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

Ways to Connect

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Dan Doyle, who was sentenced last week to serve seven years in prison for embezzling more than $500,000 from the Institute for International Sport, a non-profit housed at the University of Rhode Island, is asking the Rhode Island Supreme Court to be released on bail pending the appeal of his criminal conviction.

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Rhode Islanders seem to enjoy, or take perverse glee, in running down their state, especially the government. But a new study from the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation shows the Ocean State a national leader in ACA health care. It turns out that of the 20 states and the District of Columbia, where preliminary 2018 premiums and insurer information are available, premiums in the individual markets will rise in every one –except Rhode Island.

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This summer, there was good news and bad news for public employees.  RI Gov. Gina Raimondo vetoed legislation that would have kept their labor contracts in effect while a new contract is under negotiation.  But the governor allowed a measure to make it easier for police and firefighters to get tax-free disability pensions. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says Raimondo may have gotten her priorities wrong on these bills.  


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U.S. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, is calling President Donald Trump’s response to North Korea’s nuclear threat ”not helpful.”

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West Nile Virus has been found in mosquitos collected in Seekonk.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health discovered the virus, which can infect people of all ages. It is commonly transmitted to humans by a mosquito bite. People over age 50 are at a higher risk for severe infection.

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Sylvia Brown is the 11th generation of the Brown family to live in Rhode Island. Her ancestors were crucial to financing an array of grand institutions, including Brown University, Butler Hospital and the First Baptist Church in America. The family was involved in both slave-trading and the abolition movement. 

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Charlie Baker, a Republican in Democratic Massachusetts, is a popular governor.  Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat in a Democratic state, has just middling approval ratings.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay contrasts the political fortunes of these two New England governors. 


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Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Jack Reed is criticizing President Donald Trump’s proposal to ban transgender troops from serving in the U.S. military forces.

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Now that the latest Republican effort to replace the Affordable Care Act has failed, RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time to resurrect some ideas with roots in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  


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A group of more than 20 Rhode Island religious and community groups are calling on the General Assembly to return to the Statehouse to approve a state budget for the fiscal year than began July 1 and approve legislation to limit access to guns for domestic  abusers, grant earned sick time to workers and adopt other measures.

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The latest Rhode Island unemployment data shows anemic job growth, with the unemployment rate inching up to 4.2 percent, which is slightly less than the national rate of 4.4 percent.

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The National Governor’s Conference brought leaders from around the world to Providence to discuss such topics as trade, climate change and the opioid crisis. RIPR Political analyst Scott MacKay says this was a sharp contrast with Rhode Island, where lawmakers can’t even figure out how to approve a state budget. 

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Rhode Island is now a week into a new fiscal year without an approved budget. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the longer this goes on, the worse lawmakers look. 


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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to address the nation’s governors in Providence during the 109th summer meeting of the National Governors Association, which runs from July 13th to 15th.

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City leaders in Hartford, Connecticut’s capital city and once the insurance capital of New England,  have hired an international law firm that has expertise in bankruptcy, the Hartford Courant reported today.

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