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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RIPR FILE

Some good news for Gov. Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island General Assembly in the latest revenue numbers for fiscal year 2016 from the state Department of Revenue.

Through January, both the personal income tax collections and the sales tax receipts are exceeding state projections. Income tax collections are running nearly four percent –3.8 percent—ahead of estimates. The sales levy is bringing in 3.4 percent more than estimates.

Gage Skidmore / Southern New Hampshire University/flickr

Rhode Islander Tad Devine is the chief messenger for insurgent Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay caught up with Devine recently to talk about Sanders surprising success.

President Obama intends to appoint Providence native Tom Donilon, the president’s former National Security Advisor, to be chairman of the federal  Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, according to a top White House aide.

Mr. Obama also intends to tap Sam Palmisano, former CEO of IBM, as the vice-chairman of the commission.

It’s that time of the year again – As the song trills: It’s Follies Time at The Veeeenus De Milo!

Longtime Rhode Islanders know what that means. So for the uninitiated, or if you’ve been living in a yurt for the past year, the event is always held the last Friday in February, which is Feb. 26th this year. It is the social and political event of the season -  the Providence Newspaper Guild’s annual Follies show at the Venus de Milo in Swansea, Mass.

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As the nation pays its final respects to Antonin Scalia, the brilliant legal scholar and conservative U.S. Supreme Court justice, one interest group breathing a sigh of relief is organized labor, particularly the public employee unions.

That’s because one of the crucial cases likely to be affected by Scalia’s passing is the future of public employee unions. Under a California legal joust that was decided in favor of the unions in the lower courts, a union’s right to charge dues to members who are not union members, but are part of a collective bargaining unit, was up in the air.

Federal Wildlife Service

Rhode Island’s New England neighbors are moving aggressively forward with legalizing marijuana. RIPR political analyst says the Ocean State shouldn’t be last to tap a new source of state money.

Whatever you think about legal marijuana, it is difficult to defend the current prohibition of the weed. 

New Hampshire Public Radio

The only sure element of the 2016 presidential sweepstakes, in the aftermath of the New Hampshire primary , is that both Democrats and Republicans now face long nominating battles.

The party elites hate this – short and sweet nominating contests work best for them. Long campaigns drain money and effort away from the general election and create internecine jousts. That doesn’t mean, as in the Democratic battle of 2008, that the primary wounds can’t be healed, but it does take time.

cmh2315fl / flickr

The moment of truth in the presidential primary campaign comes tomorrow as voters in New Hampshire head to polls for the New Hampshire primary. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay, who has covered Granite State primaries since 1980, has a roadmap to the contest.

Mourners can pay respects to the late Buddy Cianci at City Hall on Saturday and Sunday (Feb 6 and 7). His body will lie in repose at City Hall from noon to 6 p.m. both days. Those wishing to pay respects should enter via the Washington Street City Hall entrance.

John Bender / RIPR

Billy Reynolds, the longtime Providence Journal columnist who is one of the nation’s very best basketball writers, has written a remarkable new book entitled Hope: A School, A Team, A Dream.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Islanders will have a  chance to pay final respects to Buddy Cianci later this week, when his body lies in repose at City Hall. Even in death, Rhode Islanders debate the legacy of Providence's longest-serving mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay shares his thoughts on Cianci.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In Providence and in Rhode Island, Buddy Cianci was one of the most influential political figures of his generation, as well as one of the most controversial. His time as Providence mayor was marked by significant economic redevelopment, but also marred by violence, cronyism and corruption.

Greg Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons License

Former Rhode Island Republican governor Lincoln Almond has agreed to support former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. Almond says he believes that Bush is the best choice among the large field of Republican presidential aspirants.

``I’m very friendly with the Bush family and have been for many years,’’ Almond said in an interview. Almond cited Bush’s tenure as Florida governor and his leading role in education policy.

RIPR FILE

The Providence College Friar's men's basketball team faces off Tuesday night against the Xavier University Musketeers. Rhode Island Public Radio political commentator, and sports nut, Scott MacKay, talks with veteran Providence Journal sports columnists Bill Reynolds, about what to watch out for.

Gas prices in Rhode Island and Massachusetts  continue to drop. That’s the latest word from the American Automobile Association.

Gas prices have dropped by three cents per gallon in both states. The Triple-A’s survey of prices in Massachusetts finds the average gallon of self-serve, regular unleaded gas at $1.84 per gallon.

The Rhode Island, that same gallon carries an average cost of $1.91. ``Crude oil prices haven’t been this low since 2003,’’ says Mary McGuire, AAA spokeswoman.

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