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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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Political Roundtable: Walsh on Gist, 38 Studios, Economic Development + more

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Robert A. Walsh Jr., executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, joins the Roundtable this week to discuss state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist; conflicting views on economic development; the debate over defaulting on bonds for 38 Studios; and Council 94's hiring of a prominent critic of state Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Walsh Offers a Labor Perspective on the Democratic Gubernatorial Field for 2014

Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, joins Bonus Q+A for a discussion of pensions, President Obama, public education, and the Democratic field in next year's race for governor.

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On Politics
3:51 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Robert Walsh Now Regrets Backing Obama over Clinton in 2008

Walsh bending the ear of House Speaker Gordon Fox during a previous legislative session
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

One of Rhode Island's most prominent Democratic union leaders, Robert A. Walsh Jr., says he now regrets backing Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008:

"I was an early and vocal supporter of President Obama's first bid for [presidential] office, and in hindsight, I probably should have been an early and vocal supporter of Hillary Clinton. So for all my friends who have chastised me for that, this is an admission that I was wrong on that case -- on the experience issue."

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On Politics
1:45 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

WJAR-TV Parent Media General Merging with Young Broadcasting

Virginia-based Media General, the owner of WJAR-TV (Channel 10), is merging with Young Broadcasting.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

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On Politics
5:32 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Tensions Flare Anew Between Raimondo's Office and Siedle

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo's office and one of her most prominent critics, Ted Siedle, are trading shots anew after the state's largest public-employee union hired Siedle to review the work of the state Investment Commission.

In a statement, Raimondo spokeswoman Joy Fox says:

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On Politics
2:30 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

State's Largest Public-Employee Union Hires Critic of Raimondo

AFSCME's Council 94, the largest union of state public employees, has hired pension expert Edward "Ted" Siedle, whose Forbes.com piece in April sparked debate about state Treasurer Gina Raimondo's heightened allocation of hedge funds in the $7 billion state pension fund.

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On Politics
1:42 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

The Number of Downtown Providence Businesses is Growing, says Foundation

The unresolved future of the Superman Building remains the big headache of downtown Providence. But boosters say the number of downtown businesses in the capital city is on the rise.

According to a news release from the Providence Downtown Improvement District:

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Politics
8:35 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Rhode Island Republicans Demand Default

The Rhode Island Republican Party said the state should default on the roughly 100 million dollars it owes due to the failure of video game maker 38 Studios.  The GOP notes how the state isn’t legally required to pay back so-called moral obligation bonds.

State Republican Chairman Mark Smiley said the people who purchased the bonds bought an insurance policy as part of their investment. Smiley said the potential return on investment was higher because of the risky nature of the bonds. He also said taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for a decision they didn’t make.

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Politics
8:21 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Future of the EDC Remains Unclear as Economic Bills Pass in the House

House Finance chairman Helio Melo speaks in support of the House's economic development package.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

By overwhelming margins, the Rhode Island House of Representatives Tuesday passed a half-dozen bills to change the state’s approach to economic development.

One bill would try to create a more streamlined effort through a new Executive Office of Commerce. Another bill replaces the state Economic Development Corporation with a Commerce Corporation headed by a secretary of commerce. 

It is not yet clear precisely how the state will move forward.

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On Politics
11:07 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Support Grows for Defaulting on $100M Taxpayer Tab Over 38 Studios

The debate is intensifying over whether Rhode Island should default on the roughly $100 million owed by taxpayers due to the state's losing investment in failed video game-maker 38 Studios.

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