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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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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On Politics
12:31 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Buddy Cianci Diagnosed With Cancer, Says Prognosis Good

Former Providence Mayor Vincent `Buddy’ Cianci Jr., is being treated at Miriam Hospital for rectal cancer. Cianci, WPRO’s chief talk show host and a political analyst for ABC 6 said in a news release, ``I have been absent from the airwaves for the past week due to hospitalization for a recent diagnosis of cancer.’’

Cianci, 73,  said that medical opinions indicate that ``the cancer is completely curable’’ and that the prognosis ``is for a full recovery.’’

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Pension Overhaul
9:29 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Exploring RI's Closed-Door State Pension Mediation

The two sides in Rhode Island’s ongoing lawsuit over the state’s pension overhaul meet today to update a judge on their efforts to reach a settlement.  The case has been in mediation for about a year now, but

little is known about how the closed door negotiation has been playing out. The outcome could have a major impact on the state’s bottom line, since architects crafted the pension overhaul to reduce the amount of money Rhode Island has to pay to retired state workers.

For more insight, we turn to Rhode Island Public Radio’s Political Analyst Scott MacKay.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
5:01 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: The Clay Pell Dilemma In RI Governor's Race

Will Clay Pell be sitting in the Governor's office in 2015?
Credit RIPR FILE

Political pundits love to emphasize that campaigns matter.  Clay Pell better hope that adage rings true if he hopes to be Rhode Island’s next governor, says our resident pundit, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay.

Herbert Claiborne `Clay’ Pell  IV is the grandson of a legendary Rhode Island U.S. Senator, a Harvard University graduate  and at just 32 years old, possessor of a resume that would be the envy of many a decade or two older.

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RI News
12:57 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Brown Provost Schlissel Is New U. Of Michigan President

Brown's Provost will leave his post to become President of the University of Michigan.
Credit RIPR FILE

The University of Michigan has tapped Brown University provost Mark Schlissel as its new president. Schissel, who has served as Brown provost since 2011 will become Michigan’s 14th president.

Michagan is known as one of the nation’s top public universities with an annual budget of $6 billion a year, an enrollment of 44,000 students and a workforce of about 22,000.

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On Politics
4:07 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

RI: Be Careful when cutting business regulations

One of the biggest nostrums these days from conservatives and some elements of the business community is that our governments, at both the state and national levels, should cut down on regulation and oversight of business.

While it makes sense to streamline regulations that hamper small business, in particular, it is also instructive to parse our history for instances where lax regulation caused pain for our people and our economy.

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