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
11:35 am
Sat July 6, 2013

To veto `Chose Life' RI plate or not is Chafee's choice

Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but we have a big crush on license plates. Over the years, there have been family fights over who gets grandpa’s low digit tag and thousands of dollars have changed hands in pursuit of those coveted one, two, or three digit beauties.

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On Politics
2:57 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Some personnel changes in Gov. Chafee's office

Some comings and goings in Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s office:

Jamia McDonald is moving from deputy chief of staff and the governor’s liason to the state’s emergency management agency to become executive director of RIEMA.

Christian Vareika, the governor’s deputy communications director and chief speechwriter, is leaving the administration to attend law school. Vareika worked on Chafee’s 2010 campaign and has crafted major Chafee speeches.

Communications Associate James Alvarez is leaving the administration to pursue a creer in the U.S. Army.

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On Politics
2:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Chafee skeptical about `Choose Life' RI license plate

Gov. Lincoln Chafee is expressing skepticism over the General Assembly’s last-minute license plate legislation that created a special  anti-abortion ‘Choose Life’ plate.

Chafee spokeswomen Christine Hunsinger says the governor has made no decision yet on whether to veto the measure or let it become law but that he is concerned whether ``it is appropriate for money that flows through the Division of Motor Vehicles to go to a religious organization.’’

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On Politics
12:54 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

The Good and Bad of 2013 RI General Assembly

Rhode Island’s 2013 General Assembly made history by legalizing gay marriage. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why lawmakers don’t handle other issues in the same manner.

After a vigorous debate, the Assembly made history in April when it approved same gender marriage, making Rhode Island the 12th American state to sanction gay unions.

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On Politics
12:16 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Will State House hijinks derail Dynamo House nursing plan?

Tis the high season of summer in the Ocean State and the time of hijinks at the State House. As the hours dwindle towards adjournment, items big and small sometimes get lost in the last-minute shuffle as the competing egos in the House and Senate square off.

One very important economic development and education issue to watch: the fate of the resolution needed to move forward the plan to revive a gateway to the old Jewelry District in Providence by putting a nursing school in the old Dynamo Building, the onetime South Street power station.

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RI News
4:31 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Yachting Icon Ted Hood Dies

Ted Hood, the internationally-known yachtsman who skippered the 1974 America’s Cup winner and whose hand-weaved custom sails were used on every Cup winning boat from 1958 to 1977, has died. He was 86.

A native of Beverly, Massachusetts on Boston’s North Shore, Hood started his sail-making company in the back of a tavern in Marblehead, Mass., a sailing mecca. He won an America’s Cup in 1974 as skipper aboard the boat Courageous.

On Politics
2:09 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Chris Barnett leaves Mollis for RI Foundation

In a wise move by the Rhode Island Foundation, the foundation has hired Chris Barnett, press spokesman for Rhode Island Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, to become senior public affairs officer.

Barnett has long been one of the state’s most reporter-friendly and helpful p.r. folks in a number of positions, including Rhode Island Housing. His knowledge of state election and public records and e-commerce laws was top notch and his awareness and concern for media deadlines won him respect over the years from journalists.

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On Politics
4:09 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

The enduring rhythms of a Bristol 4th

Walking the streets of Bristol this week is an exercise in Old Home Week. In the taverns, markets and at the concerts at Independence Park, the historic town is a welter of hugs and handshakes as people who haven’t seen each other in years greet and talk about the old times.

This week is the high social season for Bristol. The hydrangeas are in bloom, the red, white and blue stripe has been freshly painted on Hope Street and the peach and plum sunsets explode over the harbor.

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On Politics
3:22 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Malcolm `Mac' Farmer helping Taveras raise campaign cash

Malcolm `Mac” Farmer III was once one of Providence’s best known Republicans, a city council member with a sharp eye for  financial and legal issues. A prominent lawyer, Farmer was a staunch moderate and supporter of civil rights who was a well-regarded voice of reason on a council riven by ethnic and partisan grandstanding . He is the husband of Susan Farmer, a Republican who in 1982 became the first women elected to statewide office in Rhode Island when she won as secretary of state.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
9:09 am
Mon July 1, 2013

The Repeal of DOMA: An Economic Boon to Rhode Island

When Gov. Lincoln Chafee and gay marriage advocates two years touted its economic benefits for Rhode Island they were widely disparaged. Rhode Island Public Radio's political analyst Scott MacKay explains why Chafee and his allies may well be right.

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