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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Scott MacKay Commentary
1:30 am
Sun August 25, 2013

RI Can Do Younger Citizens a Favor by Investing More in URI

Out-of-state tuition at URI for 2012-13 was $23,156, according to data from the New England Board of Higher Education.
Credit file / URI

The days are getting shorter, our cobalt coastline is cooler. The rhythms of fall return. In our cozy corner of New England, a timeless harbinger of the season is students thronging college campuses.

Behind the teary parental goodbye hugs and lugging the laptops to the dorm looms an uneasiness in the realm of higher education these days. Students loaded down with mountains of debt graduate into an uncertain economy. ``Do you want fries with that diploma’’ is the gallows humor of our age.

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On Politics
3:04 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

URI: University in RI or University of RI?

Even President Obama is talking about rising college tuitions as students return to campus. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay  talks about what this all means for our flagship public university, the University of Rhode Island.

The days are getting shorter, the breezes off our cobalt coastline are cooler. The rhythms of fall return. In our cozy corner of New England, a timeless harbinger of the season is students thronging college campuses.

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Affordable Care Act
2:59 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Conversation: What RI’s Health Insurance Exchange Means for Residents

Starting October 1st, Rhode Islanders can start signing up for health insurance through an online marketplace that’s a cornerstone of what’s known as Obamacare. The marketplace will offer a number of insurance plans for individuals, families and employers.  It is being run by the state, and on Tuesday the state released how much the plans will cost.

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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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