Scott MacKay's Commentary

Monday 6:35 AM and 8:35 AM

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.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
4:18 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: The Streetcar No One Desires

An artist rendering of the proposed Providence streetcar.

So Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza wants to build a trolley system. RIPR Political analyst Scott MacKay says this is a great idea, but can the city afford it?

Sure, it would  be wonderful to jump on a Providence  trolley system and ride from Brown University, down historic College Hill, to Rhode Island Hospital..

One can even imagine taking the trolley to a spanking new retro baseball stadium along the Providence River to watch the Boston Red Sox top minor league team.

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On Politics
3:59 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Time To Regulate Pot Like Booze?

Credit Federal Wildlife Service

A push to legalize marijuana – once again – has returned to the Statehouse.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses what has become a perennial issue.

Except for speeding on Rhode Island’s roads, is there a law more frequently scoffed at by citizens than the ban on recreational use of marijuana?
As the General Assembly again tackles the prickly issue of legalizing marijuana, it is well beyond the time for rigorous study of a policy that too often devolves into cliché and anecdotal opinion.

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On Politics
3:53 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Tiverton Casino: A Necessary Evil?

Newport voters have fought off a fully fledged casino at Newport Grand Slots Parlor twice in as many election cycles. Now a casino is in the works for Tiverton, and opposition is mounting... will the state ever give up it's love affair with gaming?
Credit RIPR FILE

So Twin River’s parent company wants to build a new casino in Tiverton.   The idea is likely to raise a few eyebrows, but RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it  has to be done.

There are many Rhode Islanders who don’t believe that state government should be in the business of promoting gambling. Those critics point out the lottery games and slot-machine emporiums that speckle New England like daffodils these days are little more than cheap taxes on the poor.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
4:51 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Time For Truly Independent Scrutiny of RI PawSox Deal

Proposal for Providence baseball stadium

The debate over Rhode Island taxpayer support for a new stadium for the PawSox in Providence has started. RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay talks about state government’s next move.

Listening to the opening salvos in the Providence stadium debate reminds one of William Faulkner’s dictum about the American South: "The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.’’

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Scott MacKay Commentary
3:38 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Will A Rising Economic Tide Lift All Boats?

Misquamicut Beach came back after Superstorm Sandy, can RI's economy come back after the great recession?
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island’s foundering economic is again the top Statehouse topic. Political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts as we at Rhode Island Public Radio kickoff our series on our state’s slow recession recovery. 

If Rhode Island was a lake, we’d all be drowning under the weight of decades of reports and high falutin  expert commissions charged with dissecting our state’s economic doldrums. Wonks, business leaders, academics and consultants have produced turgid chronicles – with scant results – on how to heal the sickest economy in New England.

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