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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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Political Roundtable: Block Calls his Report the Start of Efforts to Cut Waste and Fraud

Block.
Credit RIPR

Moderate Party founder Ken Block joins the Roundtable this week to talk about his report on waste and fraud in state government; the state Senate's attempt to improve Rhode Island's business climate; internal strife at the state Board of Elections; and the dispute over ethics legislation between House Speaker Gordon Fox and Representative J. Patrick O'Neill (D-Pawtucket).

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Block says Straight-Ticket Voting Holds Back RI's Reputation

Moderate Founder Ken Block joins us on Bonus Q+A to discuss his fraud and waste report, attempts to abolish the master lever, RI's political culture, and his future political plans.

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The Silver Boom: Aging in RI
1:49 am
Fri March 15, 2013

The Silver Boom: Will Entitlements be There for Future Retirees?

What's being done on Capitol Hill to preserve Social Security and Medicare?
Credit US Capitol

A Brown University PhD student in epidemiology, Beth Lacy, is 28 years old. That means she’s a long way from retirement and plans to be working for decades to come. But the debate over the future of Medicare and Social Security is on Lacy’s mind even when she makes one of her regular coffee stops at the Cable Car Café in Providence.

“Is is something I think about,” she says. “It’s not something that necessarily keeps me up at night. But just because of the world I’m in with work – public health – I definitely think a lot more about Medicare than Social Security.”

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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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