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
5:26 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Of Gov run in '14, Block Says He's Trying to "Figure it All Out"

Moderate Party founder Ken Block, who's had a winning week in the news cycle, says he's still thinking about a possible gubernatorial run in 2014. He got 6.5 percent of vote in a four-way field in 2010.

"I'm just trying to figure it all out," Block said during a taping of RIPR's Bonus Q+A.

The full segment -- covering his fraud and waste report, the master lever, and why more businessmen don't become politically active, among other topics --  airs Friday at 6:40 and 8:40 a.m.

Block says he's still in assessment mode on a future campaign:

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On Politics
3:13 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Boston Phoenix closing; Providence Phoenix to continue

In a sad day for anyone who cares about the news, one of the great alternative news weeklies -- The Boston Phoenix -- is closing, ending a long run of delivering penetrating political coverage and superb reporting on arts and entertainment. Sister papers in Providence and Portland, Maine, will continue.

Phoenix editor Peter Kadzis offered this statement:

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On Politics
12:18 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Doherty Dismisses AG Run in 2014; Expects to Decide on Gov within 2 Months

Doherty campaigning in 2012.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Brendan Doherty says he has "absolutely, positively no intention" of running as a Republican candidate for attorney general in 2014, although he's still considering a campaign for governor.

Some Republicans hope that Doherty, the former superintendent of the state police, would represent the GOP as an alternative to Democratic AG Peter Kilmartin in next year's race for attorney general. But Doherty sounds distinctly uninterested in the idea.

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Politics
9:41 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Senate to Consider Same-Sex Referendum Proposal

A bill calling for a statewide referendum to decide the fate of same-sex marriage legislation was filed Wednesday in the state Senate. Proposed legislation also offers exemptions for religious officials and small businesses that don’t want to be involved with same-sex weddings.

The bill sponsored by Providence Democrat Frank Ciccone has 10 other sponsors, eight of them Democrats.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a same-sex marriage bill in January. The Senate has slated a March 21st hearing.

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On Politics
5:04 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Senate bill in play to subject same-sex marriage to a statewide referendum

A state Senate bill being filed Wednesday by Senator Frank Ciccone (D-Providence) calls for a statewide referendum to offer an up or down vote on same-sex marriage.

The bill is cosponsored by 10 other senators: Lou DiPalma (D-Middletown0; Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio; William Walaska (D-Warwick); Nicholas Kettle (R-Coventry); James Doyle (D-Pawtucket); Lou Raptakis (D-Coventry); Judiciary Chairman Michael McCaffrey (D-Warwick); Frank Lombardi (D-Cranston); Walter Felag (D-Warren); and David Bates (R-Barrington).

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On Politics
4:13 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

One week, two different leadership styles from Chafee and Paiva Weed

The timing was purely coincidental, but it's hard to imagine a sharper contrast in leadership styles than what Rhode Island saw this week from Governor Lincoln Chafee and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed.

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Politics
7:27 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Proposal to raise State Taxes on Top Earners

Maureen Martin
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

A labor-backed coalition is renewing its effort to raise the state income tax for residents who earn more than a quarter of a million dollars.

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Politics
7:21 am
Wed March 13, 2013

State Senate Unveils Plan to Boost Economy

Rhode Island State House
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The leadership of the state Senate Tuesday unveiled a legislative package of 25 bills meant to improve Rhode Island’s economy.

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On Politics
2:38 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Can RI Elect Some Blue-Collar People to Congress? Part II

Former RI congressman Eddie Beard got held up last October as an example of something quite rare -- a blue-collar worker who went on to serve in the hallowed halls of the nation's capital.

If you want a sense of why this situation persists, consider the latest breakdown by the watchdog group MapLight of how much it cost to win a seat in Congress in 2012:

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Politics
8:41 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Providence and Unions Reach Pension Agreement

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

A Superior Court judge has approved pension settlement in Providence with retirees and current workers.  Judge Sarah Taft-Carter is expected to finalize the agreement next month.

The Providence pension settlement includes freezing cost of living adjustments, scaling back future benefits and moving retirees over to Medicare.

In her decision, Taft-Carter calls the settlement fair, reasonable, and adequate. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras calls the approval a significant step to finalizing the city’s pension agreement.

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