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
4:54 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Smiley: RI GOP Intends to Field a Candidate Against Reed Next Year

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

State GOP chairman Mark Smiley says his party "absolutely" intends to run a candidate against US senator Jack Reed next year.

A few politically active Republicans privately say they consider a challenge against Reed -- or the other Democrats in Rhode Island's congressional delegation -- an utter waste of time. Resources would be better used, they say, in trying to build the 11-member GOP presence in the 113-member General Assembly.

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On Politics
12:36 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Women hold just 30 of 113 seats in the General Assembly

With the YWCA Rhode Island set to hold its fifth annual Women Holding Office celebration this evening at the Kirkbrae Country Club, it's a good time to revisit the under-representation of women in Rhode Island politics.

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On Politics
4:54 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Lorne Adrain considering possible mayoral run in Providence

Add Lorne Adrain, businessman, community activist and the former chair of the RI Board of Governors for Higher Education, to the list of those mulling a run for mayor of Providence if Angel Taveras seeks a different office in 2014.

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On Politics
4:51 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

TGIF: 8 Things to Know About RI Politics + Media

Rhode Island, you do us proud with your ceaseless stream of unexpected political developments. Happy Friday, and welcome back. You're tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Here we go:

1. Former state treasurer Frank Caprio's is on the comeback trail after his gubernatorial campaign melted down in 2010: he's planning to run for treasurer next year, regardless of who else might be in the race.

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On Politics
4:08 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Frank Caprio "wants another opportunity"; plans to run for treasurer in 2014

Former state Treasurer Frank Caprio, whose gubernatorial campaign imploded in 2010, plans to run for the treasurer's office in 2014, according to his former spokesman, Peter Kerwin.

"I know that he's in," Kerwin says.

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On Politics
12:03 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

More change for RI Democratic Party; Mandeville departing

Following state Democratic chairman Ed Pacheco's recent announcement that he'll be leaving that post in early May to pursue a run for secretary of state, the party's executive director, Stephanie Mandeville, is also on the way out. She says this in a mass email:

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Political Roundtable: Sullivan on How the Battle for Same-Sex Marriage Was Won

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Ray Sullivan, the head of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, joins the Roundtable this week to discuss the state Senate vote in favor of same-sex marriage; concerns about the impact on religious institutions; how the battle was won, and other issues.

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Politics
4:00 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Sullivan on How Same-Sex Marriage Advocates Built a Strong Coalition

Ray Sullivan of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage joined us on Bonus Q+A to describe the fight for same-sex marriage and how his group turned up pressure on the General Assembly.

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RI News
9:14 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Clears Crucial Senate Vote

Larry Bacon (left) and David Burnett of Newport, Rhode Island have been waiting to get married since 1976.
Credit Ian Donnis/RIPR

The gallery of the Senate erupted in cheers when the chamber voted by a margin of two-to-one to legalize same sex marriages.  The House overwhelmingly approved the same legislation in January. Senate bill sponsor Donna Nesselbush of Pawtucket who is openly gay called it an issue of historic importance.

"To each and every senator in this room," Nesselbush said, "the eyes of the nation are upon us and we are poised to become the 10th state in the nation to join the force for equality that is sweeping our great nation."

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Arts & Culture
4:00 am
Thu April 25, 2013

The Season That Made Baseball the National Pastime

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Local baseball fans are accustomed to watching Sunday afternoon games and getting a beer at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket or Fenway Park in Boston. But it wasn’t always this way. A new book by the Providence Journal’s deputy editorial page editor, Edward Achorn, describes how Sunday games and beer sales were once controversial. His book, “The Summer of Beer and Whiskey,” describes 1883 as the groundbreaking season that remade baseball as the national pastime.

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