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
12:44 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Rolling Stone Calls Pension Cuts a Wall Street Giveaway; Raimondo's Office Fires Back

Rolling Stone uses this illustration with Matt Taibbi's story on pension cuts.

Here's how a Rolling Stone headline sums up muckraker Matt Taibbi's story on the pension overhaul championed in Rhode Island by state Treasurer Gina Raimondo in 2011: "Looting Pension Funds. All Across America, Wall Street is grabbing money meant for public workers."

The first comment from Raimondo comes eight pages into the story, the equivalent of an 11-page printout, after Taibbi presents his case in his signature profanity-laden style.

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Politics
8:26 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Teachers Plan Protest of Raimondo Fundraiser

Raimondo will be holding a fundraiser Thursday, which unionized teachers plan to protest.
Credit RIPR FILE

Unionized teachers plan to protest a fundraiser being held to benefit State Treasurer Gina Raimondo this afternoon Thursday.  Providence Mayor Angel Taveras also attracted protestors during a fundraiser earlier this week.

Raimondo is slated to start her day with a speaking appearance sponsored by Brown University’s Office of Women and Medicine in Science. The topic for the talk is: “Making an Impact: How to Think Strategically and Get Results.”

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On Politics
4:09 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Ethics Commission Backs Investigating Complaint Against Speaker Fox

Back in 2007, Gordon Fox said he didn't think his public office had been beneficial to his private law practice. The statement has some unintentional irony in the present, considering how Fox faces a state Ethics Commission investigation for not disclosing legal work done from 2005 to 2009 for the Providence Economic Development Partnership.

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Politics
8:48 am
Tue September 24, 2013

State Ethics Committee to Investigate Complaint Against House Speaker Gordon Fox

The state Ethics Commission on Tuesday decided to investigate a complaint filed against House Speaker Gordon Fox. The question is whether Fox needed to disclose legal work done for the City of Providence.

Jason Gramitt, a staff attorney for the Ethics Commission, calls the step taken by the commission "preliminary. The commission only looks at the complaint and decides whether or not it should authorize an investigation, and so that's all they've done. They didn't offer any opinion as to whether the complaint is a good complaint or a bad complaint."

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On Politics
5:12 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

RI GOP Trying to Cultivate Female Candidates

There's a big gender gap for Republican women in the General Assembly; of 113 legislative seats, there are only two GOP female lawmakers: Patricia Morgan and Doreen Costa. By comparison, there are 28 female Democrats between the House and Senate.

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On Politics
5:12 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

TGIF: 10 Things to Know About RI Politics + Media

Welcome back to my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. You can follow my short takes all week long via Twitter. Let's head in.

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On Politics
3:22 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

More Layoffs Loom at ProJo Following Latest Buyout Offer

In the latest in a series of buy-out offers in recent years, Providence Journal management says it will eliminate about 30 jobs unless enough employees decide to make an early departure.

Reporter John Hill, president of the Providence Newspaper Guild, says the news was conveyed to the union earlier today. "It's going to hurt," Hill says. "There's not a lot left to cut. Morale is terrible."

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Politics
8:52 am
Fri September 20, 2013

David Caprio Backed By Speaker Fox to Become Next Chair of the RI Democratic Party

Former State Rep David Caprio may become the next chair of the Rhode Island democrats.
Credit RIPR FILE

Former state rep David Caprio has House Speaker Gordon Fox’s blessing to become the next chair of the Rhode Island Democratic Party.  Rhode Island Democrats are expected to formally endorse Caprio during an October 3rd state committee meeting in Cranston.  

David Caprio is a member of one of Rhode Island’s most prominent political families. His brother Frank ran for governor in 2010 and hope to win back his old job as state treasurer next year. Their father, also named Frank Caprio, is the chief municipal judge in Providence.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Political Roundtable: Smiley on Guns, His Campaign for Mayor, Susan Farmer + More

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Brett Smiley, a candidate for mayor of Providence in 2014, joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.; his campaign to succeed Angel Taveras; the passing of former secretary of state Susan Farmer; and a new poll showing Taveras leading expected Democratic gubernatorial rival Gina Raimondo.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Smiley Says He Has the Experience to be Mayor of Providence

Providence Mayoral candidate Brett Smiley joins Bonus Q+A to talk about his campaign, his qualifications, his background, and other issues.

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