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
4:31 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Young Volunteers Could Loom Large in the Expected Taveras-Raimondo Primary in 2014

The sophisticated grassroots campaign in support of same-sex marriage offers a tangible reminder of the value of field work makes in Rhode Island politics. So as we move closer to an expected Democratic gubernatorial clash between Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo next year, keep an eye on their level of outreach to young political activists.

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RI News
12:43 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

RI Supreme Court Upholds Pona Murder Conviction

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a man charged in the slaying of a 15-year-old murder witness in 2000.

Charles Pona was charged with arranging the death of witness Jennifer Rivera. Rivera was approached by a gunman as she was skipping rope in front of her house on Providence’s South Side. She was killed to prevent her from testifying against Pona in a murder case.

In rejecting Pona’s appeal of his conviction, the Supreme Court said he’s had his day in court after two trials and two appeals and that the rule of law has prevailed.

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On Politics
12:33 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Hassett Throws Support in Secretary of State Race to Pacheco

Longtime Providence City Councilor Terry Hassett, who had been eyeing a bid for secretary of state in 2014, has decided to seek re-election instead while tossing his support to former state Democratic chairman Edwin Pacheco.

Via news release:

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Politics
8:10 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Moderate Party's Ken Block Seeks Governorship Again

Moderate Party founder Ken Block has announced that he’ll be a candidate for governor next year. Block calls himself a problem-solver who can move the state forward.

Block thinks he can significantly improve on his showing in 2010, when he got six and a half percent of the vote for governor. He says he’s running because Rhode Island’s problems are abundantly clear.

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On Politics
10:27 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Ken Block Announces Run for Governor in 2014

Moderate Party founder Ken Block, who has hinted for months about a second run for governor, made it official Tuesday, unveiling a campaign Web site and an announcement:

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On Politics
9:36 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Steve Laffey Running for Governor in Colorado

Former Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey, who had a meteoric rise in Rhode Island politics before losing a Republican primary challenge to then-US Senator Lincoln Chafee in 2006, is headed toward a GOP run for governor in his adopted state of Colorado.

Via KDVR (h/t Kathy Gregg):

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Politics
8:16 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Valois Faces Approval of Full State Senate

Marcel Valois at last week's Senate Committee meeting.
Credit RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee’s choice to lead the state Economic Development Corporation faces approval by the full state Senate committee Tuesday.  The votes comes amid debate over the EDC’s future.

Chafee’s choice, Marcel Valois, was unanimously approved by a Senate committee last week. Valois led the EDC in the 1990s during Lincoln Almond’s tenure as governor. He says Rhode Island needs to do a better job of helping business when it can and getting out of the way when it can’t.

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On Politics
5:10 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

TGIF: 12 Things to Know About RI Politics + Media

Welcome back to my Friday column. Your thoughts and tips are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (org), and don't forget to follow me on Twitter. Here we go:

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Politics
7:07 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Almonte Announces Plan to Run for Treasurer

Former state auditor Ernest Almonte has announced plans to run as a Democrat for state treasurer next year.  Former treasurer Frank Caprio has also expressed his intention to run for the post.

Almonte’s decision to run for treasurer marks a switch, since he announced plans last year to seek the governor’s office in 2014. In a statement, Almonte doesn’t explicitly explain his decision to change course. Yet he says he’s listened to input from Rhode Islanders and – quote – “made a decision based on logic.”

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Politics
4:00 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Political Roundtable: 2014 Race for Treasurer Heats Up + President Obama's Trio of Controversies

Pablo Rodriguez joins the Roundtable this week as we discuss the 2014 race for treasurer; Governor Lincoln Chafee's recent judicial nominations; lower-than-expected state revenues; and the trio of controversies facing President Obama.

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