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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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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On Politics
2:26 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Elorza's Inauguration Day Challenges And Opportunities

Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza takes office Monday, January 5th.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Jorge Elorza this afternoon will be inaugurated Providence’s mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the challenges the new mayor faces.

After impressive primary and general election  victories, law professor Elorza takes over the spacious second-floor office in the capital city’s Beaux-Arts City Hall. Since his election he has wisely reached out to the city’s warring political and ethnic tribes as he prepares to govern a 21st Century ancient New England port that had its beginnings in the 17th Century.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
3:46 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Time To Help The Homeless This Holiday Season

Take time to give back this holiday season.
Credit RIPR FILE

Tis the season to be Jolly. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay reminds us that not everyone enjoys the holidays.

For most Rhode Islanders, this is a sacred time of the year. As we gather together with friends, family and food, most of us will be giving thanks and turning our thoughts to those New Year’s resolutions.

Yet, before the first strain of Auld Lang Syne is sung on New Year’s Eve, we all need to take a  moment or two to remember that not all of us are surrounded by family, opening gifts, dipping into the eggnog and tossing another log on the fire.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
2:57 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Time To Focus On R.I. History In Our Public Schools

In this age of STEM and standardized tests, are we teaching enough Rhode Island history in our public schools?
Credit First Student Company

It sometimes seems as if all of our contemporary debates over education revolve around high-stakes testing. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says our schools are neglecting an important topic that isn’t tested.

Trying to figure out what’s happening in education nowadays is an exercise in futility. You have to learn a new language suffused with psycho babble and techno-speak:  educators use terms  like rubrics, social-emotional learning and  site-based management..

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On Politics
4:25 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Is The Mattiello-Paiva Weed Geezer Tax Cut Plan Realistic?

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed propose ending taxes on pensions and social security.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s Democratic General Assembly leaders want to exempt pensions and social security from state income taxes. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if this makes sense in our cash-strapped state government.

House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, have both said that one of their top priorities when the Assembly convenes in January is legislation that would end income taxes on pensions and social security.

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