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
1:35 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Pension settlement and polls: The 2014 RI Governor's race

This week brings crucial developments in the 2014 Rhode Island governor’s race: tomorrow a WPRI-Providence Journal public opinion survey releases veteran pollster Joe Fleming’s numbers on the race. Then on Wednesday, the most important new twist comes when the legal settlement in the 2011 state public employee pension overhaul is made public.

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On Politics
1:38 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Steven Smith stepping down as Providence Teacher Union president

Steven Smith, a former state representative and the longtime president of the Providence Teachers Union, is retiring.

Smith says his retirement after 33 years as a teacher and union leader is scheduled to be considered by the Providence School Board at a meeting tomorrow.

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On Politics
5:29 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

A sensible undocumented immigrant driver's license plan

One sensible solution for the controversy over Rhode Island licenses for undocumented immigrants: give out special licenses so long as the motorist takes the drivers’ test in English.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
4:06 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Where To Put The Probation Office?

Downtown Providence, recently proposed as a location for a state probitition office.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / RIPR

The plan to locate a state probation office on Fountain Street in downtown Providence is dead. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the debate on where it ought to go may be just beginning.

After an outcry ignited by Angus Davis, one of Rhode Island’s top young high-tech entrepreneurs, Governor Lincoln Chafee’s administration has pulled back a proposal to move a state probation office from a gritty South Providence neighborhood to a downtown venue nestled among the Providence Journal Building, The Rhode Island Convention Center and the Providence Biltmore Hotel.

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On Politics
12:23 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Older Rhode Islanders remember a real Blizzard: 1978

Some of you younger people may think we are in the middle of a snowy winter here in Rhode Island.  

Those of a certain age know better. Thirty –six years ago today, on Feb. 6, 1978, the sky opened with snow that didn’t stop for more than 24 hours.  Providence received two feet of the white stuff in the first 24 hours and more than 4 feet blanketed Woonsocket.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
2:59 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: RI Political-Economic Reality and Myth

What's really to blame for the state of Rhode Island's economy?
Credit Don Boorman / RIPR

Every serious candidate says Rhode Island’s poor economy is the top issue in this year’s governors’ race. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for Rhode Island to sort economic myth from reality.

Say hello to any of the five major candidates for governor and you’ll get a marathon run of rhetoric on the need to create jobs in our struggling state.  On the Republican side, Ken Block and Allan Fung have both talked about ushering in a better business climate, lowering taxes and looking for ways to save taxpayer money.

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Artscape
9:59 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Rhode Island Artscape: In Conversation With RI Author Rosemary Mahoney

Sabriya Tenberken, Rosemary Mahoney, and Scott MacKay
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

In this month’s Artscape, RI Public Radio’s Scott MacKay speaks with Rhode Island author Rosemary Mahoney.  Mahoney spent time in India and Tibet volunteering at a school for the blind.  Her new book about that experience is entitled `For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind.’

She spoke with Scott MacKay in our Providence studios.

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On Politics
4:19 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

New Poll shows RI voters favor legal pot

In the run up to a Super Bowl between two teams from states that have legalized marijuana, thus giving whole new meaning to the term Bud Bowl, pollsters are taking the pulse of public opinion on  the issue in other states.

Today, Public Policy Polling released a public opinion survey that shows 53 percent of Rhode Island voters support changing the state’s laws to sell, regulate and tax pot in a manner similar to alcohol.

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On Politics
5:54 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Fall River and Foxwoods to announce casino plan tomorrow

In what would be a serious threat to Rhode Island’s state gambling revenue stream, Fall  River is eyeing yet another attempt to enter the casino market.

Mayor William Flanagan has scheduled an announcement for Tuesday on a deal for a $750 million casino in the seen-better-days onetime textile center in  southeastern Massachusetts that practically straddles the R.I. border, according to several Massachusetts media outlets, including WBUR.

Partnering with Fall River would be Foxwoods, the Connecticut-based tribal gambling empire.

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On Politics
4:53 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Patrick Kennedy endorses Seth Magaziner for RI Gen. Treasurer

Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy has endorsed Seth Magaziner  for the Democratic nomination for Rhode Island state general treasurer.

In a news release, Kennedy said, ``I am proud to support Seth because I know he is the best candidate to move Rhode Island forward.’’

Kennedy also said, ``Not only will bring a steady hand to the state’s finances, he will bring new energy and fresh ideas that will put Rhode Islanders to work and make our state competitive in the 21st Century economy.’’

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