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
4:22 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Challenger Hodgson & AG Kilmartin Spar on Radio Ad

Democratic Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and his Republican challenger, state Senator Dawson Hodgson (R-North Kingstown), are sparring over Hodgson’s first campaign commercial. Hodgson’s radio ad uses 38 Studios to criticize Kilmartin.

The spot states in part:38 Studios --- what a disaster. You’d think that Attorney General Peter Kilmartin would tell us which insiders got us into this mess and how much money they made.”

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Governor's Race
8:58 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Fight For State Party Endorsement

The leading Democratic candidates for governor used a partisan event Tuesday to describe themselves as the best choice to help struggling Rhode Islanders. A little more than three months remains until the primary election on September 9.

Candidates for state and federal offices spoke to the Democratic state committee, which will decide party endorsements next month. Gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo used the occasion to preview her first TV commercial. It pays homage to her father, Joseph, who died at age 87 earlier this month.

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On Politics
8:00 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

In First TV Commercial, Raimondo Emphasizes Her Late Father

Gina Raimondo has released her first television campaign ad, highlighting her late father.
Credit RIPR FILE

As expected, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo is launching the television advertising portion of her deep-pocketed campaign by starting with a personal focus -- in this case, her father, Joseph, who died at age 87 earlier this month.

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Health Care
3:58 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

In Switch, Ferguson Says HealthSourceRI Won't Need State Money in FY15

In a switch, the head of Rhode Island’s version of Obamacare says HealthSourceRI won’t need about $5 million dollars in state funding for the next fiscal year.

HealthSourceRI director Christine Ferguson last week said the exchange would need $4.6 million dollars in state money to keep going next year.

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Political Roundtable
2:47 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Bonus Q+A: McKee on Education, Why RI Needs an LG & More

Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate Daniel McKee joined Bonus Q+A last week to discuss his campaign and a host of related issues.

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On Politics
3:01 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Guest TGIF: Five Things to Know About the Open Meetings Act

Your humble correspondent took a few days off before the Memorial Day weekend. So we're diverting from our usual TGIF this week, turning the space over for a guest column by John Marion, executive director of Common Cause of Rhode Island, on the highly relevant theme of government transparency and open meetings. Take it away, John ....

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Political Roundtable: McKee on Mayoral Academies, 38 Studios, Tax Policy & the I-195 Process

Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Daniel McKee, the mayor of Cumberland, joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss his support for mayoral academies; more revelations about 38 Studios; transparency in the I-195 process; and the outlook on Smith Hill for tax cuts.

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On Politics
1:18 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Scharfenberg, Former Providence Phoenix News Editor, Headed to the Boston Globe

Kudos and congrats to former Providence Phoenix news editor David Scharfenberg, who is set to join the Boston Globe's Statehouse reporting team.

Scharfenberg left the Phoenix last year to cover politics for WBUR, the Boston public radio station. He begins at the Globe June 9, as one of two new hires at the daily.

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Politics
9:50 am
Wed May 21, 2014

RI ACLU Says I-195 Commission Should Err On The Side Of Transparency

The Rhode Island chapter of the ACLU says the 195 Commission should err on the side of transparency in releasing information to the public. The commission held a number of votes in a closed session Monday without describing what they were about. A spokeswoman for the commission says it has received several proposals for land made available by the relocation of Interstate 195.

Rhode Island ACLU head Steve Brown said the 195 commission appears to be within its legal rights by not releasing more information about its votes before signing a letter of intent.

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Politics
4:00 am
Wed May 21, 2014

At 73, Buddy Cianci Considers Yet Another Run for Mayor of Providence

Cianci holding forth during a Federal Hill event to celebrate his 73rd birthday.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

As the longest serving mayor in Providence history, Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr. is known both for his skills as a political showman and the criminal charges that twice forced him from City Hall. Now, at age 73 and almost done with his treatment for colon cancer, Cianci is considering another run for the top job in Rhode Island’s capital city. Because there’s a large field of candidates splitting the vote, the former mayor has a credible shot at winning. Yet a campaign by Cianci would also raise a national focus on Rhode Island’s checkered history of political corruption.

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