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
2:30 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Former Channel 12 reporter Raina Smith is new Mollis spokeswoman

Raina C. Smith, a former Channel 12-WPRI reporter, freelance writer and novelist, has been hired by  Democratic RI Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis as his new director of communications. Smith replaces Chris Barnett, who left the secretary of state’s office to take a communications post with the Rhode Island Foundation.

Smith, 42, a North Scituate native who currently lives in Cranston, has her first day on the job today. She will be paid $92,669 annually. She is a 1997 graduate of Rhode Island College, where she majored in communications and graduated cum laude.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
8:39 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Health Insurance Debate Rages On As Obamacare Creeps Closer

HealthSource RI is scheduled to roll out its pricing plans this week.
Credit RIPR FILE

The debate over Obamacare rages from Providence to Pasadena. As the state moves closer to launching its health insurance exchange, Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay parses the arguments and traces the law’s Rhode Island roots.

Ask Rhode Island Republican State Chairman Mark Smiley what he thinks of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare and you’ll get a blunt answer:  He says, ``I hate it.’’

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On Politics
1:24 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

Rhode Island and Leibovich's `This Town'

John O.  Pastore was a legendary Rhode Island political figure, the son of immigrants and the first Italian-American elected as a governor and a U.S. Senator. A dominant figure in state politics, Pastore had a distinguished 26-year tenure  in the Senate and never lost an election in a long career that began in the doldrums of the Great Depression in the General Assembly and ended with his decision in 1976 to retire rather than run again for a seat he would have easily kept.

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On Politics
2:11 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Why does the GOP so fear Obamacare?

The debate over Obamacare rages from Providence to Pasadena. As the state moves closer to launching its health insurance exchange, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the arguments and traces the law’s Rhode Island roots.

Ask Rhode Island Republican State Chairman Mark Smiley what he thinks of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare and you’ll get a blunt answer:  He says, ``I hate it.’’

Smiley’s position is simple and wedded to his party’s national stance: Repeal the entire law and start over. ``Socialism,’’ he says, ``doesn’t work.’’

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Scott MacKay Commentary
8:27 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Little Rhody's Big Image Problem

What's right about Rhode Island, asks Scott MacKay, what about the great restaurants, fresh lobster and miles of beautiful coastline.
Credit file / RIPR

Once again, Rhode Island has embarked on an advertising campaign to raise our state’s flagging self-esteem. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for us to stop running down our tiny corner of New England.

Back in 1996, when Jack Reed was running his first U.S. Senate campaign, Texas Gov. Ann Richards came to Newport to speak at a Reed fund-raiser. The tart-tongued Texan introduced the vertically-challenged Rhode Island Democrat by saying to prolonged laughter that Reed is proof ``that size doesn’t matter.’’

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On Politics
4:10 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

More RI lawmakers decline $307 annual raise

The list of Rhode Island lawmakers who have decided to forego their pay raise is getting longer. According to House leadership spokesman Larry Berman, five members of the House and 10 senators have told the Assembly that they will not be taking the $307 cost-of-living adjustment that all legislators are eligible for under the state Constitution pay provision.

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On Politics
12:37 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Hey RI, lighten up its summah aftah all

Once again, Rhode Island has embarked on an advertising campaign to raise our state’s flagging self-esteem. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says its time for us to stop running down our tiny corner of New England.

Back in 1996, when Jack Reed was waging his first U.S. Senate campaign, Texas Gov. Ann Richards came to Newport to speak at a Reed fund-raiser. The tall and tart-tongued Texan introduced the vertically-challenged Rhode Island Democrat by saying to prolonged laughter that Reed is proof ``that size doesn’t matter.’’

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Higher Education
12:01 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Office of Higher Ed in the Balance

Political Analyst Scott MacKay and Education Reporter Elisabeth Harrison discuss leadership problems at the Rhode Island Office Higher Education, after Governor Lincoln Chafee announced he would rescind his pick for Higher Education Commissioner. The candidate, attorney Eva-Marie Mancuso, raised ethics questions because she chairs the State Board of Education, the same board that would have to vote on her nomination.

  Additional reporting for this story by Ian Donnis.

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On Politics
5:02 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Cicilline to raise campaign cash during Newport Jazz festival

Most folks attending the Newport Jazz Festival this weekend will be at Fort Adams State Park to hear some of the best jazz anywhere. Congressman David Cicilline, the 1st District Democrat, will be use the jazz weekend as an opportunity to hoover up some campaign cash in the seaside city where houses have names.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
8:22 am
Mon July 29, 2013

To Stabilize Power Costs, Rhode Islanders Need to Look North

Our  air conditioners have been working overtime in this steamy summer. Our wallets will be lighter when the electricity bills arrive. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay says to stabilize power costs, Rhode Island needs to look north to Canada.

Flick the wall switch and the lights go on. Turn the knob; the stove heats up. Push a button; the air conditioner hums.

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