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.

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.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) RIPR Political Commentator Scott MacKay analyzes why the state does not have a functioning Board of Education.

Photo by: RIPR file

PROVIDENCE, RI – With a new year comes the inevitable round of Rhode Island political prognosticating. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says anybody who says they know what is going to happen probably doesn't.

The past often provides a roadmap to the future. This is the case with Rhode Island political predictions. Every election cycle one candidate or another becomes ```the lock,'' the overwhelming favorite to become the next governor or senator or congressional representative.

PROVIDENCE, RI – After the usual starts and sputtering stops, it looks like the combatants in the state public pension joust will be sitting down to try to forge a compromise on the legal issues that have landed Rhode Island's landmark pension overhaul in court.

Photo: RIPR file

PROVIDENCE, RI – One of the reasons President Obama won a convincing victory was the overwhelming support he got from Latino voters. But Providence Mayor Angel Taveras tells RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay that Republicans have a future with Latino voters.

Photo credit: US Capitol

PROVIDENCE, RI – Americans love to lampoon our lawmakers. From Mark Twain to Jon Stewart, senators and representatives have been juicy targets for pundits and satirists. What student of history can forget Twain's famous dictum that Congress is the nation's only native criminal class. Or that history, in the immortal words of Karl Marx, repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. What we are witnessing in Washington, D.C. as the days dwindle to the New Year is more Groucho Marx than Karl.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Once again, the holidays in Rhode Island are greeted by pitched battles over the public symbols of Christmas. Why we all can't embrace the true meaning of this season?

For a clue as to why little of consequence gets done at the State House, we bring you to the annual capitol kerfuffle over the lighting of the soaring evergreen tree that marks the arrival of the Christian Advent celebration.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island is now the only New England state without marriage equality. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says this would change if the business community supports marriage equality.

As gay marriage gains momentum from the Pacific northwest to the shores of Maine, Rhode Island is getting ready for another round of debate at the State House over marriage equality.

Photo: RIPR file

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island's state pension overhaul faces a Superior Court hearing next month. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if its time for the parties to negotiate.

Our state's landmark pension overhaul heads to Superior Court on December 7. Rhode Islanders of a certain age recall that as the day that lives ``in infamy,'' in the immortal words uttered by President Franklin Roosevelt, to a stunned nation in 1941 after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Photo: RIPR file

PROVIDENCE, RI – From the White House to the State House, Republicans were blown out last week. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what's next for the beleaguered Rhode Island GOP.

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