Scott MacKay's Commentary

Monday 6:45 AM, 8:45 AM, and 5:44 PM

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.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island voters head to polls in primary elections Wednesday. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has been thinking about what’s at stake as candidates jockey for positions in the November midterm elections.

RIPR file photo

It’s Labor Day, when we honor workers and the unions that gave them better lives. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says this year’s big labor issue is the fate of public employee unions, following asignificant Supreme Court decision. 


The Pawtucket Red Sox drew fans to McCoy Stadium with the slogan “where the dreams begin.” With the team’s decision to move to Worcester,  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it makes Rhode Island seem more like where baseball dreams die


Elisabeth Harrison

The election season starts early next month with primaries in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Rhode Island Public Radio Political Analyst Scott MacKay takes this opportunity to consider New England’s history of restricting who can cast ballots. 

ThisIsBossi / Flickr

Truckers are now paying tolls on the Rhode Island side of on Interstate 95. They've racked up more than a half million dollars in just the first month of the tolling program.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says that’s hardly the end of this debate.

  

‘Tis the season of road and bridge construction. It seems like you can’t drive anywhere without encountering the pungent odor of fresh asphalt, the drone of backhoes and long lines of the unofficial summer state tree --- the orange highway cone.

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.

RIPR File

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. 

RIPR File

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

RIPR FILE

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. 

RIPR File Photo

Americans have jousted over abortion for decades. Some supporters of abortion rights thought the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that permitted legal abortions would end the debate. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says they were wrong.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

The U.S. Supreme Court has overthrown a ban on sports betting. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay looks at the pros and cons of allowing states to legalize wagering on sports. 

Scott Avedisian is leaving after nearly two decades as Warwick’s mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay caught up with Avedisian last week on his final day in office.

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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.

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