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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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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On Politics
6:53 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Political Reality: How the RI Senate Lost its Status as the Bermuda Triangle of Same-Sex Marriage

These two guys from Newport have been waiting to marry since Jimmy Carter was president.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

In recent years, the Rhode Island Senate has been considered the Bermuda Triangle of same-sex politics -- the place where gay marriage legislation would supposedly go to die.

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On Politics
6:53 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

On Historic Day, RI Senate Approves Same-Sex Marriage Bills

The Rhode Island Senate approved two virtually identical same-sex marriage bills by a 26-12 margin Wednesday afternoon. The bills still face certain House approval and a signature from Governor Lincoln Chafee, meaning Rhode Island is poised to become the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage, perhaps as soon as next week.

The votes happened with surprising speed after a 17-year effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, filling the Senate chamber and its exterior with scores of joyous supporters.

Same-Sex Marriage Legislation
3:03 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Both Sides Gear Up for Senate Vote on Same-Sex Marriage

RI Senate will vote on same-sex marriage legislation Wednesday afternoon.

The state Senate is set to vote Wednesday on bills to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. Advocates are continuing to press their case before the vote.

Supporters were overjoyed when the Senate Judiciary Committee approved two same-sex marriage bills. The head of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, Ray Sullivan, says advocates aren’t taking anything for granted.

“Our work is not done, we continue to work the phones, knock doors, make calls, do all the things we’ve been doing the last several months that have led us to this moment,” said Sullivan.

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On Politics
10:48 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Three Top Questions as the RI Senate Is on the Cusp of Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

Tuesday was a remarkable day in Rhode Island politics. First, the five-member GOP contingent in the 38-member state Senate -- including the chamber's low-key minority leader, Dennis Algiere -- offered its unified support for same-sex marriage. Then, and much more significantly, Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio found himself on the wrong side of a key vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Rhode Island is now on the cusp of legalizing same-sex marriage.

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RI News
8:09 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Examiner to Help ID Body Found in Water

A state medical examiner is expected to determine Wednesday whether a body found in Providence off of India Point is that of missing Brown student Sunil Tripathi.

Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements tells RIPR that police suspect the body found Tuesday may be that of Tripathi.

Tripathi has been missing since he left his apartment in mid-March.

His family has made an energetic effort to find him through social media and other approaches.

Same-Sex Marriage Legislation
3:54 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Legislation Heads to Senate Floor

A crowd filled room 313 to hear the Senate Judiciary Committee approve same-sex marriage bill
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage on a 7 – 4 vote. A bill putting the issue up for referendum was defeated by a 6 – 5 vote.

The vote was greeted with jubilation by same sex marriage supporters gathered in a Statehouse hearing room. Supporters say they’re hopeful the committee vote signals full Senate approval. The bill will go to a full Senate vote Wednesday.

Reaction to the Vote

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On Politics
12:55 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Baldelli-Hunt announces mayoral run in Woonsocket

Putting an end to speculation about her next move, state Represenative Lisa Baldelli-Hunt announced Tuesday that she's a candidate for mayor in Woonsocket.

Here's part of her statement:

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