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
12:13 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Avedisian Says He "Can't Vote" for Chafee as a Democrat

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, who once described Governor Lincoln Chafee as his political soul-mate, says he "can't vote" for his close friend now that Chafee is a Democrat.

"I'm a Republican and I would expect to be supporting the Republican candidate," Avedisian told reporters, including RIPR's Flo Jonic, before a news conference Monday morning.

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On Politics
4:15 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

TGIF: 14 Things to Know About RI Politics + Media

The start of June has done nothing, naturally, to stop the breakneck flow of news in the Land of The Gift That Keeps on Giving. So welcome back to my weekly column. You can reach me at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) com, and (please) follow me on Twitter. Let's head in.

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RI News
1:45 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Chafee Pleased by Gist's Contract Extension; Critics Vow Resistance

Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee is applauding the contract extension granted to state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist on Thursday. But the state’s largest teachers’ union remains upset about the decision to keep Gist as commissioner.

The state Board of Education voted, 7 to 3, to continue Gist’s contract for another two years. In a statement, Governor Chafee says he’s pleased by the agreement. The governor says he looks forward to continuing what he calls a productive and positive relationship with Gist.

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On Politics
12:28 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Ruggerio Proposes Special Commission for Garrahy Garage

The idea of creating a parking garage near the Garrahy Judicial Complex has been periodically batted around for a quarter-century. Now, Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio is proposing a special legislative commission "to make a comprehensive study and issue findings regarding building a structured parking facility in downtown Providence, specifically at the Garrahy Judicial Complex."

The commission would be charged with reporting its findings by January 7, 2014. Via news release:

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Politics
9:57 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Chafee Still Opposed to Defaulting on 38 Studios Loan

Governor Lincoln Chafee said he remains strongly opposed to the idea of defaulting on moral obligation bonds related to the failure of video game maker 38 Studios. On Thursday, an investment expert  analyzed the pros and cons of default for the House Finance Committee.

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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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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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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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