Scott MacKay commentary

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island politics is once again enveloped in the economic rating game. Some national rankings show the state’s economy to be doing well, while others don’t. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay is skeptical of all the rankings, ratings and lists.

The CNBC business network recently ranked Rhode Island at 45 out of 50 on its 2018 list of the top states for business. Business Insider's web site put Rhode Island much higher, stating it has the ninth best business climate in the country.

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Rhode Island Democrats have been beset by battles over women’s rights and the direction of the party. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says voters -- not party bigwigs—will decide these issues. 

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Narragansett Bay is alive with sails, the spectacular sunsets burst into pink and plum streaks and fireworks flash and linger across the night sky.

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As the Rhode Island General Assembly session winds down, the political campaigns ramp up. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay talks this week about issues that aren’t getting enough attention from the pols.

Rhode Island’s last two governors - Lincoln Chafee and Gina Raimondo - were elected with far less than 50 percent of the vote. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says Maine may have a better way of electing governors.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo recently announced her reelection campaign with a splashy tv ad. The spot is airing as the governor faces criticism after a state lawyer dropped the ball on a big case involving Medicaid payments. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses this development and its potential impact on the governor’s campaign. 

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Health care costs for poor residents keep increasing in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if one of these state governments is giving some businesses a free ride.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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