Scott MacKay Commentary: 'Twas The Night Before Christmas At The RI Statehouse

Dec 16, 2016

'Twas the night before Christmas at the Rhode Island Statehouse and not a creature was stirring or clicking a mouse.

The stockings were hung from the chambers with care, in hopes that St. Nick soon would be there.

Speaker Nick, no saint he, was  up on the third floor, counting  mail ballots with glee.

Governor Gina was down with a touch of the flu. She was warmer, then cooler, then warmer again, yet buoyed by reports of jobs anew.

The I-195 land was glistening, but across town at the Superman Building, no one was listening.

The lobbyists huddled near the Christmas evergreen. On Goldberg,  McMahon and LaRoche. On Farrell, Murphy, Boyle and Rosati. They trimmed their campaign checks to the tree. These folks know that in Rhody politics, nothing is free.

'Cause up on Smith Hill, the lobbyists trill, the next round’s on me at the Capital Grille. Serve them up  Paul, its drinks for all.

Then into the Rotunda walked Lt. Gov. Dan McKee and those gathered round exclaimed, "Who He?"

When out on the lawn these arose such a clatter, the Senate ran to see what was the matter. Senator Miller was in need, of  an ounce of good Paiva Weed.

Rhode Island legal pot may not be nigh, so go to Massachusetts for a hassle-free high.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow, gave the lustre of mid day to the pols below. Majority Leader Joe Shekarchi  was all aglow, back-slapping and winking with those in the know.

The talk show hosts babbling on PRO were running a bit late, telling us all who to hate. And that Trump’s great.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick, lawmakers knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. They watched the sleigh rock and roll, as Santa set his GPS to avoid the toll.

The truckers watched the sleigh ride, figuring money for roads will come out of their hide.

Buddy’s gone and crime is down, but you can still hear him on the podcast Crimetown. Gordon Fox is stuck  in jail; Dan Doyle is out on bail.

Chris Paxson up at Brown, trying to patch the rift between Town and Gown.

Roger Williams Park may be in a tough location, but they’re improving it with help from the Rhode Island Foundation.

In Burrillville they expect snow, but they don’t want the power plant, even if it comes with dough.

In Tiverton they’re filling the slots, with the folks at Twin River calling the shots.

The Block Island wind farm is quite a thrill, until you pay your utility bill.

In Providence if you need a favor, you’ve gotta  put in a call to a guy at City Hall.

Every time you think you’ve got it tough, you could be Sheldon Whitehouse or Jack Reed playing every shot from Republican rough.

Theater lovers flock to Trinity and the Gamm, while basketball fans root for the Friar and Ram.

When the Reindeer finally appear, hit Murphy’s  --  Ruthie will pour you a beer. If you’re on Smith Street, head to Patrick’s for an Irish meet and greet.

If Italian food is your wishes, go to Federal Hill for a feast of Seven Fishes.

For the first time in many a year, it’s Christmas Eve and Chanukah, too, is here. Merry Christmas and  Happy Holidays to folks near and far, from all of us here  at RIPR.

With apologies to Clement Moore. Scott MacKay’s commentary can be heard every Monday on Morning Edition at 6:45 and 8:45 and at 5:44 on All Things Considered. You can also follow his political reporting and analysis at our On Politics Blog at