Ian Donnis

Political Reporter

Ian Donnis has been the political reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio since 2009. The Washington Post has called him one of Rhode Island’s best political reporters. Besides reporting, Ian tweets at @IanDon, hosts RIPR’s weekly Political Roundtable, and contributes to the station’s On Politics blog. He was for many years a regular panelist on WPRI/WNAC-TV’s Newsmakers, is an occasional guest on RI-PBS' A Lively Experiment, and has been a political debate panelist for each of Rhode Island's three commercial television stations. Ian previously worked for the Providence Phoenix, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and The Associated Press. His reporting has been recognized by the AP, the New England Press Association, the Rhode Island Press Association, and Rhode Island for Community & Justice.

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On Politics
4:48 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

TGIF: 18 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

The gifts have been unwrapped, the eggnog raised, and now it's quick sprint to New Year's before the start of a new phase in Rhode Island politics. So thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to share tips and thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) or to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Political Roundtable: Tencher on Democrats' Plight, Chafee's Legacy & Raimondo's Staff Moves

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

West Warwick native Paul Tencher, who has managed winning Democratic US Senate campaigns in Indiana and Michigan, joins Roundtable to talk about the national challenges facing Democrats; Lincoln Chafee's legacy as governor; the latest administration moves by Governor-elect Gina Raimondo; and more.

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Politics
4:00 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Bonus Q&A: Tencher Calls the Obama Coalition A One-Time Thing

West Warwick native Paul Tencher managed winning US Senate campaigns for Democrats Joe Donnelly in Indiana in 2012, and for Gary Peter in Michigan in 2014. He sat down with Bonus Q&A to talk about the national outlook for Democrats and other issues.

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On Politics
5:01 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Raimondo Moves to Promote Depena; Nominates Md Official for DLT

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is nominating one of her staffers, Melba Depena, to the post of director of human services, and a Maryland official, Scott Jensen, to head the state Department of Labor and Training.

Raimondo said the outgoing directors of the two departments -- Sandra Powell at DHS, and Charles Fogarty at DLT -- will take on new roles in state government.

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On Politics
3:57 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Raimondo Expected to Replace Ferguson at HealthSourceRI

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is expected to replace Christine Ferguson as the leader of HealthSourceRI, Rhode Island's version of Obamacare, RIPR has learned.

The leading candidate to replace Ferguson is Anya Rader Wallack, the president of Arrowhead Health Analytics in Fall River, Massachusetts, and a former policy director and deputy chief of staff for former Vermont governor Howard Dean. Rader Wallack declined comment when contacted by RIPR.

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On Politics
2:58 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Elorza Appoints O'Gara, Agonia, Dormody & Ortiz to City Hall Posts

Elorza during a campaign event earlier this year.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza on Tuesday filled four roles within his administration, appointing his campaign manager, Marisa O'Gara, a deputy chief of staff, and naming David Ortiz as senior adviser to the mayor and director of strategic communications.

Elorza also appointed Theresa Agonia as a deputy chief of staff, and Sheila Dormody as director of policy. Along with O'Gara and Ortiz, they will report to Chief of Staff Tony Simon.

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Politics
4:00 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Mattiello on Cutting Spending, Priorities for 2015 & Working with Raimondo

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is poised next month to win his first full two-year term to what is considered the most powerful post in state government. The Cranston Democrat won a battle for the speakership last March following the resignation of his predecessor, Gordon Fox. Mattiello sat down in his Statehouse office this week to discuss his priorities for 2015 and a host of other issues.

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On Politics
5:31 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Mattiello Says He May Back Spending Cuts to Curb Structural Deficits

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello with his family.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he's willing to consider cutting spending if that's what it takes to reduce Rhode Island's long-term structural deficits.

During a Statehouse interview Monday, Mattiello said that when it comes to the almost $200 million deficit for the fiscal year starting next July, the state needs to be more efficient "and we're going to have to look at what our neighboring states do and get our expenses in line with our neighboring states."

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On Politics
1:53 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Raimondo Names Former Almond Chief of Staff Michael DiBiase Director of Administration

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo on Monday named Michael DiBiase, a former chief of staff to Governor Lincoln Almond, as her nominee to be director of the state Department of Administration.

DiBiase, a Republican, left state government in 2001 to become vice president for government relations for Fidelity Investments. A graduate of Boston College and University of Pennsylvania law school, he residents in Narragansett with his wife, Janice Devitt.

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Politics
4:00 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Paiva Weed On Her Future, Education, Ethics, And Her Goals for 2015

Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio and Paiva Weed plan to make education one of their priorities in 2015.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Teresa Paiva Weed of Newport is poised to be elected next month to her fourth term as president of the Rhode Island Senate. Paiva Weed recently sat down in her Statehouse office to talk about her priorities for 2015 and other issues.

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