Ian Donnis

Political Reporter

Ian Donnis has been the political reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio since 2009. The Washington Post has repeatedly named him as one of Rhode Island’s best political reporters. In addition to other tasks, Ian tweets frequently 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, and remains an occasional guest on RI-PBS' A Lively Experiment. Ian previously worked for the Providence Phoenix, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and The Associated Press. His reporting has been recognized by the Associated Press, the New England Press Association, the Rhode Island Press Association, and Rhode Island for Community & Justice.

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Political Roundtable
9:30 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Paiva Weed on Ethics, Tolls, HealthSourceRI + more

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed joins Bonus Q+A to discuss the legislative process; funding bridge maintenance; her future political plans; and much more.

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Political Roundtable
9:27 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Political Roundtable: Paiva Weed Says the RI Senate Passed Same-Sex Marriage Due to Public Support

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed joins the Political Roundtable this week to discuss legislative attempts to improve Rhode Island's economy; the search for a new state commissioner of higher education; and why the Senate voted in April to legalize same-sex marriage.

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RI News
8:54 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Raimondo Finishes Quarter With $2M In Political War Chest

Gina Raimondo finds herself with over $2 million in political funds, but has yet to announce whether she will run for Governor in 2014.
Credit RIPR FILE

Thanks to contributions during the quarter that ended June 30th, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo has a campaign war chest of more than 2 million dollars.  Raimondo is among three Democrats expected to run for governor next year.

Raimondo continued her pacesetting fundraising by collecting just under 400-thousand dollars during the most recent quarter. Her 2 million dollar-plus war chest is thought to be a Rhode Island record for a candidate yet to announce a gubernatorial campaign.

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On Politics
3:06 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Paiva Weed Says the RI Senate Passed Same-Sex Marriage Due to Growing Public Support

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

When the Rhode Island Senate made history by approving same-sex marriage legislation in April, more than a few close observers (including me) saw it as a matter -- in part -- of Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed preserving her leadership. The thinking was that if same-sex marriage was defeated again (in a battle that started in 1997), SSM supporters would aggressively target legislative opponents at the polls next year.

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RI News
11:06 am
Thu August 1, 2013

With Same-Sex Marriage Legal State Rep Frank Ferri Plans to Marry

As same-sex marriage becomes legal in Rhode Island Thursday, state Representative Frank Ferri and his longtime partner are among those planning to mark the day by tying the knot.  It took almost 20 years to legalize same-sex marriage in the Ocean State.

Ferri and his partner, Tony Caparco, plan to marry in Warwick this evening with about 300 friends and family members on hand. House Speaker Gordon Fox will perform the ceremony. Ferri, a Warwick Democrat, says the newfound ability of gays and lesbians to marry in Rhode Island will lend special meaning to the nuptials.

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On Politics
12:28 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Raimondo Zips Past 2M; Chafee Lags Taveras After Party Switch

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo raised just under $400,000 in the quarter that ended June 30, pushing her campaign cash arsenal past the staggering sum of $2 million.

Meanwhile, attracting a stronger fundraising base seemed to be part of the rationale when Governor Lincoln Chafee switched from an independent to a Democrat in May. Yet Chafee raised a modest $69,765 for the quarter, according to a report filed with the state Board of Elections.

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Education
4:53 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

RI Gov. Pulls Plug on Mancuso as Interim Higher Education Commissioner

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has tapped RIDE Chief of Staff Clark Greene to fill in at the Department of Higher Education.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Gov. Lincoln Chafee is pulling the plug on his embattled choice to become the state’s interim commissioner of higher education.

Chafee said Eva-Marie Mancuso is dropping her request for a state Ethics Commission waiver to move into the position. The waiver is needed since members of public boards are prohibited from accepting an appointment from a board of which they’re a member. Mancuso serves as chairwoman of the state Board of Education and will remain in that post.

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On Politics
1:57 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Venture Capitalist Kopelman Offers a Pep Talk for RI Entrepreneurs

Kopelman (right) ponders a question from Angus Davis during the discussion at Betaspring
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Two start-up types were stuck searching for a taxi in the rain outside a meeting in Paris a few years back when they struck on a disrupting concept -- Uber, a phone-based app that lets users summon a car for hire in minutes with the metaphorical push of a button.

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Politics
8:26 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Secretary of State Mollis Considering a Run For Lt. Gov.

Secretary of State Ralph Mollis says he intends to run for lieutenant governor next year and plans to make a formal announcement this fall.

Rhode Island’s current lieutenant governor, Elizabeth Roberts, can’t seek re-election due to term limits. And Mollis can’t seek re-election as secretary of state for the same reason.

As lieutenant governor, Roberts has led the state’s push to create a health insurance exchange to comply with Obamacare. Yet some critics question whether the office serves a valuable purpose in Rhode Island. Mollis disagrees.

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On Politics
5:05 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Battle Over Legislative Pay Hike Flares Anew

Thanks to a cost of living adjustment mandated by the state Constitution, 111 state lawmakers are entitled to get a $307 boost in their annual pay, bringing the yearly amount to $14,947. The pay hike is doubled for House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, who get twice the salary of other lawmakers.

What all these means depends whom you ask.

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