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

A new poll shows that 76 percent of respondents think the state spends too little to maintain roads and bridges. A narrow majority supports Governor Gina Raimondo’s plan for improving infrastructure.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Teny Gross moved to Rhode Island in 2001 to lead a new organization dedicated to reducing violence in Providence. Fourteen years later, Gross will work his last day Friday at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence. The 49-year-old Israeli native is leaving to start a new nonviolence group in Chicago, although Gross says he’ll continue to spend some time in Rhode Island. He sat down to reflect on his time leading the institute and efforts to reduce violence in Rhode Island.

Hurricane Joaquin blows toward Rhode Island as the state remains vexed by its own ring of challenges: the hangover of 38 Studios, trying to modernize state agencies, financially troubled fire districts, you name it. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Phil West, the longtime former director of Common Cause of Rhode Island, joins Bonus Q+A to talk about fallout from 38 Studios, the fight for better government, criminal-justice reform, and much more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Longtime former Common Cause of Rhode Island head Phil West joins Political Roundtable to discuss the fallout from the release of thousands of pages of 38 Studios court documents.

After being a part of efforts to reduce violence in Providence for 15 years, Teny Gross says it’s time to take on a new challenge.

Gross established and led the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence after being recruited from Boston. The organization has been credited with helping reduce bloodshed in poor city neighborhoods. Gross helped create the institute's non-violence education model, including the "street worker" program, which sends former offenders back onto the streets to mediate conflicts and help prevent violence.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state Department of Transportation is negotiating a possible consent decree with the US Justice Department due to environmental damage caused by years of inadequately monitored runoff on highways around the state.


A former House Finance chairman is downplaying his role in the loan program used to lure 38 Studios to Rhode Island in 2010. Steve Costantino now serves as a publicly funded health insurance program in Vermont.

Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee said Monday he's looking forward to taking part in debate being staged by October 13 in Las Vegas.

"I look forward to joining the other distinguished Democratic candidates CNN has invited to debate the issues on October 13th," Chafee said in a statement. "I know from my previous campaigns that voters highly value the chance to assess the candidates in a debate format."

Chafee has attracted barely any support since he announced his campaign in April.

There will be a day when Rhode Island moves beyond 38 Studios, but that day is a long time off. The public release Thursday of tens of thousands of pages of documents is just one more step toward trying to get a better understanding of Rhode Island's most recent scandal. So with that in mind, thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me all week on the twitters. Here we go.

Though McCoy stadium is home to the PawSox for now, the team’s new owners claim they will not stay there.  Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien says he’ll try to keep the team, but he’s also working on contingency plans. The mayor joined our political team to talk baseball, breweries, and bottom lines.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Following the announcement that the Pawtucket Red Sox would not pursue a new stadium on a parcel of downtown Providence land, Pawtucket’s mayor Donald Grebien joins our Political Roundtable. He talks about sagging numbers at McCoy Stadium, economic development in the city, and the Pope’s U.S. visit.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

Ian Donnis / RIPR

During a closed session on June 9, 2010, the board of Rhode Island's Economic Development Corporation received a briefing on what then-Governor Don Carcieri suggested was a "fairly significant transaction" that had presented itself to the EDC.

Democratic operative Peter Baptista is taking a job doing government sales with SAS, the global software and analytics company, RIPR has learned.

Baptista led Rhode Island Democrats' coordinated campaign last year, when the party completely shut out Republicans in races for state and federal offices for the first time in decades.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and Local 799, the International Association of Firefighters, are locked in an increasingly bitter dispute about cutting overtime spending in the Fire Department, the latest in a string of conflicts between the union and city leaders.