Scott MacKay's Commentary

Monday 6:35 AM and 8:35 AM

Podcast available HERE.

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 weekly commentator for RIPR on Ocean State politics.  He also sits on the RIPR 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.

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On Politics
2:11 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: The PawSox Baseball Move to Providence: Good or Bad?

McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, the current home of the PawSox
Credit RIPR FILE

The debate over moving the Pawtucket Red Sox from McCoy Stadium to a new ball park in Providence is raging. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for serious study, not hyperbole.

Tis the season of renewal: Easter, Passover and daffodils. Along with the longer days comes the return of baseball to New England. It may be hard to believe after our  harsh winter, but in two weeks the season opens at Fenway Park in Boston and at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket.

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On Politics
2:08 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Time For A Rhode Island Pension Deal

Votes are set to be cast this week for a settlement in the state's pension lawsuit.
Credit RIPR FILE

Once again, Rhode Island politics is ensnared in a public employee pension controversy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time to put this issue in our collective rear view mirror.

It’s well past time to get beyond the noisy debate over public employee pensions in Rhode Island. It’s a joust that has ensnared  the Statehouse for more than a generation. It has long pitted the business community against public employees and their union leaders, fractured relations between conservatives and liberals and led to tortuous attempts for years to shore up the system.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
4:22 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Raimondo's Budget Politics

Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Gov. Gina Raimondo has proposed her first state budget. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay looks at the politics of our new governor’s taxing and spending plan.

It’s difficult to argue with the rhetoric behind our new governor’s $8.6 billion budget plan. In her televised address from the Statehouse last Thursday evening, Raimondo outlined her goals in a convincing fashion, hitting all the high notes.  Her smorgasbord of ideas provides a little something for everyone.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
2:57 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Raimondo's Budget Challenges And Secrecy

How will Gov. Gina Raimondo's first budget drama play out?
Credit RIPR FILE

Gov. Gina Raimondo is scheduled to release her first state budget on Thursday. Part of the challenge is to slash a projected $190 million deficit.  So what will get cut? RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay tells us what to watch out for.

There is that ancient Statehouse cliché: If you want to figure out what a governor’s priorities are, check out the budget. Rhode Islanders get their first look at what our new governor, Gina Raimondo, values when she releases her spending and taxing plan for state government on Thursday.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
4:39 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Why So Few RI Building Trades Workers At EB Quonset Jobs?

General Dynamics Electric Boat's manufacturing site at Quonset Point in South County
Credit RIPR FILE

R.I. politicians love to talk about job-development plans. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why they aren’t  doing more to ensure that Rhode Islanders are hired for the Electric Boat expansion in Quonset.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
4:10 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: More Than Meets Eye In Rep. Joe Almeida Arrest?

Rep. Almeida in Feb.2015
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Once again, a Rhode Island General Assembly member has been arrested.Rhode Island Public Radio's political analyst Scott MacKay on why the charges against Rep. Joseph Almeida don’t fit the usual pattern.

The Rhode Island state police have nabbed Providence State Rep. Almeida for allegedly misappropriating about $6,000 in campaign money for personal use.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
2:22 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Changing Of The Guard In R.I. Education Leadership

Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Big changes are in the offing for Rhode Island public education policy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what’s at stake.

After six years as Rhode Island’s top education guru, education commissioner Deborah Gist is headed to her native Tulsa to become school superintendent. Eva-Marie Mancuso, chairwoman of the state education board, is out. Barbara Cottam is slated to become the new leader of the board as Gov. Gina Raimondo puts her stamp on arguably the most important mission of government, educating  the young.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
3:12 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Whither The PawSox?

The fate of the Pawsox staying in Pawtucket is unclear. Gov. Gina Raimondo said she has not talked with Red Sox owners about keeping them here.
Credit File/Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Islanders have been transfixed lately by snow drifts and the Super Bowl. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time to look ahead to spring and the return of baseball.

Has dealing with that white mountain in your driveway reminded you that one never has to shovel humidity? Do you yearn for a sport where the balls can be scuffed, but not deflated?

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On Politics
2:17 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: On MLK Day, Let's Finally Address Public Employment For Minorities

Scott MacKay says the state needs to increase the number of minorities holding public sector jobs.
Credit RIPR FILE

Today is the annual Martin Luther King Jr., holiday. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay ponders what we can do to advance King’s legacy in Rhode Island.

The great civil rights leader’s legacy will be celebrated across  Rhode Island today in song, sermon and remembrance.  Voices will echo with the strains of James Weldon Johnson’s `Lift Every Voice and Sing’ and that iconic anthem of the civil rights movement, `We Shall Overcome.’

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Scott MacKay Commentary
3:02 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Behind The Warwick Airport Development Blossom

T.F. Green Airport in Warwick has helped spur economic development in the city, in ways not seen in other parts of the state.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Warwick has become a Rhode Island economic success story. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses what the rest of us can learn from the state’s second-largest city.

One afternoon about 15 years ago, Lincoln Chafee and Scott Avedisian hiked up to the top of the parking garage at Green State Airport. As jets lifted off,  they looked at the huge swatches of undeveloped land nearby. Both quickly came to the same conclusion.

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