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 Rep. Cale Keable (D-Burrillville) joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss government ethics, the power plant proposed in Burrillville, judicial selection, and other topics.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo's office released a new study Thursday that it said buttresses the case for the governor's controversial truck-toll proposal. The Rhode Island Truckers Association responded by questioning the numbers in the study.

A traffic collection report prepared for the state Department of Transportation by CDM Smith found that trucks volumes in class eight and above "are, in total, 27 percent higher than the raw volumes developed by RIDOT," through "approximations" "for their initial assessment for the RhodeWorks program."

Federal search warrants were executed Thursday at a Providence ambulance company.

A spokesman for the US Attorney’s office, Jim Martin, said the location targeted by the warrants is Professional Ambulance on River Street.

One member of the family that owns Professional Ambulance, Jackie Baginski, previously worked as a fundraiser for Governor Gina Raimondo. Baginski also served on Raimondo's inaugural committee, and was appointed by Raimondo to serve on the state Personnel Appeal Board.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

If there’s an epicenter of eating chicken in Rhode Island, it’s got to be Wright’s Farm in Burrillville. Frank Galleshaw the 3rd oversees this sprawling enterprise that began humbly more than 60 years ago.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Governor Gina Raimondo continue to discuss the governor’s truck-toll proposal. Mattiello is already supporting some parts of the governor’s infrastructure plan.

George Germon, who co-created with his wife Johanne Killeen the landmark Providence restaurant Al Forno, died Tuesday, following an illness.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

All this week, Rhode Island Public Radio is focusing on Burrillville, a small community in the northwest corner of the state. Burrillville’s most influential media source is a weekly, printed publication that most people have never heard of. It began publishing in 1970 and is called the Bargain Buyer.

At Monty’s Victory Diner in Burrillville, it’s easy to find local residents like Robert Wolstenholme who swear by the Bargain Buyer.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State officials on Monday announced the availability of two tax incentives, both contained in the budget passed by the General Assembly in June, that are meant to improve Rhode Island's economy.

How's that presidential campaign working out for you? Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and feedback are welcome via email, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.


Former governor Lincoln Chafee announced his departure from the presidential race Friday morning, six months after he launched what proved to be a quixotic bid for the nation's top office.

"As you know I have been campaigning on a platform of Prosperity Through Peace," Chafee said, in prepared remarks for an address to a group of Democratic women in Washington. "But after much thought I have decided to end my campaign for president today.  I would like to take this opportunity one last time to advocate for a chance be given to peace."

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Providence City Council President Luis Aponte joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss continued deficits in the city budget; Mayor Jorge Elorza's strategy in trying to cut the cost of firefighter overtime; and the outlook on attracting the PawSox to Victory Place.

Providence City Council President Luis Aponte joins Bonus Q+A to discuss the outlook on development in Providence, and a host of other issues, including pensions, Kennedy Plaza, the PawSox, and more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Open government advocates expressed frustration Tuesday about what they called diminished access to information and records under the administration of Governor Gina Raimondo. The governor's chief of staff, Stephen Neuman, responded by vowing the state will do better and by issuing a memo calling on state agencies to prioritize disclosure in difficult cases "whenever possible."

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

While stopping short of announcing a re-election campaign, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung is trumpeting his record, as the city's longtime Democratic Chairman, Michael Sepe, plans to formally launch his mayoral run on November 1 at 39 West Restaurant.

"I am extremely proud of my accomplishments as mayor of Cranston," Fung said in a statement to RIPR. "We brought millions of dollars of economic development to Cranston, particularly in Chapel View and Garden City, as well as growth in manufacturing at TACO, Yushin America and Cadence Inc."

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Members of Governor Gina Raimondo’s staff are set to meet with representatives of five open government groups Tuesday afternoon at the State House to discuss recent criticism about a lack of government transparency.

Raimondo’s chief of staff, Stephen Neuman, is slated to lead the 4:30 pm meeting, according to spokeswoman Marie Aberger. The governor's legal counsel, Claire Richards, and communications director, Joy Fox, and/or Aberger are also expected to attend the meeting in Neuman's office.