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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On Politics
1:40 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Langevin Hires Meg Fraser as his New Press Secretary

Meg Fraser, editor in chief for the Cranston Herald and Johnston Sun newspapers, has gotten the nod as US Representative Jim Langevin's press secretary, succeeding Jonathon Dworkin, who recently left for another job. She starts June 24.

Via news release:

[Fraser] is also Editor of PrimeTime magazine, a senior living publication.  She received a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University in 2008.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Political Roundtable: O'Neill on Chafee's Change, Economic Development + the House

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative J. Patrick O'Neill (D-Pawtucket) joins the Roundtable this week (along with guest panelist Dan McGowan of WPRI-TV, Channel 12) to discuss Governor Lincoln Chafee's move to become a Democrat; the way forward for economic development, and legislative questions.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Bonus Q+A: O'Neill on Being an Outsider in the RI House of Reps

State Representative J. Patrick O'Neill (D-Pawtucket) joins us on Bonus Q+A to talk about his split with House Speaker Gordon Fox's leadership team and other legislative issues.

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On Politics
12:04 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

It's official: Gov. Lincoln Chafee is a Democrat

Chafee goes Democrat, aided by Dotty McCarthy, at Warwick City Hall.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee, who rose to public attention as the son of an iconic moderate Republican and left the GOP amid the rightward movement of George W. Bush's presidency, on Thursday became a Democrat.

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On Politics
12:40 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Chafee to Seek Re-election as a Democrat

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee plans to visit Warwick City Hall Thursday morning to change his party affiliation from unaffiliated to Democrat and to make a brief statement.

Chafee plans to make the switch at 10:30 am Thursday, according to spokesman Christian Vareika (who emphasized he was speaking on personal time, on a personal phone).

Vareika denied that Chafee's move is an opportunistic one in advance of a tough re-election fight:

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On Politics
3:50 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Chafee Administration Analyzing Cost of Not Paying Back 38 Studios' Investors

The Chafee administration is conducting a financial analysis on the cost of not paying back the moral obligation bonds that funded a $75 million loan guaranty for failed video game maker 38 Studios, the governor's spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Chafee spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger says the governor remains a strong believer that paying back the investors who bought the bonds is the right thing to do.

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38 Studios
3:41 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Gov. Chafee's Office Analyzing Cost of Defaulting on 38 Studios Loan

Protestors rally in downtown Providence against paying back a $75 million guaranteed loan to 38 Studios.
Credit Don Borman / RIPR

Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s administration is doing a financial analysis on the cost of not paying back investors who underwrote the state’s loan guarantee for failed video game maker 38 Studios.

The governor has said it’s important for the state’s reputation to pay back the 38 Studios loan. Chafee’s spokeswoman, Christine Hunsinger, said several state agencies and department heads are conducting an analysis on the cost of not paying back those bondholders.

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Politics
4:00 am
Tue May 28, 2013

For Third Year, Advocates Press Their Case Against Payday Lending

Margaux Morisseau says she's seen how payday loans trap vulnerable people in a cycle of debt.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Margaux Morisseau became a leader in the fight against payday lending after seeing its impact in the Constitution Hill neighborhood of Woonsocket. She works there as a community advocate for a nonprofit agency. This blue-collar neighborhood was once full of boarded up homes, and it has seen a comeback in recent years. But a payday lending shop moved in about three years ago and Morisseau says things have taken a turn for the worse.

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On Politics
4:08 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

TGIF: 8 Things to Know About RI Politics + Media

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column, truncated this time before the ceremonial start of summer. Let's get to it.

1. The 2013 legislative season will be remembered as the Year Rhode Island Legalized Same-Sex Marriage. How much more of substance gets done as the weeks tick down is an open question, particularly with lower than expected revenue estimates casting a pall over the budget. 

2. Steve Laffey, the voters of Colorado barely knew ye.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Political Roundtable: RI GOP Chairman Mark Smiley on Gist + 2014

Credit Ian / RIPR

RI GOP chairman joins the Roundtable this week (along with guest panelist Tim White of WPRI-TV, Channel 12) to discuss the debate over state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist; Moderate Party founder Ken Block's entry in the 2014 gubernatorial race, what's next for Rhode Island Republicans, and more.

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