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.

Pages

On Politics
7:42 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Block Says Master Lever Critics Will Raise Focus on Fox, Paiva Weed

John Marion of Common Cause of Rhode Island uses a prop to argue against straight-ticket voting, as Senator Lou Raptakis looks on.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The leader of efforts to kill straight-ticket voting, Moderate Party founder Ken Block, says opponents of the master lever plan to raise their focus on winning support from House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed.

“It’s up to the speaker and the Senate president to bring those bills up for a vote in committee to get them to the floor, and now the public pressure begins to mount on both of those offices to do that," Block says. "We’ll be pushing on that very hard over the next month, month and a half.”

Read more
On Politics
2:21 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Hyers Running Campaign in Fierce New Jersey State Senate Race

Eric Hyers, who ran Congressman David Cicilline's winning campaigns for Congress in 2010 and 2012, is now leading the defense for a New Jersey legislative leader facing a sharp primary challenge.

Read more
On Politics
12:51 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Execs with ProJo parent prospering despite shaky media landscape

Ernest Hemingway's storied retort to F. Scott Fitzgerald about why the rich are different -- because they have more money -- comes to mind in surveying some news involving the Providence Journal.

As Ted Nesi notes, executives with ProJo parent A.H. Belo are hardly suffering amid the ongoing certainty facing the newspaper industry:

Read more
RIPR News
9:04 am
Tue April 2, 2013

State Leaders Reluctant to Intervene in Coventry Fire District

Legislative leaders signaled Monday that local officials in Coventry should be the ones responsible for addressing the future of a troubled fire district in the town. A Superior Court judge has ordered the Central Coventry Fire District to close April 11th.

Read more
Politics
8:33 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Payday Loans and Straight-Ticket Voting Under Scrutiny

Two state Senate committees will review contested legislation Tuesday.
Credit Kristin Gourlay

Two bills getting a lot of attention this legislative session will go under the microscope at committee hearings Tuesday. Lawmakers will be discussing legislation abolishing straight-ticket voting and restricting payday lenders.

Moderate Party founder Ken Block is leading an effort to do away with straight ticket voting, a practice also known as using the master lever. Block says the master lever sows confusion and gives an advantage to the ruling Democrats in the General Assembly.

Read more
On Politics
3:01 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Paiva-Weed, Fox Bearish on State Help for Central Coventry Fire District

House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed offered skeptical notes in response to requests Monday for state help to preserve the Central Coventry Fire District.

Superior Court Judge Brian Stern last week ordered the district to close April 11. The move came after voters in the district rejected a proposed tax increase.

Read more
On Politics
4:18 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

TGIF: 14 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics + Media

Welcome back to my weekly column. Spring is starting to pop, and there's never a shortage of news hereabouts, so let's get to it. As always, your thoughts and tips are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.

Read more
Politics
4:00 am
Fri March 29, 2013

RI's Grassroots Fight For and Against Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage supporter Margaret Hughes knocks on a door in Woonsocket
Credit Bess Marine

Legislation that legalizes same-sex marriage in Rhode Island remains under consideration in the state Senate. Supporters want the General Assembly to approve same-sex marriage; opponents are backing a bill with broad exceptions that would make the issue subject to a statewide vote. Exactly when the Senate will vote on these bills remains unclear. Yet both sides are relying on grassroots campaigns to tip the outcome in their favor. These efforts could determine whether Rhode Island changes its status as the only New England state that has not yet legalized same-sex marriage.

Read more
Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Archambault on Same-Sex Marriage, the Master Lever, and the Ethics Commission

State Senator Stephen Archambault (D-Smithfield) joins us to talk about the outlook on same-sex marriage; the effectiveness of the General Assembly; whether the master lever should be abolished; and whether Ethics Commission oversight of lawmakers should be restored, among other issues.

Read more
Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Political Roundtable: Archambault on Same-Sex Marriage, Governor Chafee, and the RI GOP

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Senator Stephen Archambault (D-Smithfield) joins the Roundtable to discuss same-sex marriage, Governor Lincoln Chafee's blaming of the media for his low approval ratings; and continued woes for the RI GOP.

Read more

Pages