Scott MacKay Commentary: 'Twas The Night Before Christmas At The RI Statehouse

Dec 15, 2017

As we near the end of 2017, Rhode Island Public Radio Political Analyst Scott MacKay has been reflecting on the year in politics and the year ahead. Today he brings us his annual ode, 'Twas the night before the New General Assembly session, with thanks to poet Clement Moore. 

'Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through the Rhode Island Statehouse, the pols were stirring, with the Senate calling the House a louse.

Senate President Ruggerio and House Speaker Mattiello were surveying the scene, hoping the new session will be more serene. If there’s a deficit, Speaker Nick, no saint he, will take the axe to any line item except phasing out the the car tax.

If there’s trouble with the budget, maybe the pols will fudge it, let the Assembly shine and adjourn on time.

Governor Raimondo flipped the switch on the Christmas tree; she said it was all in fun, unless Linc Chafee decides to run. Then the guv scrubbed her office with Brillo, saying thanks for running as an independent to Joe Trillo.

Governor Gina was quite zealous, but Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s approval rating was making her jealous.

Senator Josh Miller’s collar was  hot, peeved  that the governor won’t legalize pot.

Patricia Morgan’s head was swimmin’, with visions of a big turnout of Republican women.

Mayor Fung, once quick with a quip, now only wants to talk about UHIP.

The teachers union was getting huffy, upset that on bargaining the governor listened to Tim Duffy.

The stockings were hung in the rotunda with care, in hopes the lobbyists soon would be there.  Bearing gifts with a thrill they raced off to the Capital Grille. Frank McMahon called to barkeep Paul, saying set us up with drinks for all. Bill Murphy arrived quick as a flash; he says he’ll  pay his tab with defendants ‘ cash.

The Statehouse parties were toned down this year, less ho, ho, ho and no mistletoe.

Don’t mess with an intern,  guys, or you’ll  face Teresa Tanzi and the new intern czar, Bea Lanzi.

When out on the South Lawn there arose such a clatter, lawmakers sprung from their chambers to see what was the matter. Away to the windows they ran in a dash, hoping their reelection dreams don’t turn to ash.

The senators and reps were on a fund-raising mission, praying they don’t run afoul of the Ethics Commission.

Mayor Elorza was feeling the tension, flummoxed by the Providence pension.

Abortion debates have of late been quite mellow, but that’s about to change thanks to Edie Ajello.

If you put a right-to-work bill under the tree, you’ll have to deal with labor’s George Nee.

If the pols won’t give the PawSox the field of their dream, watch for Worcester to grab the team.

Bobby Nardolillo was stating his position, hoping Republicans vote for a mortician. Sheldon Whitehouse was huddling with handlers, taking aim at Bob Flanders.

Republicans cite the closing of Benny’s and say Rhode Island can’t compete; guess they don’t know Cardi’s Nick, Ron and Pete.

If you head to Federal Hill for linguini, you may run into David Cicilline.

Cheer for the Celtics to turn around the frown, on Kyrie, Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

It’s Christmas Eve and Hanukkah too. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to listeners near and far, from all of us here at RIPR.

Scott MacKay’s commentary can be heard every Monday on Morning Edition at 6:45 and 8:45 and on All Things Considered at 5:44. You can also follow his political reporting and analysis at our On Politics blog at