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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Gun Legislation in RI
2:10 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Why the NRA is Lobbying Lawmakers on Smith Hill

Today on Smith Hill, a lobbyist with the National Rifle Association and a captain in the Rhode Island State Police are meeting with lawmakers for an informal session. They are coming at the request of Woonsocket Democrat Representative Lisa Badelli-Hunt. She says lawmakers need more information if they’re going to intelligently consider gun legislation this session.

Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay joins afternoon host Dave Fallon to discuss the meeting and what it means for gun control measures in the state.  

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On Politics
12:25 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Rhode Island's consolidation blues

RI State Capitol
Credit RIPR file

The high cost of local government in Rhode Island has forever been an issue. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why – even in a recession- our little state can’t make progress on consolidating municipal services.

It seemed like a smart and easy way for both Warwick and East Greenwich to save taxpayer money. In 2011, at the depth of the recession, leaders of the two communities got together to see if they could merge fire dispatch services in a way that would incorporate new technologies and save money.

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On Politics
12:15 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Follies Tickets Still Available

If yesterday’s dress rehearsal is any indication, this year’s Providence Newspaper Guild Follies will be  the funniest in years!

The Follies, of course, is the original spoof in song, skit and stand-up comedy of all things Rhode Island, especially our state’s politicians. This year, among the stars will be Linc, Gina, Angel, Jack, Jim, Sheldon, Elizabeth and David!!

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Scott MacKay Commentary
7:16 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Straight party voting not a simple issue in RI

Just about every good government group in Rhode Island is pushing for an end to the so-called master lever option on state ballots. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why this is not a panacea for what ails our state’s political culture.
 
It has become an article of faith in Rhode Island among the self-styled government reform groups, most statewide elected politicians and the chattering pundit classes that our state needs to get rid of that relic of urban machine politics, the master lever.

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On Politics
5:58 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Chafee raises $$ with Democratic support

Governor Lincoln Chafee tells anyone who will listen that he is running for reelection in 2014, despite poll numbers that show him lagging behind other aspirants, including Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo. Well, Chafee, an independent is getting back into the fund-raising game with a big-ticket fund-raiser in Washington D.C. on Feb. 25, when Chafee is scheduled to be in the nation’s capitol for the winter meeting of the National Governors Association.

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On Politics
5:05 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Cianci Redux?

F. Scott Fitzgerald said famously that there are no second acts in American life. The Jazz Age novelist never met Vincent A. ``Buddy’’ Cianci Jr.

Cianci, believe it or not, is said to be seriously thinking of making one last run for mayor of Providence, the office he left in disgrace in 2002. According to sources familiar with Cianci’s thinking, he would only run, obviously, if he thought he had a chance at regaining City Hall.

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On Politics
6:00 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Eliminating master-lever voting no panacea for RI

Just about every good government group in Rhode Island is pushing for an end to the so-called master lever option on state ballots. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why this is not a panacea for what ails our state’s political culture.

It has become an article of faith in Rhode Island among the self-styled government reform groups, most statewide elected politicians and the chattering pundit classes that our state needs to get rid of that relic of urban machine politics, the master lever.

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On Politics
4:29 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Straight talk on the RI sales tax

It is with a sublime sense of irony that some of us are watching the latest State House utterances about taxes, especially the chatter by state Rep. Jan Malik, D-Warren about eliminating the state sales tax.

``Our sales tax is killing small businesses, especially in border communities,’’ says Malik. Now, there is of course, no conflict with his interest. Our good Warren rep runs a liquor store (full disclosure: yours truly and his better 75 percent shop there) off Route 136 that kisses the Massachusetts border.

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On Politics
2:44 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

A sensible solution to tuition waiver dust-up

Governor Lincoln Chafee seems to have hit upon a simple solution to the tuition waiver issue at state colleges and the University of Rhode Island: require recipients of the waivers to disclose them publicly.

The free tuition plans for faculty families and several other categories of Rhode Islanders became an issue after a Providence Journal investigation revealed that URI allowed an employee of the privately run Institute for International Sport to obtain full tuition by misclassifying her as a university employee.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
10:44 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Time to change our attitude in RI

Another week passes with the usual talk from the Rhode Island political and business elite on economic development. RIPR political  analyst Scott MacKay says its time for some changes in the way Rhode Islanders view our state and ourselves.

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