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.

Ways To Connect

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A proposed ballpark for the PawSox in Providence and the vacant so-called Superman Building might seem to have little in common. Yet both raise questions involving economic development and the possible use of taxpayer subsidies. 

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Andrew Roos, who joined Gina Raimondo as chief of staff in 2013 as she was gearing up for her successful gubernatorial run and who remained in that role for state General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, announced Tuesday he's leaving for an unspecified private sector job. In related news, David Ortiz, who has led communications at City Hall for Mayors Angel Taveras and Jorge Elorza, is joining Magaziner's staff as communications director.


The Cranston City Council voted “No Confidence” in Mayor Allan Fung during a meeting Monday night.  The largely symbolic vote was a narrow one, five to four, and comes following a scathing police report investigating the Cranston Police department.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s rare that such action is taken by a city government.

Old stories have a way of cycling back into the news in Rhode Island, and this otherwise quiet week was a case in point. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always, your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RINPR

State Rep. Joseph McNamara (D-Warwick), chairman of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss new revelations about 38 Studios; an apparent slowdown in the path to a Providence ballpark; and the hiring of a new head for the I-195 Commission.

For more McNamara, check our Bonus Q&A interview with him.

State Rep. Joseph McNamara (D-Warwick), chairman of the state Democratic Party, joins Bonus Q+A to discuss education, former House speaker Gordon Fox, how Democratic dominance of the General Assembly has affected the state, and other issues.

For more McNamara, check our Political Roundtable session with him. 

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Three advocacy groups called Thursday afternoon for an in-depth investigation into the state’s disastrous experience with video-game maker 38 Studios.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is slated to return Thursday from a trip scouting economic development ideas in Guatemala.

Elorza and the city’s economic development director have met with Guatemala’s president and the mayor of Guatemala City during their visit. A spokesman says ports development has been among the topics of discussion.

Elorza is the son of Guatemalan immigrants and he grew up in the West End of Providence.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says lawmakers are unlikely to consider a revised proposal for a Pawtucket Red Sox stadium in Providence until their next regular session in January.

Mattiello pointed to concerns about the ownership of the intended ballpark site, part of which is owned by Brown University, as well as an ongoing review related to an elaborate storm-water runoff system underneath the site.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Opponents of a new Pawtucket Red Sox stadium in Providence say they have gathered enough signatures to ask the City Council to effectively block the proposal. They plan to pursue that approach when the council returns from its August recess next month.

Urban Land Institute

The I-195 District Commission charged with overseeing the redevelopment of about 20 acres of land near downtown Providence on Monday hired Peter McNally, who has extensive experience with a global real estate investment company, as the commission's executive director.

McNally succeeds Jan Brodie, who somewhat abruptly announced her departure from the commission last month. He's slated to start in the role September 1.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Central Falls Mayor James Diossa and Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien are slated to visit Arjona, Colombia, this week to explore cultural exchanges.

"Central Falls has a rich Colombian heritage and I look forward to exploring ways to strengthening our relationship to make Central Falls stronger - specifically regarding economic development, education, and urban planning," Diossa said in a statement.

Grebien said he's excited to build on Pawtucket's sister-city relationship with Arjona.

Enjoy summer while you can. Happy Friday, and thanks for stopping by. As always, your tips and comments remain welcome via idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

State Rep. Carlos Tobon is a freshman lawmaker from Pawtucket. He’s among the legislators calling for keeping the PawSox at their current home of McCoy Stadium. Tobon stopped by our studio to talk about that and other issues.

One of the people putting together a new economic strategy for Rhode Island says the plan will include specific, actionable recommendations. The study is expected to be completed by December or January.

The Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program is collaborating with the state to devise a strategy for growing jobs. Private funding is paying for the effort. Brookings’ Senior Fellow Mark Muro said the economic strategy will include both long-term and short-term components.