Ian Donnis

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.

State Senator Elaine Morgan (R-Hopkinton), who attracted national criticism for an email in which she condemned Muslims, released a statement Friday defending her concerns about admitting Syrian refugees into the US.

The Tiverton Town Council is slated to hold a public hearing Monday on Twin River’s Tiverton casino proposal. 

Twin River wants to build a two-story, 85-thousand square foot casino in a remote part of Tiverton very close to the Massachusetts border. The council may vote to support the plan, or it could wait to vote on it at another time.

Rhode Island is gaining notice as a contender in the high-stakes battle over General Electric's possible relocation from Connecticut, thanks to the state pension overhaul spearheaded by Governor Gina Raimondo in 2011.

Former governor Lincoln Chafee announced his departure from the presidential race Friday morning, six months after he launched what proved to be a quixotic bid for the nation's top office.

"As you know I have been campaigning on a platform of Prosperity Through Peace," Chafee said, in prepared remarks for an address to a group of Democratic women in Washington. "But after much thought I have decided to end my campaign for president today.  I would like to take this opportunity one last time to advocate for a chance be given to peace."

Plans by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to build a casino in Taunton, Massachusetts, will not affect Twin River's quest to create a so-called "convenience casino" in Tiverton, a Twin River spokeswoman said Monday,

"It has no bearing on our plans in Tiverton," spokesman Patti Doyle said.

The Mashpee Wampanoags are staging a noon Monday news conference at Taunton City Hall to discuss their plans.

The Pawtucket Red Sox officially pronounced dead Saturday night their quest to build a ballpark on part of the former I-195 land in Providence, an effort that went onto life support in recent weeks due a variety of hurdles.

In a statement, PawSox Chairman Larry Lucchino said the team was suspending its pursuit of the I-195 parcels and "will cease its public campaign for the I-195 riverfront site."

Karen Bordeleau, who rose to become The Providence Journal's first female executive editor during a 20-year career at the newspaper, is leaving Fountain Street after slightly more than two years in the post.

Larry Lucchino's role in seeking a new Providence ballpark for the Pawtucket Red Sox "remains unchanged," a team spokeswoman said Saturday, even though Lucchino is winding down his impactful role as CEO of the Boston Red Sox.

"Larry's role remains unchanged with respect to the PawSox ownership group," Patti Doyle said via e-mail. "He remains focused on achieving a renegotiated agreement with the state on relocating the team to a new ballpark on lands within the I-195 District [area] in Providence."

James Skeffington, the Providence lawyer and longtime Rhode Island deal-maker who served as the public face of the new ownership of the Pawtucket Red Sox, died Sunday at age 73.

Skeffington was the top public spokesman and cheerleader for the group that bought the PawSox in February.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said he was racially profiled by police "countless times" as a youth and young man in Rhode Island's capital city.

"It's just part of growing up in the city -- which is very unfortunate and sad," Elorza, a son of Guatemalan immigrants, said Thursday during a taping of Rhode Island Public Radio's Political Roundtable. "I've been pulled over a number of times, so I'm sensitive to that."

State Representative Patricia Morgan (R-West Warwick) says she plans to introduce a bill Wednesday that would allow voters to decide if the new owners of the PawSox can use public financing or tax relief to build their envisioned ballpark on former I-195 land in Providence.


Chion Wolf / WNPR

Rhode Island's governor-elect Gina Raimondo has picked Connecticut Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, a fellow Yale alum with experience leading economic-development efforts in New York and New Jersey, as her choice to be Rhode Island's first commerce secretary.

Three of Rhode Island's top former federal prosecutors staged a news conference Tuesday to discuss Providence mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci's criminal record and their concerns about his latest attempt to win back control of City Hall.

Providence mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci is walking back an earlier assertion that he won’t take campaign contributions from city employees. Rival candidate Jorge Elorza is calling on Cianci to return about $18,000 in donations from city employees.

This is Cianci speaking during a September 17debate, sounding unequivocal. While criticizing the amount of openness at City Hall, he rejected the idea of accepting city employees’ campaign contributions.

"There’s been no transparency and by the way, I haven’t taken a dime from any city worker nor do I intend to."

Brett Smiley ended his Providence mayoral campaign Friday and threw his support behind fellow Democrat Jorge Elorza. The decision basically sets the stage for a head-to-head September 9th primary battle between Elorza and City Council President Michael Solomon, the acknowledged front-runner in the race.

Smiley's announcement came exactly 24 hours after his latest policy proposal, a road-improvement plan touted during a news conference near the Providence train station.

A new coalition of public and private unions, banding together under the name Working Families for Angel, on Monday announced their support for Angel Taveras' gubernatorial campaign.

Working Families for Angel says it plans to communicate with more than 16,000 union households through door-knocking, electronic communications and other means.

After claiming not to have his mind made up before taking to the airwaves for his afternoon talk show, 73-year-old Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr. revealed Wednesday he's staging an improbable comeback to become the next mayor of Providence.Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay discusses the implications of another Buddy run on Providence and the state.