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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RI News
9:07 am
Wed June 4, 2014

'Superman' Building Owner Renews Call For State Support Of Rehab Project

Superman building owner is asking for $39M for to rehab, the now vacant building in downtown Providence.
Credit RIPR FILE

The owner of the Superman Building in downtown Providence renewed his call Tuesday for a public-private partnership to revitalize the vacant skyscraper. But it remains unclear whether the state will provide $39 million in requested help.

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Politics
2:14 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Judge Declines to Quash Subpoena for Fox Over 38 Studios

A Superior Court judge has declined to quash a subpoena calling for former House speaker Gordon Fox to answer questions related to the state’s lawsuit over 38 Studios.

The ruling by Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein means that Fox must attend a deposition conducted by one of the 14 defendants being sued by the state over 38 Studios.

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RI News
8:56 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Lawmakers Consider Bill To Revitalize 'Superman' Building

Providence's so-called Superman building has been vacant for the past two years. Efforts to rehab the building have yet to get off the ground.
Credit RIPR FILE

A bill that would use $39 million in taxpayers’ money to revitalize the vacant Superman Building is slated for a Senate Finance committee hearing this Tuesday.  Lawmakers have been lukewarm about using a public subsidy for the Providence skyscraper.

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On Politics
1:58 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Reed & Whitehouse Hosting RI Fundraiser for Michigan Senate Candidate Gary Peters Next Week

A bevy of prominent Rhode Island Democrats are hosting a June 12 fundraiser for Michigan Congressman Gary Peters, who is trying to vault into the US Senate seat being vacated by Carl Levin.

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On Politics
5:11 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

TGIF: 15 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

While we've had a glimpse of spring and winter weather over the last week, politics remains the thing for all seasons in the Ocean State. So welcome back to my weekly column, and feel free to share your thoughts and tips at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. You can also follow my missives all week long on the twitters. Let's get to it.

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RI News
11:23 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Colleagues Remember Court Security Officer Frank McKnight as A Dedicated Professional

North Kingstown Police Chief Thomas Mulligan, US Marshal Jamie Hainsworth and Chief US District Court Judge William Smith say they're heartbroken the loss of McKnight.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Colleagues are remembering the federal court security officer who died Thursday after a bus accident as a dedicated professional. Court officials say they’re using the accident to push for increased pedestrian safety in Kennedy Plaza.

US Marshal Jamie Hainsworth says Frank McKnight’s friends, co-workers and family are heartbroken after the unexpected loss of the 69-year-old.

“No words can adequately describe the loss and the sadness we feel and that we share with Frank’s family at home and with his extended family in law enforcement here at the court,” Hainsworth said.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Political Roundtable: Smiley on the Mayoral Race; Evaluating Teachers, Licht's Nomination & More

Smiley during his campaign announcement earlier this year.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Providence mayoral candidate Brett Smiley and guest panelist Tim White join Political Roundtable this week to discuss the race to replace Angel Taveras at City Hall; the debate over evaluating teachers; Richard Licht's nomination as a Superior Court judge; and other issues.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Bonus Q&A: Smiley on Providence's Economy, Taxes, Pensions, Development & More

Providence mayoral candidate Brett Smiley joins Bonus Q+A to discuss his campaign and a host of other issues, including taxes, the city's economy, development, and more.

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On Politics
4:22 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Swipely Says $20M Infusion Will Enable It to Grow, Keep Adding Jobs

Angus Davis talks about Swipely's growth,
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence tech startup Swipely, which has grown significantly since it was launched in 2009, says a new infusion of $20 million in venture capital funding will enable it to continue expanding a small spark of Silicon Valley in Rhode Island.

"The intent is to use those funds to continue to aggressively growing the team in all our areas, including our engineering team, our marketing and sales team, and other departments within the company," Swipely founder Angus Davis said during a news conference Thursday morning.

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Politics
9:32 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Fung Recieves Endorsement From Former Governor Lincoln Almond

Republican candidate for governor Allan Fung receives an endorsement from former governor, Lincoln Almond.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former governor Lincoln Almond Wednesday endorsed Cranston Mayor Allan Fung for the state’s top job.  Almond calls Fung the best-qualified Republican in the GOP primary for governor.

Almond says he reached out to Fung after being unimpressed with a recent TV appearance by Fung’s GOP rival, Ken Block. Almond says it’s not realistic to think Block can cut a billion dollars from the state budget over four years. The former governor said Fung’s experience as a mayor is what sets him apart.

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