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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

R.I. Public Radio’s Political Roundtable to visit URI

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

Oct. 18 is date for 1-hour discussion on hot election issues

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 9, 2012 – Fans of Rhode Island Public Radio’s Political Roundtable will be treated to a full hour of lively political and election analysis as the show visits the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston Campus, Thursday Oct. 18.

Scott MacKay, political analyst, Ian Donnis, political reporter, and Maureen Moakley, commentator and URI professor of political science, will take the stage from 7 to 8 p.m. in historic Edwards Auditorium for Political Roundtable-Live!

The event is free and open to the public, but those interested in attending are encouraged to register at http://tinyurl.com/URI-RIPR. The audience will be invited to ask questions at the conclusion of the panelists’ discussion.

The Political Roundtable is a 10-minute segment usually recorded in the station’s Providence studio. The University will host the live recording of a special hour-long program that will be aired on Sunday Oct. 21 at 11 a.m. The University will also provide a full video recording of the event at URI.edu, which will be posted after the radio broadcast.

Last year, a Rhode Island Public Radio panel discussion on wind turbine projects slated for just off Block Island drew a standing-room-only crowd to URI’s Lippitt Hall.

“Rhode Island Public Radio’s Political Roundtable is appointment listening for voters and office holders alike,” said Joe O’Connor, general manager of Rhode Island Public Radio. “It is a delight to be able to record a live edition of ‘The Roundtable’ at URI, long a supporter of Rhode Island’s NPR, during this historic election season.”

“We are honored to welcome the Rhode Island Public Radio Political Roundtable to the University,” URI President David M. Dooley said. “We had a lively discussion about wind turbine development last year, and this month we expect another captivating discussion, this time on the major political issues of the day. We thank the entire Rhode Island Public Radio team for partnering with the state’s flagship University. In these most contentious times, it is important to spotlight the important work of public radio and its dedication to accurate and thorough reporting delivered in compelling and entertaining fashion.”

The panelists will discuss such topics as the First Congressional District race between incumbent Democrat David Cicilline and Republican challenger Brendan Doherty, the impact of the election on the next General Assembly session, gambling, and campaign financing's impact on local and national elections.

Panelists’ thumbnails:

• Scott MacKay
earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and history from the University of Vermont. With his wealth of knowledge of local politics, it was a given that he would become a commentator for The Political Roundtable. A former political reporter for The Providence Journal, MacKay has spent more than 30 years documenting the ins and outs of politics in Rhode Island and New England.

• Ian Donnis is no stranger to Rhode Island politics. Having served as news editor for The Providence Phoenix for almost a decade, he's also been a regular panelist on WPRI’s Newsmakers program since 2003. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University and gained experience working with The Worcester Telegram & Gazette and The Associated Press.

Donnis' accolades include awards from the Rhode Island Press Association, the New England Press Association, and Rhode Island for Community and Justice.

• Maureen Moakley's extensive experience analyzing political trends make her a vital member of The Political Roundtable team. She holds a doctorate in political science from Rutgers University. A URI professor, she teaches American government, state politics and political theory. Moakley is the author of several books, including one on Rhode Island politics, and has written numerous articles and chapters on politics in Rhode Island and New England.

In addition to her work at Rhode Island Public Radio, Moakley is a regular political commentator on A Lively Experiment, a program that addresses state politics on Rhode Island’s PBS channel. Moakley enjoys lending her academic experience to efforts aimed at expanding local programming, and she identifies her work on Political Roundtable as one of the real highlights of her week.