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.

Rhode Island and the rest of New England have become foreign territory for Republicans, says Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay.   

Lincoln Chafee is now the first Democratic Rhode Island governor since the early 1990’s. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what the governor’s party change means for his future.

Don Boorman / RIPR

After the Rhode Island court scandals of the 1990’s, the state changed the way judges are chosen. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay explains why lawyers with Statehouse connections keep getting appointed to the bench … despite the reforms.

Common Cause of Rhode Island, the good government group, the Rhode Island Bar Association and a past president of the NAACP skewered Gov. Lincoln Chafee recently when he elevated former Senate President Joe Montalbano to a coveted judgeship on the state superior court bench.

Jef Nickerson / FLICKR

The Dynamo House, the century-old onetime Narragansett Electric power station, now sits as a forlorn reminder of what once thrived along Providence’s downtown waterfront.  And as Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay notes, it now stands as a guard to the old Jewelry District that state and city officials are trying to rebrand as a Knowledge District.

Rhode Island hasn’t had enough to celebrate lately. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay brings us an anniversary all Rhode Islanders can take pride in next month.

Three hundred and fifty years ago, Rhode Island struck a blow that would reverberate around the globe when England granted the colony a charter that for the first time in the modern world put in place a government that granted absolute religious freedom to its people.

Providence already has too many underused office buildings.  Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay, has some thoughts on what can be done to prevent the Superman building from going dark.

Maybe you were driving home from a night Celtics, Bruins or Red Sox game. Perhaps you visited friends in Boston or were returning from summer vacation on a lake in Vermont or New Hampshire.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to weigh in on same-sex marriage on Tuesday.  Rhode Island Public Radio Political Analyst Scott Mackay talks with us about the significance of the scheduled vote, and what to expect from legislators.  

Forever Boston

Apr 22, 2013

After the mourning comes the reckoning. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why Boston will not only survive, but thrive.

The year was 1976 and Boston, the nation’s birthplace, was celebrating the American bicentennial with paeans to liberty, equality and justice. But the city that spawned the abolition movement and women’s rights was riven by racial division.

The image of Boston that flashed around the world that year was a photograph of a black man being assaulted by an angry white man using as a spear a staff with an American flag.

In politics, as in pensions, assets can turn into liabilities. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if an advocacy group for pension overhaul that doesn’t need to disclose its members has become state Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s Achilles heel.

Governor Chafee has proposed rewarding top state officials with pay raises. RIPR analyst Scott MacKay parses the pros and cons of  the governor’s plan.

Governor Lincoln Chafee says his cabinet members have been doing a good job and deserve raises of three percent in June and another three percent in December. It’s no surprise that the governor has been roundly criticized and not just by the talk radio peanut gallery.

After a long winter, spring officially returns to these parts this afternoon.

In New England, everything old really is new again on the Opening Day of the baseball season. Shortly after one this afternoon, the oldest and most spirited rivalry in all of  American sports begins anew as our Boston Red Sox travel to the Bronx to play the New York Yankees, a club also known in our sliver of New England as The Evil Empire.

Rhode Island lawmakers have spent a lot of  time recently searching for ideas to jump-start the state economy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay suggests they head back to the future.

Hardly a week passes without Rhode Island’s business, political and public policy elite floating yet another plan for digging our state out of its economic rut. The ideas run the gamut; from modest proposals as providing more internships to keep college students in Rhode Island after they graduate to bigger dreams, such as abolishing the state sales tax.

Another week passes with the usual talk from the Rhode Island political and business elite on economic development. RIPR political  analyst Scott MacKay says its time for some changes in the way Rhode Islanders view our state and ourselves.

For nearly a decade every Rhode Island legislative session has brought a florid and divisive debate over immigration issues. First it was whether the state should require all businesses to check the citizenship status of employees by using a federal computer database known as E-Verify.

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee
Ian Donnis

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee delivers his annual State of the State Speech this week. The governor’s words are crucial.

Lincoln Chafee has been governor for two years, but can any of  his constituents honestly point to an accomplishment or speech that addresses our state’s crying need: a better economy that generates needed jobs.