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
5:32 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.

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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.

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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.

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On Politics
12:05 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

De Ramel gets Patrick Kennedy endorsement for RI secy. of state

Rhode Island’s  Democratic secretary of state primary between Newport investor Guillaume De Ramel and Nellie Gorbea is shaping up as one of the state’s most interesting down ballot elections in  this 2014 campaign cycle.

De Ramel will announce this afternoon that he has secured the endorsement of  former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, who represented the state’s First District from his first election in 1994 until he decided against running for reelection in 2010.

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On Politics
1:02 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

R.I. inequality: Get past the cliches and seek solutions

With all the attention given by R.I. media to economic inequality, one wonders why serious discussion of   solutions has gone AWOL.

Just about everybody agrees that inequality has grown for the past three decades. With Rhode Island’s anemic recovery from the Great Recession, the problem is deeper in our small corner of southeastern New England.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
3:13 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Time To Perk Up R.I. It's Summah Fer Gawd Sakes

Rhode Islanders need to focus on all the great things our state has to offer.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Once again, Rhode Islanders are making national news for the low regard we have for our tiny state. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time to stop taking Rhode Island  for granted.

The Gallup poll discovered that Rhode Island is the state least appreciated by its own residents. Just 18 percent of Rhode Islanders said our small slice of southeastern New England was the best place or one of the best places to live.

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On Politics
3:42 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

The inconvenient master lever truth

Here is the voting data:

Providence is Rhode Island’s most diverse municipality. The capital city is home to just about every segment of  Rhode Island’s rich ethnic, racial and socio-economic  mix.

Thus Providence is a reliable prism through which to view the never-ending debate over the master lever. What the data show is that the some of the proponents of abolishing it have, as  Ricky Riccardo used to say to Lucy on the old Lucille Balll Show, ``some 'splanin to do.’’

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On Politics
4:42 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Where is the R.I. Minimum Wage debate?

While economists and media outlets from Providence to Seattle engage in hand-wringing over inequality, Rhode Island’s political leaders seem to have no solutions at all. Smith Hill is bogged down in ridiculous debates over the master lever and the never-ending tsunami that is 38 Studios. Yet, we don’t hear much of anything about raising the state’s minimum wage from the current $8 an hour rate.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
3:40 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: RI Master Lever Myths

State lawmakers have been fighting over the master lever for years, but how much does it really matter?
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Eliminating the master lever in Rhode Island elections is picking up steam in the General Assembly. RIPR political analyst  Scott MacKay says getting rid of straight party voting may be much ado about not much.

The Rhode Island House of Representatives recently voted unanimously to end the so-called master lever, a relic of the state’s urban political machine past. A conga line of statewide elected politicians, from Gov. Lincoln Chafee down to Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, support this change.

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On Politics
2:25 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Chafee blasts Block, Fung on 38 Studios debt. They fire back

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has hammered Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Ken Block, the two candidates vying for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, for their advocacy of defaulting on the 38 Studios debt.

Chafee said in a news release that paying the debt is necessary for the state to continue its recovery from the recession and recoup taxpayer money via the courts.

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