Scott MacKay commentary

Elisabeth Harrison

Providence County is participating in a trial run of the 2020 U.S. Census. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay traces how something that shouldn’t provoke controversy has become partisan.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Baseball is back in New England this week, as both the Boston Red Sox and the Pawtucket Red Sox begin their home seasons.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if Rhode Island state government can forge a new stadium deal to keep the PawSox in the Ocean State.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

It’s well past time for the Statehouse scofflaws –Governor Gina Raimondo’s administration and the General Leadership—to be held accountable for the latest embarrassment.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The first public opinion poll of the 2018 Rhode Island campaign for governor shows a near dead heat between Republican Allan Fung and incumbent Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo.  RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay parses the bad news for Raimondo.


Providence Preservation Society

Brown University plans to demolish several historic houses on Providence’s College Hill to make way for a new arts center. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay hopes the university hasn’t set this proposal in concrete.


Those of us of a certain age recall when Republicans were the party of fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets. They were guys who wore horn rimmed glasses, charcoal suits and skinny ties and went to the Rotary and Lions. On Sunday mornings, they were in church or on the golf course. They all liked Ike, except for a few National Review-reading conservatives who wanted smaller government and thought Eisenhower was running  a “Dime-store New Deal.”

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Rhode Island state government tackled public employee pensions in a landmark 2011 retirement system overhaul. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says that law didn’t end the local pension obligations that still haunt many communities.


Aramil Liadon / CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

In the famous words of an old friend and colleague Charlie Bakst (the ProJo’s longtime political columnist, when the state’s largest newspaper had such a position), I’m getting cranky.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo went off on the local media at a Brown forum this week. Among her complaints: the Providence Journal is no longer what it once was, television news has become more sensational and talk radio is, well, silly (those were not her exact words, but we get her drift). Sam Howard at RIFuture.org, and my friend and partner in crime here at RIPR Ian Donnis, have both written thoughtful things about this and I commend them.

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Political scientists recall a time when elected officials campaigned for office, then laid off the political pitches while they governed. RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay says those days are long gone.  

Ximena Conde / RIPR

President Donald Trump’s administration is seeking to reverse the Obama administration’s policy of deferring deportation of young immigrants brought to this country illegally as children.  

The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives / CC BY-ND 2.0 Via Flickr

It’s Labor Day, the holiday celebrating working people. That got RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay thinking about unions, and the decline of organized labor in the private economy.  

RIPR FILE PHOTO

This summer, there was good news and bad news for public employees.  RI Gov. Gina Raimondo vetoed legislation that would have kept their labor contracts in effect while a new contract is under negotiation.  But the governor allowed a measure to make it easier for police and firefighters to get tax-free disability pensions. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says Raimondo may have gotten her priorities wrong on these bills.  


RIPR FILE PHOTO

Now that the latest Republican effort to replace the Affordable Care Act has failed, RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time to resurrect some ideas with roots in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  


RIPR

The National Governor’s Conference brought leaders from around the world to Providence to discuss such topics as trade, climate change and the opioid crisis. RIPR Political analyst Scott MacKay says this was a sharp contrast with Rhode Island, where lawmakers can’t even figure out how to approve a state budget. 

Manuel C. Correira / RIPR

Few institutions in our society remain relevant for more than two centuries. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay takes us to his adopted hometown of Bristol, where the 232nd Independence Day parade steps off Tuesday.

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