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
12:51 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Watch Gordon Fox and Mark Binder go head-to-head on Newsmakers

House Speaker Gordon Fox and his legislative opponent, Mark Binder, squared off during a taped debate this morning on WPRI/WNAC-TV’s Newsmakers.

The topics included Fox’s campaign contributors, Rhode Island’s economy, 38 Studios, same-sex marriage legislation, last year’s pension overhaul, and much more. The skirmish is expected to be their last debate, following one earlier this week, before Election Day.

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On Politics
12:00 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Langevin’s first TV ad takes populist stance against Riley

Second District Democratic Congressman Jim Langevin is up with his first TV commercial against Republican challanger Michael Riley. It uses Riley’s self-description as a Wall Street-type and links him with Mitt Romney.

On Politics
3:03 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Duffy: 2000-style presidential cliffhanger possible on November 6

Jennifer Duffy of the Cook Political Report says a presidential cliffhanger — like  when Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000, but lost the Electoral College to George W. Bush — isn’t out of the question next month.

During a taping today of RIPR’s Bonus Q+A (airing Friday at 6:40 and 8:40 am), she said:

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On Politics
3:02 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Cicilline likened to Lazarus; Cook Political Report moves RI CD1 to “Lean D”

More good news for Democratic Congressman David Cicilline, even after a better than expected debate performance this week by Republican opponent Brendan Doherty: The respected Cook Political Report in Washington, DC, has moved the RI CD1 race from “Toss up” to “Lean D.”

Here’s the accompanying text from Cook:

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On Politics
3:00 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

11 highlights from the battle between Mark Binder and Speaker Gordon Fox

In most election years, someone like House Speaker Gordon Fox could laugh off a challenge by a relatively obscure challenger. But in the aftermath of the state’s disastrous investment in 38 Studios, independent Mark Binder is using that epic fail – among other issues – in a pointed campaign against perhaps the most powerful person in Rhode Island politics.

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On Politics
3:14 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Channel 12′s Howell, Abouzeid promoted to new assignments

Kudos and congrats to Jay Howell, the longtime president/general manager at WPRI/WNAC-TV, who has gotten a promotion to VP for regional television with the stations’ parent company, LIN Media. Also moving up is news diretor Joe Abouzeid, to a new role as president/GM of WDTN-TV and WBDT-TV in Dayton, Ohio.

Howell will remain in Providence, while Abouzeid has already set off for the Buckeye State.

Here’s the word on Howell’s successor, via a news release from Channel 12:

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On Politics
11:23 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Diossa has apparent lead with $22K war chest in run-up to November 6 election in Central Falls

City Councilor James Diossa has by far the largest war chest among the 4 Central Falls mayoral candidates who have filed updated campaign finance reports. Five hopefuls are set to square off November 6.

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On Politics
3:28 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Chafee reinforces his support for a long-term approach to economic development

With a series of organizations calling for more urgency in jolting Rhode Island’s under-performing economy, Governor Lincoln Chafee says the state needs to remain focused on a long-term approach. 

Speaking during a news conference highlighting $110 million in federally-backed improvements at T.F. Green Airport, Chafee said:

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On Politics
2:41 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Tomorrow at RIC – What’s the political influence of talk radio in RI?

Yours truly will be part of a panel discussion at Rhode Island College tomorrow (11 am, Room 110, Alger Hall) examining the local political impact of talk radio.

The chat, sponsored by RIC’s American Democracy Project, is entitled, “Does talk radio still rule?” The lineup for the panel includes WPRI.com reporter Ted Nesi, WPRO evening host Matt Allen, Josh Fenton from GoLocal, and Tim Staskiewicz from CBS Radio Boston. The moderator is Gene Valicenti from WJAR-TV.

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On Politics
1:44 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Six things to watch for in Tuesday’s CD1 debate between Cicilline and Doherty

WPRI’s debate this evening between Congressman David Cicilline and Republican challenger Brendan Doherty comes as the First Congressional District race remains up for grabs. Just consider last week’s Brown University poll: it showed Cicilline with a lead of slightly less than 6 percentage points.

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