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

  State Representative Robert Watson – the sometimes bombastic and always quotable East Greenwich Republican who served for years as the articulate voice of GOP opposition in the House — is leaving the General Assembly after more than two decades.

State Revenue Director Rosemary Booth Gallogly has strong words for state Representatives Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, Jon Brien, and Robert Phillips after they failed to back a supplemental tax for cash-strapped Woonsocket in last-minute negotiations in the waning hours of the legislative session:

Efforts to give voters the option of restoring oversight of the General Assembly by the state Ethics Commission are going nowhere fast in the close of the legislative session.

One of the most interesting legislative races for 2012 — the District 8 seat held by state Representative Michael Tarro (D-Providence) – is about to come into sharper focus.

A journalism scholarship fund has been established in the name of Peter Lord, the superb Providence Journal environmental reporter who died in April. The deadline for making contributions — June 30 — is fast approaching, as a family member notes:

Former Boston mayor and Vatican ambassador Ray Flynn is set to take part in a “Democrats for Doherty” event June 14 at a leading Democratic redoubt, Patrick’s Pub in Providence, according to the Republican candidate’s campaign:

As the General Assembly rushes to rap up the legislative year, the state Senate is slated to consider at 2 pm today the nominations of Luis Matos (as a Superior Court judge) and Mary McElroy (as state Public Defender).

Also on tap are the nominations of former lawmaker Charles Levesque as magistrate of the Family Court, and House legal counsel John Flynn as Drug Court magistrate of Superior Cour

House Speaker Gordon Fox cut a comfortable figure on the rostrum last night as the chamber made its way through another mind-numbing 12-hour budget debate, adjourning shortly before 4 am with an $8.1 billion spending plan.

When Representative Daniel Gordon invoked Moses (“Let my people go!” Gordon said, in a protest of possible tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge, Fox had a game response. “Should I touch this?” Fox said to rippling laughter from the reps. ”Because, Representative Gordon, if you truly can channel Moses and you can part those seas, we don’t even need the bridges!”

The House is set tomorrow evening to begin considering a $8.1 billion spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1. Reporters will guess just how far the budget vote will extend into the wee hours Friday morning.

Members of the coalition pushing for cutting the up to 260 percent annual percentage rate interest on payday loans plan to lobby lawmakers at the Statehouse on Wednesday.

With the debacle of 38 Studios front and center, the race in the First Congressional District has faded into the background recently. But a bit of Brendan Doherty’s recent messaging merits attention, since we’ll hear a lot more of this as the campaign heats up.

From a recent fundraising pitch:

Are you ready to elect an experienced leader to the U.S. Congress from Rhode Island?

Veteran prosecutor William J. Ferland is moving up to a new post in the US attorney’s office:

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha has announced the appointment of Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland as Senior Litigation Counsel for the District of Rhode Island. Mr. Ferland, who joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office on May 1, 2010, after 20 years as a top state prosecutor, replaces former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew J. Reich who retired on June 1, 2012, after 37 years with the Department of Justice.

Enviromental activist Abel Collins says he’s planning to run as an indepenedent against Congressman Jim Langevin.

In an advisory for his campaign — due to be unveiled at 3 pm Wednesday (Statehouse steps, facing downtown) — Abel says he’s motivated by frustration over ”the inability of the Republican and Democratic parties to govern for the benefit of the people.”

Raymonde Charles, press secretary for Congressman David Cicilline, is leaving that role to become a regional Ohio-based press secretary for Presid

The hits keep coming for Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, whose administration has landed new agreements for payments in lieu of taxes from Care New England and CharterCARE. City Hall says the latest agreements mean the administration is approaching its $7.1 million target for new contributions by tax-exempts.