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

Twin River has spent $578,741 since the start of March to encourage voters to support the expansion of gambling in Rhode Island during a statewide vote this November, state campaign finance records show. The comparable figure for Newport Grand is more modest: $21,400.

Providence Journal reporter Richard Salit will take over the role formerly played by his esteemed colleague, the late Peter Lord, at the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting.

Sunshine Menezes, the Metcalf’ Institute’s executive director, says this in a news release:

Congressman David Cicilline’s campaign says it raised more than $300,000 during the second quarter, leaving it with a war chest of more than $825,000 as the First District race starts to heat up in earnest.

Republican Brendan Doherty’s team said last week it expected a haul of about $200,000 during Q2. The campaign’s cash on hand was put at more than $660,000.

Despite repeated and sustained requests for interviews from a bevy of Rhode Island news organizations, Curt Schilling and his wife Shonda continue to utilize Facebook to fire back at reports emanating from the Ocean State.

In a scathing news release, Narragansett Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas outlines a litany of grievances involving Rhode Island’s likely expansion of state-sponsored gambling and calls for a meeting with Governor Lincoln Chafee, House Speaker Gordon Fox, and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed “to address this disgraceful situation.”

In a victory for the Rhode Island media, the state Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a defamation case filed by Providence restaurateur Robert I. “Bob” Burke against the Providence Journal, ProJo Statehouse chief Katherine Gregg, WPRO talk-show host Dan Yorke and Citadel Broadcasting, the former owner of WPRO.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, a former Pawtucket police officer, and state police Colonel Steven O’Donnell are offering this reaction to the conviction today of North Providence Police Chief John Whiting:


“This office takes seriously its responsibility of bringing all those who break the law to justice.

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is set to headline a fundraiser for Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty this evening at the Metacomet Country Club in East Providence.

State Senator Rhoda Perry,  a liberal stalwart from Providence, has decided against seeking re-election after more than two decades in the chamber.

House Speaker Gordon Fox is distancing himself from responsibility for the demise of 38 Studios.

Matt Jerzyk, drector of policy, municipal affairs and senior counsel to Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, has accepted an assignment as deputy city solicitor, RIPR has learned.

House Speaker Gordon Fox, during a taping this morning of WPRI/WNAC-TV’s Newsmakers, said he plans to call a vote on same-sex marriage early in the next legislative session. While legislative elections this fall could change the composition of the House, Fox believes he has the votes to pass the measure (assuming he wins re-election).

Marriage Equality Rhode Island has released the following statement in response:

Providence City Solicitor Jeffrey Padwa is backing the ability of the City Council’s Finance Committee to change its chairman.

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, was the headliner for a mid-day state GOP fundraiser at Hemenway’s Restaurant in Providence.

State GOP chairman Mark Zaccaria says proceeds — which were expected to hit a target of $5000 — will go to Republican legislative candidates. The event was closed to media.

The reaction is streaming in to the US Supreme Court’s decision, on a 5-4 vote, to uphold most of the Democratic-backed Affordable Care Act:

Senator Jack Reed:

“Health reform is long overdue.  Nearly two decades ago, former Republican Senator John H. Chafee pointed out that a private health insurance market works best when everyone is in the insurance market.  And during the debate in 2009, top Republicans in Congress were still saying “there is a bipartisan consensus to have an individual mandate.”