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.



Scott MacKay Commentary
8:25 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Why no RIC-URI Nursing School project?

PROVIDENCE, RI – When it was proposed two years ago, the plan to build a new $60 million nursing school in Providence's Jewelry District was what politicians, business leaders and educators like to call a "win-win."

The idea was to put a 121,000 square foot school near the sprawling near the sprawling Rhode Island Hospital, Women & Infants and Hasbro Children's Hospital campus. It was to be shared by URI and RIC.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
8:15 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Organized labor and the General Assembly

PROVIDENCE, RI – The cliche that organized labor controls the General Assembly has become one of the biggest fallacies in Rhode Island politics, as Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay explains.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
7:01 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Off to the races in U.S. House One

PROVIDENCE, RI – The campaign for Congress in the 1st district is shaping up as Rhode Island's most exciting election this year. Rhode Island Public Radio's Scott MacKay wonders if candidates can deal in issues rather than slogans.

Scott MacKay's commentary can be heard every Monday on Morning Edition at 6:35 and 8:35. You can also follow his reporting and analysis at Rhode Island Public Radio's "On Politics" blog.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
7:48 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Why are so many batterers getting a free pass?


After more than two decades of progress against the scourge of domestic violence our state appears to have recently fallen behind.

A report done by the Justice Assistance group shows that between December 1, 2011 and February 3, 2012 that nearly 60 percent of domestic abuse cases in Rhode Island District Courts resulted in charges being dismissed.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
7:02 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Spring is officially here; baseball is back

PROVIDENCE, RI – Proust had his madeleines. New Englanders have our own rituals that connect us to our collective childhood. One of those vivid memories is the first time you went to a baseball game at Fenway Park or McCoy Stadium.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
8:36 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Is bankruptcy really the answer for Providence?

Providence, RI – Should Providence city government address its deficit mess by declaring bankruptcy? Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay says this is no panacea for the red ink in the city budget.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
7:56 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Will Whitehouse cruise to a second term?

US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse isn't facing much competition
Staff photo

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island's U.S. Senate election this year ought to generate interest, excitement and debate. But so far it has yielded only yawns, says RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay.

Last week's Brown University public opinion survey carried some bad news for incumbent Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. Almost 60 percent of respondents think the Newport Democrat is doing only a "fair" or "poor" job. And his good or excellent ratings are only about 30 percent.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
8:16 am
Mon January 23, 2012

Taxing Brown, nonprofits not a silver bullet fix for Providence finances

PROVIDENCE, RI – There has been more rhetoric than reality in the latest dispute between Brown University and Mayor Angel Taveras and his city council allies. With city government awash in red ink, the pols are hungrily eyeing the tax-exempt Brown property on College Hill as a source of sorely needed money.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
6:45 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Auld Lang Syne 2011

PROVIDENCE, RI – As 2011 winds to a close, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it's time to reflect on the contributions of some Rhode Islanders who won't be around to celebrate the New Year.

That nostalgic Scottish ballard Auld Lang Syne will be sung over and again this New Year's Eve as we toast the end of the year with a cup o' kindness.

The question Robby Burns asks in this anthem is timeless: Should those we loved and knew be forgotten?

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Scott MacKay Commentary
7:47 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Internet sales taxing local businesses

PROVIDENCE, RI – More and more holiday shoppers are buying presents online. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay tells us why this is bad for both mom and pop stores and state government.

Rhode Islanders of a certain age will remember when the only mention of a mouse and Christmas came during annual recitations of Clement Clarke Moore's classic poem, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

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