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.

Follow Scott on Twitter: @ScotMackRI

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Gov. Gina Raimondo wants to attract more tourists to Rhode Island. As summer winds down, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some ideas.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Alan Fung says he is sorry for police misconduct on his watch. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay assesses the damage to the once-promising political career of Republican Fung.

Elisabeth Harrison

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.  are introducing legislation that would repeal government subsidies that are given to large oil companies via large tax loopholes and tax breaks.

Elisabeth Harrison

Providence College has announced an unusual gift of more than $1 million from a donor who is not from Rhode Island and is not a PC grad.

Dr. Kevin C. O’Kane, who lives on Cape Cod, is a retired professor of computer science at the University of Northern Iowa. He has given PC a $1.3 million pledge that will be used to finance scholarships for students studying computer science, physics or chemistry.

O’Kane made the college a 100 percent beneficiary of his retirement fund because of the college’s faithfulness to its Dominican and Roman Catholic mission.

Kristin Gourlay

Update: Fung says he will address the report tomorrow:

  The state police report  released Monday on the Cranston police department portrays a law-enforcement  force in disarray and infected with dysfunction and political favoritism, including serious failures by Mayor Alan Fung, the Republican candidate for governor in 2014, and members of his administration.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo wants to raise the salaries of some of Rhode Island’s top state employees, a move Republican State Chairman Brandon Bell calls ``absurd.’’  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the latest dust up over state employee salaries.

There’s a Rhode Island cliché: Question: Which state worker makes too much money? Answer: Anyone who makes more than I do.

The Elmwood U.S. Post Office in Providence is being officially named for the late Sister Ann Keefe, a beloved Roman Catholic nun who served for more than 30 years at St. Michael the Archangel parish in Providence.

Sister Ann, as she was universally known, died earlier this year after a long battle with brain cancer at age 62.

The annual Governor’s Bay Day is back, with free parking at Rhode Island’s state beaches on Sunday July 26th.

The day includes family-friendly attractions, including free beach parking, free saltwater fishing without a license and free Rhode Island Public Transit Authority bus rides  on all service to South County beaches on the Route 66 bus (the URI/Galilee route).

``Celebrating Governor’s Bay Day is a chance for all Rhode Islanders to enjoy our great beaches and parks,’’ said Gov. Gina Raimondo in a statement.

Aaron Read / RIPR

A coalition of researchers from Rhode Island’s colleges and universities have released another round of reports on the state’s economy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what will happen to the latest round of research.

If Rhode Island were a bench, it would splinter under the weight of all the blue-ribbon commissions and consultant-generated reports that have for decades weighed in on what ails our state’s economy.

R.I.P. Chris Nocera

Jul 17, 2015

Christopher Nocera, a longtime Providence political operative, Elmhurst neighborhood activist and City Hall fixture, died suddenly last night. He was 60.

A burly man with an infectious sense of humor, Nocera was instrumental in Patrick Kennedy’s 1988 campaign for state representative in Elmhurst and Mount Pleasant that launched the career of  Kennedy, Ted Kennedy’s son, who later became a Congressman. Nocera put together a fine ground voter turn-out effort that propelled Kennedy to victory over then Rep. Jack Skeffington, a Mount Pleasant funeral director.

Aaron Read

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate  inched down to 5.9 percent in June, the lowest level since 2007, the state Department of Labor and Training has announced.

The rate has dropped 1.8 percentage points since June, 2014, when it was 7.7 percent.  The level in May was 6.0 percent. Rhode Island’s jobless rate is still above the national average, which was 5.3 percent in June, six-tenths of a percent lower than in the Ocean State.

In a statement, Gov. Gina Raimondo lamented that Rhode Island is not recovering from the recession as fast as the rest of the country.

RIPR File Photo

A new coalition of community and organized labor groups called `Rhode Island Working Families’ is forming in the Ocean State to lobby the General Assembly and conduct grass-roots organizing around issues dear to working and middle-class families.

So far, the coalition includes Teamsters Local 251, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, the United Auto Workers union, the Restaurant Opportunities Center, UniteHere Local 217, Demand Progress and the Service Employees International Union 32bj.

After six months in office, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has finally appointed an economic development director: Mark Huang, a San Francisco energy developer who also has a military background and worked for General Electric and was involved with start-up firms in sustainability-related sectors.

``I am pleased to welcome Mark to Providence and excited to work with him to craft new economic development opportunities,’’ said Elorza in a statement.

Wikimedia Commons

The murder conviction of a 62-year-old Woonsocket man has been vacated by Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Daniel Procaccini.

The judge cited DNA evidence introduced by lawyers for Raymond 'Beaver' Tempest during post-conviction relief hearings earlier this year. Tempest was convicted in the 1982 killing of Doreen Picard of Woonsocket.

AFGE / flickr

Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders has become the leading challenger to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay, a former Vermont reporter, spent a few days in the Green Mountain state parsing the Sanders campaign.