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

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Betsy Wall, Rhode Island's chief marketing officer, apologized Thursday for the troubled rollout of the state's new $5 million push to promote tourism 

Nick Black, who worked on Senator Elizabeth Warren's 2012 campaign and became a special assistant for Warren, has been hired to run Hillary Clinton's Rhode Island campaign, RIPR has learned.

Clinton beat Barack Obama by 18 points in Rhode Island in 2008. But the challenge posed by Democratic rival Bernie Sanders has made Rhode Island a more contested battle this year, according to a recent Brown University survey.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Colorado's director of marijuana coordination said the legalization hasn't led to a significant increase in demand for the drug in the Rocky Mountain State in the short term, although legalization is "a heavy lift" and the related revenue isn't a panacea for cash-strapped states.

Andrew Freedman told reporters during a Statehouse availability on Tuesday that most of those wanting to buy marijuana legally were those who were previously using it illegally.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Oversight Chairwoman Karen MacBeth announced Monday she's leaving the Democratic Party and becoming a Republican since she thinks the GOP is more aligned with serving the public interest of Rhode Islanders.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

State Sen. John Pagliarini (R-Tiverton) joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss the proposed Tiverton casino, how he won his special election race in January, and much more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Sen. John Pagliarini joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss whether Governor Raimondo should get a legal opinion on truck tolls, whether gun legislation at the Statehouse will reduce gun violence, and the political legacy of Robert "Cool Moose" Healey.

It’s been a wild and wooly year in presidential politics – and there’s still a long way to go until November.

The unexpected success of Donald Trump has delighted his supporters, and alarmed his critics. On the Democratic side of the race, Bernie Sanders has also exceeded expectations. Trump and Sanders have capitalized on Americans’ economic frustration, and many voters remain angry as we move closer to the general election.


In a boost for the vision of remaking the 6/10 Connector as a boulevard, state DOT Director Peter Alviti said Wednesday that a boulevard hybrid concept offers far more public benefits than traditional reconstruction of the Connector's seven deficient bridges.

Yet following a public meeting in Providence Wednesday evening, some civic observers were unimpressed, calling the concept more highway than boulevard.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Robert "Cool Moose" Healey, who shocked political observers in Rhode Island and beyond by attracting more than 20 percent of the gubernatorial vote in 2014 while barely spending any money, and who brought an irreverent yet informed approach to a series of campaigns, has died at age 58.

Barrington police said they were dispatched to Healey's home at about 9:41 pm Sunday for a report of a possible sudden death. Healey's body was found in an upstairs bedroom and he was pronounced dead a short time later.


Congressman David Cicilline is among a group of lawmakers joining President Obama on his historic trip to Cuba this weekend. The visit will mark Cicilline’s second experience in Cuba.

Cicilline made his first visit to Cuba about a year ago with a group of other congressional Democrats. He said President Obama’s visit has far greater importance.

Happy March Madness, and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence NAACP President Jim Vincent joins Political Roundtable this week

Providence NAACP President Jim Vincent joins Bonus Q&A to talk about the Black Lives Matter movement, discrimination, diversity, and other issues.

Michael Vadon/Creative Commons

Insurgent Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has to offer detailed solutions to the problems he's hammered away at if he's going to win broader GOP support, the chairman of Marco Rubio's Rhode Island campaign said Wednesday.

Trump remains the Republican front-runner, but the party's support remains divided, and some Republicans are unwilling to back Trump.

"I think he has a lot of 'splainin to do on how he's going to do things," Gary Sasse told RIPR.