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

Another day in Providence, another desultory meeting on the plan to move the Pawtucket Red Sox from McCoy Stadium to a new ballpark to be built on the capital city’s downtown waterfront.

Today’s meeting featured Pat O’Conner, president and CEO of Minor League Baseball, who spoke about the finances of minor league stadiums around the nation at a meeting with reporters, labor leaders and a small group of state lawmakers at the offices of the Locke Lord LLC law firm.

Steve Nardelli, executive director of the R.I. League of Charter Schools, is retiring at the end of June. His post will be assumed by Timothy Groves, former development officer at the R.I. Foundation.

Nardelli has had a long career in Rhode Island education circles, serving as a public school teacher and coach. He was executive director of legislative relations at the Rhode Island Department of Education, where he carved a reputation as an effective Statehouse lobbyist.

The annual Red Bandana awards event, which honors the legacy of social activist and journalist Richard Walton, drew a huge crowd yesterday to Nick-a-Nees in Providence’s Jewelry District for an afternoon of music, fellowship and honors.

Winners of the Red Bandana awards this year were given to Providence College Professor Eric Hirsh for his work with the homeless and to the workers at the Renaissance Hotel who have been organizing for a union.

Will Hart / flickr

Rhode Island’s Episcopal Church is about to unveil plans for a museum and teaching center dedicated to the slave trade. The state has a long and difficult history of involvement  in slavery.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay discussed the proposal with Episcopal Bishop Nicholas Knisely, whose wife happens to work for Rhode Island Public Radio.

St. John’s Cathedral, once the nation’s oldest cathedral parish, sits empty today in a forlorn reminder of onetime greatness.

One of the principals of the new Pawtucket Red Sox ownership has died abruptly and was laid to rest over the weekend.. RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay assays the future of the Providence stadium plan.

Jim Skeffington cut quite a figure in Rhode Island. The Providence native scaled the heights of the legal profession in his hometown and was the go-to-guy for political and business deals. His bespoke bankers’ pinstripes and Ferragamo ties masked a sharp understanding, from the bottom up, of Rhode Island’s florid political and business cultures.

John Bender / RIPR FILE

This story is part of our series “Rising Tide” about how – or whether - Rhode Islanders are emerging from the deepest economic recession since the 1930s. The question we’re asking is: Does a rising tide really lift all boats, or are some Rhode Islanders still being left behind?

Bernie Sanders, Vermont’s left-leaning independent U.S. Senator, is launching his long shot Democratic nomination presidential campaign next Tuesday (May 26th)  with a rally along the Lake Champlain waterfront in his home city of Burlington, where his political career began in earnest with his 1981 upset election in the mayor’s race.

Sanders event will take place at 5 p.m. at Waterfront Park, with a rain venue of Memorial Auditorium a few blacks away on Main Street. Free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream will be served.

Citing economic benefits, the foundation’s Board of Trustees have voted to endorse the proposed relocation of the Pawtucket Red Sox from McCoy Stadium to a new riverfront site in the 195 land in downtown Providence., according to executive director Dan Baudouin of the foundation.

The foundation, a business-backed non profit organization, stated in a news release that state and city officials should pursue a financial partnership that is "fair to all parties."

The sweat box that is the Rhode Island Statehouse in the summer months may become a thing of the past.

Erin Donovan-Boyle has been appointed the executive director of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce.

Donovan-Boyle, who is currently outreach director for U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, has had a stellar career in Rhode Island public affairs and political circles. A former vice-president of the Mayforth Group, Donovan-Boyle has also served as executive director of Ocean State Tall Ships and as campaign manager for former Rhode Island Secretary of State Ralph Mollis.

Doyle will take over at the chamber on June 15, succeeding executive director Jody J. Sullivan, who is retiring.

Scott Mackay RIC commencement 2015
Rhode Island College

RI Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay delivered the commencement speech at Rhode Island College Saturday, May 16th. He was granted an honorary doctorate of journalism. 

Good Morning. Most of you are from Rhode Island and Massachusetts, so you get what I mean: That by virtue of your degrees today, you are all officially "wicket smaht."


Rhode Island’s two U.S. Senators, Democrats Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, were both on the winning side as President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats derailed one of the president’s top priorities, voting to hold up so-called fast track trade authority unless other provisions designed to protect American jobs are included in the legislation.

R.I.P. John Rollins

May 11, 2015

John Rollins, a former Providence city council member, civil rights activist and football star at La Salle Academy and the University of Rhode Island, has died. He was 77.

A witty, warm and friendly man with a wide smile, Rollins surprised Providence’s political community in 1986 when in an upset he defeated City Councilman Lloyd Griffin to win a Democratic primary in the 10th Ward on the city’s South Side.

So Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza wants to build a trolley system. RIPR Political analyst Scott MacKay says this is a great idea, but can the city afford it?

Sure, it would  be wonderful to jump on a Providence  trolley system and ride from Brown University, down historic College Hill, to Rhode Island Hospital..

One can even imagine taking the trolley to a spanking new retro baseball stadium along the Providence River to watch the Boston Red Sox top minor league team.

David Axelrod’s fine and quite well-written new political memoir entitled `Believer: My Forty Years In Politics’ has some interesting insights on Patrick Kennedy’s early career, in which Axelrod had a role.

In 1994, Axelrod, who would later become Barack Obama’s political consigliere, was the media consultant for Kennedy’s first campaign for Congress in Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District. Kennedy, just 26, had served five years in the RI House of Representatives as a rep from Providence’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood.