, say Statehouse sources.

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On Politics
7:00 am
Wed November 5, 2014

The East Side, Where It All Began For Cianci, Spurns Him

Buddy Cianci on election night
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Among the grand ironies of Rhode Island politics is that Providence’s East Side, the neighborhood that vaulted Buddy Cianci into City Hall 40 years ago in his first upset victory for mayor, proved to be the impregnable roadblock to Cianci’s mayoral redemption tour yesterday.

When the returns rolled in last night, it was evident that when the East Side neighborhood votes were tallied, Democrat Jorge Elorza had rolled up such big margins that there was no way Cianci had a chance at an improbable Last Hurrah victory.

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On Politics
5:15 am
Wed November 5, 2014

The Genesis Of Gina Raimondo's Candidacy

Gina Raimondo announces her bid for governor back in January.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

At the Democratic victory party at the Providence Biltmore Hotel late last night, no one had a wider smile than Kate Coyne McCoy, the longtime advocate for electing women to political office in Rhode Island and around the nation.

``Twenty years ago, I was walking up the stairs to this room (the 17th floor ballroom, where media and pols meet on election night) with Myrth York,’’ recalled Coyne McCoy. ``It was an awful night.’’

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On Politics
9:07 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

East Side voters snub Buddy Cianci

Buddy Cianci’s steep hill : Results from the Hope High School polling place on Providence’s East Side. The results show a huge landslide for Democrat Jorge Elorza. Elorza had 823 votes in the precinct, Cianci pulled a paltry 163 and Republican Dan Harrop had 31.

The same polling place carried good news for Gina Raimondo, who polled 805 to Allan Fung’s 151 and Bob Healey’s 50. Thanks to Brown super intern Emily Woolridge for harvesting these results.

On Politics
5:35 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Senate control at stake for Jack Reed

As U.S. Senate returns flow in later this evening from around the nation, the Rhode Island politician with the most at stake is U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, who is expected to coast to reelection.

First elected in 1996 to the seat held for 36 years by the late Claiborne Pell, Democrat Reed has accumulated enough seniority to become  chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, a crucial post for Rhode Island’s defense industry and the U.S. Navy installation in Newport that is anchored by the Naval War College.

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On Politics
4:51 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Voter turnout high in Newport's 5th Ward polling place

Newport voter turnout, likely driven by the casino referendum at Newport Grand,  is high. That report comes from old friend and former great ProJo reporter Brian C. Jones.

As of 3:30 about 820 of the estimated 2,200 voters eligible to cast ballots at the city’s `Fifth Ward’ polling place at Rogers High School had voted. Election officials said that there have been a steady stream of voters all day.

As the late U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill  so famously said, ``All politics is local.’’

On Politics
5:16 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Where the R.I. governor race will be won/lost

Latest talk among Democratic operatives: Optimism about Elorza in Providence, worry about Raimondo in governor's race. If she loses there will be lots of second-guessing her general election campaign.

The Rhode Island gubernatorial election between Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung has become much closer than anyone thought even a month ago. Raimondo’s lackluster general election campaign, which followed a very well done primary effort, is surely part of her problem.

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