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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On Politics
12:52 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Jim Taricani to hang up the trenchcoat

After four decades as one of New England’s top investigative reporters, WJAR’s Jim Taricani is retiring.

Known for his investigative work and political and public affairs reporting, Taricani could cover any story and did. He is smart, aggressive and a tough questioner.  He’s been in this market since Phil Noel was governor.

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Political Roundtable
9:46 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Political Roundtable: Taveras On The Pension Settlement, The Governor's Race And More

Providence Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Providence Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Angel Taveras joins the Political Roundtable this week to talk the Governor's race, the pension reform settlement, and income equality in the Ocean State.

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On Politics
3:53 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Three R.I.-based chefs nominated for James Beard Awards

With the General Assembly off on winter break this week, On Politics turns its eye towards Rhode Island's other favorite indoor sport, eating in local restaurants.

The James Beard Foundation has nominated  three Rhode Island chefs for their prestigious awards that are known as the Oscars of the restaurant world. The three from the Ocean State nominated as best in the Northeast region are Matt Jennings of Farmstead in Providence; Champe Speidel of Persimmon in Bristol and Benjamin Sukle of Birch in Providence.

Scott MacKay Commentary
3:56 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: The New RI Public Pension Reality

An out of court settlement marks the end of a contentious lawsuit over public pensions.
Credit RIPR FILE

In the famous words of Yogi Berra, `it ain’t over till its over.’ RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why that’s the case with the latest twist in Rhode Island’s public employee pension settlement.

In many a long legal  battle, a settlement reached out of court marks the end of a contentious lawsuit. The opposing parties shake hands and sometimes share an odd drop. Then they put the dispute behind them.

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On Politics
3:04 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

RI Pension Settlement more start than end of debate

In the famous words of Yogi Berra, `it ain’t over till its over.’ RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why that’s the case with the latest twist in Rhode Island’s public employee pension settlement.

In many a long legal  battle, a settlement reached out of court marks the end of a contentious lawsuit. The opposing parties shake hands and sometimes share an odd drop. Then they put the dispute behind them.

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On Politics
6:31 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

The Politics of the RI Pension Settlement

In most protracted court battles, a settlement reached after tortuous year-long negotiations marks the end of a lawsuit and allows the parties to move forward. Often the lawyers celebrate and perhaps even share an odd drop together.

That wasn’t the case Friday. The  proposed legal settlement between the state and the unions that represent public school teachers and state employees and retirees is just the beginning of a cumbersome ratification process that is sure to become ensnared in what is shaping up as a contentious political campaign season in Rhode Island.

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RI News
3:43 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

RI Pension Deal Details Unveiled, Pension Board OKs Plan

State treasurer Gina Raimondo and Retirement Board member Michael Robinson announce the 6-1 vote on the proposed pension settlement.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

The state retirement board voted in closed session Friday afternoon to approve a proposed pension settlement. The board met in executive session for nearly an hour, ending in a vote of 6 – 1, with 5 abstentions.

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On Politics
5:13 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Sony, Chafee, 38 Studios and reality

Now comes another high-tech blabber seeking to blame Gov. Lincoln Chafee for the Curt Schilling -38 Studios fiasco that was actually done in the waning days of Gov. Donald Carcieri’s administration.

John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment, slammed Chafee in a series of twitter comments this week. But his arguments are so incongruous that it is very difficult to take him seriously.

It’s more like he has been sampling the new legal stuff in Denver or Seattle.

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On Politics
2:21 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Pension settlement and the General Assembly: Is it doomed this year?

What everyone in the Rhode Island political swirl should understand about the state pension overhaul settlement details that are due for release tomorrow: This is very likely to be only the beginning of a protracted process.

One thing we know for sure. Even if it is fair and reasonable, not everyone is going to like it. Some unionized state employees and teachers will not be satisfied with anything less than a full restoration of the pension benefits that were sliced dramatically in the 2011 special General Assembly pension session.

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On Politics
3:55 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Chafee, Raimondo, Fox, Paiva Weed get closed-door pension briefing

This just in from RIPR's Ian Donnis:

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, State  Treasurer Gina Raimondo, House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Tersea  Paiva Weed met privately at the State House this afternoon for  a 90-minute closed-door briefing on the proposed state pension overhaul legal settlement.

The settlement details are scheduled to be released on Wednesday.  The parties to the pension lawsuit have been under a gag order by Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter for more than a year. None of the state officials in today’s meeting disclosed any settlement details.

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