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
2:00 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Is a constitutional convention an answer to Rhode Island’s problems?

Former RI political staffer Terry Donilon makes the case via op-ed in today’s Providence Journal that a constitutional convention would help move the state forward:

It would provide the avenue we need to create open and constructive dialogue about whether we actually need 39 cities and towns or if we could go with smaller, more effective government in the form of regional or county administration.

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On Politics
1:00 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Loughlin says he’s not qualified to pursue the RI GOP chairmanship

John Loughlin, one of the Rhode Island GOP’s strongest voices, says he doesn’t intend to seek the chairmanship of the state Republican Party.

The current chairman, Mark Zaccaria, plans to give up the post early next year, according to Anchor Rising’s Monique Chartier.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Boies lured to RI by big national stakes on pensions

The emergence of super-lawyer David Boies in Rhode Island’s high-stakes pension fight — first reported yesterday by RIPR — was triggered by his interest in the even broader significance of the case.

Alison Frankel reports for Thomson Reuters:

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On Politics
3:00 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Romney the sore loser

Has there ever been a defeated presidential candidate any less gracious than Mitt Romney? Or has he been sucking on a lemon since his loss to President Obama last week?

In a conference call with large campaign donors Wednesday, the defeated Republican candidate blamed his loss on “big gifts’’ that the president has been giving out to “the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people’’ as well as to women during his first term.

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On Politics
2:00 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Caruolo appointed chair of the state Board of Education

Former House Majority Leader George Caruolo, who has re-emerged as a bigger force since Governor Lincoln Chafee took office, has been appointed by Chafee as head of the new state Board of Education.

The governor says this via news release:

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On Politics
1:00 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Loughlin says RI GOP won’t succeed without being more moderate

Former state representative John Loughlin, who ran a spirited GOP campaign against David Cicilline in 2010 (see photo at left), says the RI GOP has to be more moderate to succeed in Rhode Island.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Ajello to re-introduce marijuana-legalization bill

No, it’s not bill number 420.

State Representative Edith Ajello, chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, plans to re-introduce a bill in the new legislative session to legalize recreational marijuana. (The legislation wound up being held for further study this year; House Minority Leader Brian Newberry was among the cosponsors.)

Reason.com has more on a related event:

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On Politics
3:00 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Kerwin says the state Personnel Appeals Board punted on his case

Peter Kerwin, who was fired earlier this year from a job as program director for the Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority, says the state Personnel Appeals Board voted yesterday not to take up his case.

Joseph R. Palumbo, the lawyer for the RIHEAA, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Kerwin says he found the Personnel Appeals Board’s decision curious since, he says, lawyers from both sides were asked during an October 9 meeting to schedule four additional dates in November to discuss the case.

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On Politics
1:00 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Whitehouse part of Senate’s new “liberal lion’s den”

Politico assesses the emerging peer group of Rhode Island’s junior senator:

The Senate is about to become a liberal lion’s den.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Eight polling places set for December 11 mayoral election in Central Falls

Pointing to some well-publicized snafus during last week’s election, Central Falls mayoral candidate James Diossa is encouraging the state Board of Elections to go with the current eight polling places in the December 11 mayoral election, rather than cutting the number to two.

Diossa, in a news release, says the CF Board of Canvassers has proposed cutting the number of polling places:

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