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

Pages

On Politics
9:46 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Few sparks in first televised Democratic governor debate

The 2014 Rhode Island campaign for governor began in earnest tonight as Democratic primary aspirants Angel Taveras, Clay Pell and Gina Raimondo met in a live televised debate on WPRI-TV that was far more remarkable for policy agreements than disagreements or the sharp, thrust-and-parry exchanges emblematic of Democratic primaries of yore.

Read more
Scott MacKay Commentary
2:29 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Finally, Smith Hill And RI Colleges Work Together

Rhode Island College, University of Rhode Island, and the Community College of Rhode Island will not see their tuition increase if the state budget is approved.
Credit RIPR FILE

Is Rhode Island government finally waking up to leveraging state colleges as wellsprings of economic development? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay sees some hopeful signs on Smith Hill.

After years of malign neglect of Rhode Island’s public colleges and universities, the General Assembly finally appears to be turning a corner. Several elements in the state budget approved last week by the House Finance Committee show that Statehouse politicians are finally getting the message on the iron link between education and creating jobs in the Ocean State.

Read more
On Politics
9:10 am
Fri June 6, 2014

URI, RIC, CCRI winners in House budget proposal

After too many years of giving short shrift to public higher education in Rhode Island,  the General Assembly and state government appear to have finally begun to reverse this short-sighted policy.

In the budget that cleared the House Finance Committee on a 14 to 2 vote Thursday, the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island have won some important initiatives.

Read more
On Politics
5:18 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

R.I. House finally Ratifies 17th U.S. Constitutional Amendment: direct election of U.S. senators

At the behest of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Cale Keable, D-Burrillville, the Rhode Island House has finally voted to ratify the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,  which reqired direct election of U.S. Senators.

Before the amendment took effect in 1913, senators were elected by state legislators. That system was widely criticized for breeding corruption as senate aspirants bribed lawmakers to secure the votes needed to win senate seats.

Read more
On Politics
4:45 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Educators David and Anne Burnham die within hours of each other

Deep sadness today in the Providence educational community: Anne Burnham and her husband David Burnham, have both died within the past two days. Anne died on June 4 and Dave this morning.

Dave Burnham was the legendary longtime headmaster of the Moses Brown School and the  founding president of the Board of Trustees of Paul Cuffee School  in Providence. As headmaster of Moses Brown from 1978 to 1994, Burnham helped usher co-education back to the college prep school on Providence’s East Side. He also was instrumental in increasing the school’s endowment.

Read more
On Politics
3:48 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Chafee and the RI Economy: Not as bad as media myth

RI job growth

It has become a Rhode Island cliché that Lincoln Chafee is a failed governor because he hasn’t done enough to create jobs in Rhode Island’s flagging economy.  This notion has been driven relentlessly by talk radio shills and the editorial and news pages of the state’s legacy print media outlets, some of which are groping for relevance in a reshaped media environment.

Read more
Scott MacKay Commentary
1:24 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: It's Time To Dump The Rhode Island Estate Tax

Business leaders and conservative groups are pushing lawmakers to change Rhode Island's estate tax.
Credit RIPR FILE

Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it may be time for Rhode Island to get out from under this cliché.

Once again, conservative groups and business leaders are lobbying for big changes to Rhode Island’s estate tax. Called the ``death tax’’ by opponents, this tax is levied upon Rhode Island estates of more than about $922,000.

Read more
On Politics
5:32 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

RI Democratic city and town chairs split on Taveras-Raimondo

The Democratic primary election for governor is shaping up as a close contest between Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

The early Channel 12/ProJo public opinion surveys conducted by veteran Rhode Island pollster Joe Fleming show this to be the case.  Now comes last night’s endorsement confab held at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick by the R.I. Association of Democratic City and  Town Chairs, which failed to reach consensus on an endorsement for governor.

Read more
On Politics
3:21 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Chafee nominates Erickson, Perry to RI Board of Elections

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has appointed a veteran Republican and a veteran Democrat to the R.I. State Board of Elections.

The Republican is Stephen Erickson, a retired state District Court judge and former state representative. Erickson was an associate justice of the R.I. District Court from 1990 until 2010 and was supervising judge in Kent County from 1997 to 2001. He currently is an adjunct professor of law at the Roger Williams University School of Law. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island  and Boston University Law School.

Read more
On Politics
11:35 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Opposing 38 Studios from R.I. Left and Right

A variety of speakers from across the Rhode Island political spectrum will hold a Statehouse rally this afternoon to urge the General Assembly to oppose paying off the 38 Studios bonds.

Among those speaking are Larry Girouard of the R.I. Taxpayers group, spokes people from the R.I. Libertarian Party, the R.I. Green Party and Occupy Providence, the local offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Read more

Pages