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
3:00 am
Thu July 19, 2012

RISD strikes agreement for increased payments to Providence

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is sharing word of an agreement under which the Rhode Island School of Design will more than double its contributions to the city:

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On Politics
5:00 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Six things about campaign finance — and why they matter

1. Republican Senate candidate Barry Hinckley says Rhode Islanders don’t much care about campaign finance reform. “I have been around for 16 months, traveling Rhode Island,” Hinckley said during a press event yesterday. “Not one person has brought up campaign finance reform to me, not one, in 16 months.”

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On Politics
4:00 am
Wed July 18, 2012

The US is reinventing its economy; can Rhode Island do likewise?

Even with what often seems like a tepid recovery, the United States is working its way back toward a muscular economy — if you believe the Economist.

The sharp-eyed British newsmagazine points to a number of factors: under-valued homes, increasing exports, the growing “app economy,” and more. So if the nation can do it, what about the perennial sick man of the New England states?

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On Politics
5:00 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Hinckley seizing on campaign finance issue to rap Whitehouse

UPDATE: Whitehouse strikes back.

Shortly after the end of Hinckley’s news conference this afternoon, Whitehouse released a statement criticizing the GOP:

Today, for a second day in a row, Senate Republicans blocked debate on the DISCLOSE Act, a bill to end secret spending in elections by corporations and other groups.  The vote failed to overcome a filibuster by a vote of 53 in favor to 45 against.  60 votes were required.  Following the vote, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the following statement:

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On Politics
5:00 am
Mon July 16, 2012

R.I.P. Elaine Hanlon

Elaine Hanlon of Providence, a dedicated veteran investigator for the Rhode Island Public Defender’s office, died at Rhode Island Hospital last week after suffering an apparent heart attack at a July Fourth picnic. She was 54.

Universally known as `Laney,’ Hanlon was known for compassion towards her impoverished clients and her tenacity in helping them obtain justice in the Rhode Island legal system.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Narragansetts remain on the sidelines as RI + Massachusetts gear up for more gambling

Narragansett Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas can only watch in frustration as 1) Massachusetts moves ahead with plans for expanded gambling in nearby Taunton; and Rhode Island’s slot parlors spend heavily in hopes of adding table games at Twin River and Newport Grand.

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On Politics
3:00 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Gemma says his campaign gained 242K in Q2, some of it from a loan

Democratic congressional candidate Anthony Gemma says his campaign account collected $242,000 during the quarter that ended June 30, from contributions and a personal loan of unspecified size.

“I am grateful to all who considered my candidacy and made the decision to support it financially,” said Mr. Gemma.  “I shall continue to demonstrate, through deed and word, that their confidence in me was well placed.”

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On Politics
5:00 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Patrick Kennedy says he’s disappointed in Anthony Gemma’s lack of support for other RI Democrats

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy is calling out Anthony Gemma for comments made by Gemma during an appearance on WPRO’s Buddy Cianci show earlier this week:

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On Politics
4:00 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Hinckley says he’ll have enough money to get his message out against Whitehouse

Republican Barry Hinckley continues to lag far behind the fundraising pace set by Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, but Hinckley says he’ll have enough money to get his message out on the way to the November election.

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On Politics
3:00 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Would a full-time General Assembly be better for Rhode Island?

A few months ago, a young campaign operative made an earnest argument to me: Rhode Island would be better served by a full-time General Assembly. Observers of Smith Hill might have reason to be skeptical that longer hours and better pay would improve the legislature. Yet my friend Arlene Violet is now adding her voice to those calling for a full-time General Assembly:

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