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
5:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Some economic truths Rhode Island won't want to hear

Rhode Island’s politicians are talking about the economy again. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay warns of a campaign cliché voters ought to view with skepticism.

As predictable as the turning of autumn leaves, Rhode Island’s political campaigns will once again be filled with talk about creating jobs and jump-starting our stalled economy. Expect to hear the ancient Ocean State chestnut from the pols who’ll say, the biggest economic fear of Rhode Islanders is that their children can’t stay in our state because there aren’t enough jobs.

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On Politics
5:10 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Mighty Muffy: RIP Susan Farmer

Susan Farmer, who in 1982 became the first women elected to statewide office in Rhode Island when as a Republican she ousted a longtime Democratic incumbent to become secretary of state, has died after a protracted battle with cancer. She was 71.

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Politics
5:01 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Rhode Island Remembers Susan Farmer

Susan Farmer was the first woman elected to a state-wide office in Rhode Island when elected as Sec. of State in 1982.
Credit RI PBS

Former Secretary of State and public television executive Susan Farmer has died after a long fight with cancer.

Farmer became the first woman elected to statewide office when she won an election for secretary of state in 1982. Former Providence Journal political columnist M. Charles Bakst said Farmer was the leader in a wave of GOP women winning political office.

“Republicans led the way in this state. Five of the first six women who were elected to office were Republicans,” said Bakst. “She was a liberal Republican. In her day, that was the thing to be.”

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Scott MacKay Commentary
8:05 am
Mon September 16, 2013

It's Time to Rethink Rhody's Tax Structure

The General Assembly has set up two initiatives on taxes.
Credit RIPR FILE

The ancient cliché is that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why it’s time for Rhode Island lawmakers to make a serious study our state’s tax structure.

The ancient cliché is that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why it’s time for Rhode Island lawmakers to make a serious study our state’s tax structure.

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On Politics
3:59 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

RI Taxes and Jobs: Who pays? Who doesn't?

The ancient cliché is that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why it’s time for Rhode Island lawmakers to make a serious study of our state’s tax structure.

With Rhode Island’s economic recovery still trailing our New England neighbors, there is no better time for the General Assembly to launch a measured study of the way we levy the taxes that pay for roads, schools and social services.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
8:48 am
Mon September 9, 2013

The New Face Of the Governor's Race

Following Lincoln Chafee's departure from the 2014 governor's race, potential candidates to come into sharper relief.
Credit RIPR FILE

Governor Lincoln Chafee’s departure from next year’s Rhode Island governor’s campaign has scrambled the field. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay takes on the new generation of leaders likely to vie for the Statehouse.

Whatever you think of his governorship or his policies, Chafee’s decision to drop out of the race passes the torch to a new generation of Rhode Island politicians. Unless you live in a yurt or have totally abandoned following state government, you’ve probably heard of Angel  Taveras, Gina Raimondo or Allan Fung.

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On Politics
5:54 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

What Chafee's pullout leaves

Governor Lincoln Chafee’s departure from next year’s Rhode Island governor’s campaign has scrambled the field. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay takes on the new generation of leaders likely to vy for the Statehouse.

Whatever you think of his governorship or his policies, Chafee’s decision to drop out of the race passes the torch to a new generation of Rhode Island politicians. Unless you live in a yurt or have totally abandoned following state government, you’ve probably heard of Angel  Taveras, Gina Raimondo or Allan Fung.

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On Politics
5:07 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Chafee heads to Quebec for energy conference

Governor Lincoln Chafee heads to Quebec this week for the 37th annual conference of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers.

On the agenda are the region’s energy future and such related concerns as bringing more Canadian hydro-electric power to New England from the huge Hyrdo-Quebec dams in the northern part of the province.

Chafee is a long-time proponent of hydro-electric energy, which is more environmentally friendly than fossil fuel sources and is cheaper than such new renewable sources as off-shore wind turbines.

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On Politics
5:05 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Chafee's departure

In a Rhode Island political career spanning nearly 30 years, Lincoln Davenport  Chafee has marched, Thoreau-like, to his own drummer. This afternoon, the state’s 74th governor, a man who tried to do his best in the worst of times, showed the state once again that he follows his own compass, announcing  he will not seek reelection in 2014 to the governorship he won narrowly in 2010.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
8:58 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Unions and the Future of America's Middle Class

The independent man, who stands atop the RI statehouse, may need to climb down and join a union.
Credit RIPR FILE

Today we celebrate the glorious history of the American labor movement. While unions have a storied past RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what the future holds.

Labor Day in Rhode Island has long been more than a summer’s end holiday. For decades, union leaders and their members have celebrated a movement that assimilated immigrants, fought vigorously for better pay and working conditions and was a fulcrum in the creation of a strong middle class.

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