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
3:02 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: The Providence Mayoral Campaign 11th Hour Scramble

Providence City Hall. The democratic primary for the mayor's office is now down to two candidates: Jorge Elorza and Michael Solomon.
Credit RIPR FILE

The Providence mayoral campaign has featured more twists and turns than a Grand Prix auto race. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what’s next in the run for City Hall.

This we know about Providence politics: One person’s backroom deal is another person’s noble gesture.

That is what voters will decide in the September 9 Democratic primary, when the favorite, City Council president Michael Solomon, faces off against Jorge Elorza, a law professor and political neophyte. (Perennial fringe candidate Christopher Young is also in the mix).

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On Politics
3:33 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Raimondo creates Narragansett Brewing jobs in New York, Massachusetts not R.I.

Rhode Islanders of a certain age well remember the `Hi Neighbor, Have a `Gansett’ television advertising campaign  that pushed Narragansett Beer, which in days of yore was brewed in Cranston. Now Gina Raimondo is using an old timey Narragansett commercial to tout her campaign for governor.

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On Politics
2:45 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Providence East Side: Where democracy flourishes in House District 4

While pols and pundits lament the lack of competition in R.I. House elections across Rhode Island – almost half of all lawmakers are unopposed – that isn’t the case on Providence’s East Side House District 4.

The seat opened up after the incumbent, former House Speaker Gordon Fox, stepped away after his capitol office and home were raided by state and federal agents in March. Fox hasn’t been charged with any crimes yet, but he wisely decided against running again.

Three well-qualified Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination in the September 9 primary.

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On Politics
5:38 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

RI ConCon Issue Simmers At Statehouse

A battle is brewing over a Constitutional Convention at the Statehouse. Some view it as an important legislative tool, others a way to easily put controversial measures on the ballot.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

As the battle over whether to hold a Rhode Island Constitutional Convention simmers on the back burner in the dog days of August, the debate is taking shape.

Every 10 years, Rhode Island voters must decide whether to hold a so-called ConCon, which is comprised of citizen delegates elected from Rhode Island’s 75 House districts. This time, the discussion is largely along ideological lines, with more conservative groups favoring a convention and liberal and moderate organizations opposed.

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On Politics
4:00 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Congressman Fernand St Germain Dies At 86

Fernand St Germain
Credit Wikipedia

Former U.S. Rep. Fernand  "Fred"' St Germain, who rose from modest roots in French-Canadian Woonsocket to become one of the most powerful politicians in Washington, D.C., only to meet defeat in 1988 among allegations of ethical misconduct, has died. He was 86.

St Germain, a Democrat, first elected in 1960 with President John F. Kennedy, was known for paying vigorous attention to constituent services and bringing federal programs, especially housing for the elderly, to Rhode Island.

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On Politics
12:10 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

RIP. U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords; Ally To John Chafee

It was an improbable tableaux that unfolded in a hotel overlooking Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont, on the afternoon of May 24, 2001: A man so unassuming he was known as `Geesum Jim’, from a state of scant consequence in American politics, changed the course of the most powerful government on earth merely by saying he no longer believed in the Republican Party he grew up in.

That was the day then-U.S. Sen. James M. Jeffords, universally known as ``Jim’’ stood in a hotel ballroom and told the world why he was leaving the Republican Party to caucus with U.S. Senate Democrats.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
3:56 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Down To The Wire In Providence Mayoral Campaign

Jorge Elorza, Brett Smiley, and Micheal Solomon, are coming down to the wire as the Democratic primary for Providence Mayor draws close.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

With three weeks to go, the Providence mayoral campaign is heating up. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what to look for in the Democratic primary as the days dwindle down.

One of Rhode Island’s favorite spectator and participant sports has long been Providence mayor elections. A mélange of circus, street theater and rugby scrum, this year’s campaign is bound to land in the capital city’s political Hall of Fame, and perhaps, shame.

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On Politics
11:34 am
Fri August 15, 2014

The Power Of Incumbency: Reed To Bring Obama Administration Officials To R.I.

For some indication of what Sen. Jack Reed’s reelection campaign will look like: Today’s  announcement of top Obama Administration officials who will be visiting Rhode Island in the coming weeks.

On Monday, August 18, Jane Chu, chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts will touch down in Pawtucket, Providence and East Providence to meet with non-profit and community leaders and local artists.

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On Politics
3:28 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

RI Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.7 Percent In July

Rhode Island's unemployment numbers ticked down this July.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate has inched down again, from 7.9 percent in June to 7.7 percent in July, according to data released today by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

The 7.7 percent rate is the lowest level since June, 2008, according to figures compiled by the DLT.

The number of Rhode Island based jobs increased by 1,200 from June 2014 and 5,600 since June 2013.

The estimates for nonfarm payroll in the Ocean State was 477,800 in July, the highest number since September 2008.

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Politics
8:56 am
Tue August 12, 2014

U.S. Senator Jack Reed On U.S. Foreign Policy, Corporate Taxes, And The Start Of Campaign Season

Democrat Jack Reed has served in the U.S. Senate since 1997, and is gearing up for yet another campaign season. He faces Republican Mark Zaccaria.
Credit RIPR FILE

U.S. Senator Jack Reed is gearing up for yet another campaign cycle.  Reed, who’s held his Senate Office since 1997 will face Republican Mark Zaccaria in the November general election.

Reed stopped by Rhode Island Public Radio to speak with our political analyst Scott MacKay about the crises at our borders and abroad, Rhode Island’s economy, and hitting the campaign trail once again.

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