Fraser Smith

Senior News Analyst

Fraser Smith has been in the news business for over 30 years.  He began his reportorial career with the Jersey Journal, a daily New Jersey newspaper and then moved on to the Providence Journal in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1969 Fraser won a prestigious American Political Science Association Public Affairs Fellowship, which enabled him to devote a year to graduate study at Yale University.  In 1977, Fraser was hired away by The Baltimore Sun where in 1981, he moved to the newspaper's Washington bureau to focus on policy problems and their everyday effect on Marylanders.  In 1983, he became the Sun's chief political reporter.

During his career as a reporter, Fraser was the recipient of numerous journalism awards: from UPI New England in 1973, from AP New England in 1974 and 1975, from Roy W. Howard in 1975, from Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association in 1981, and from Sigma Delta Chi in 1986.  His Sun series on lead paint poisoning, which he wrote with his wife, Eileen Canzian, won first place and best of show honors in 1987 from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association.  Between 1999 and 2003, he has served as an editorial writer and columnist for the Sun.

Ways To Connect

Tom Chaulkey

When you get on the civil rights train, you can never get off. That was the late Parren Mitchell’s urging. Contemporary events, if nothing else, prove him quite right. He and his famous civil rights family knew the landscape as well as any. You couldn’t get off the civil rights train because it had not – might not ever – reach its destination. The struggle would not end. You had to ride on and on. 

Christopher Connelly / WYPR

YPR's Senior News Analyst, Fraser Smith, talks to The Daily Record's Bryan Sears about how Governor-elect Larry Hogan will tackle Maryland's structural deficit.  

taken at CPAC 2013 by Gage Skidmore via flickr

Last month, voters in the District of Columbia approved a referendum that allowed residents to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow as many as three cannabis plants. But Maryland Rep. Andy Harris (R-Baltimore Co.) has continued his opposition to pot legalization in the nation's capital. WYPR's Fraser Smith talks to Washington Post reporter Aaron Davis about efforts by Harris to block legalization in D.C. and why the issue is likely to end up in court.

spike55151 via flickr

The State Center complex in Baltimore is one of the remaining items that Governor Martin O'Malley may push for in his last month in office. WYPR's Fraser Smith and Christopher Connelly talk about the origin of the project and why its future is in jeopardy.

moneymatters-103 taken by Howard County Library System via flickr

Comptroller Peter Franchot has a finely tuned political ear – and little regard for political correctness. He realized early that former governor William Donald Schaefer was in decline and ready to be knocked off – by his own party. Franchot stepped up.

 Franchot saw the anti-tax sentiment of Marylanders peaking as the 2014 election loomed. Earlier actually. He declined to pamper reliable Democratic voters as he was defeating Schaefer.

Christopher Connelly / WYPR

Senate President Mike Miller said last week that a massive rollback of state taxes and fees is not likely. WYPR's Fraser Smith and Bryan Sears of the Daily Record talk about what kind of relationship the Calvert County Democrat may have with Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) and why a bigger question might be how the House of Delegates might react to proposed compromises.

Governor tours the Veep Set by Jay Baker, MDGovpics via flickr

Maryland's film tax credits, enjoyed by local television productions like 'House of Cards,' was called "significantly more generous than other business tax incentives" by an analyst at the Department of Legislative Services. WYPR's Fraser Smith and Erin Cox of the Baltimore Sun talk about the debate over the tax credits and why Gov.-elect Larry Hogan has not indicated whether he'll work  to end or reduce them.

Gage Skidmore via flickr

Former governor Bob  Ehrlich for President? Really?

Why not, he's saying. He’s got his toe in the New Hampshire waters. It felt like Dundalk to him, he told The Baltimore Sun this week.

Not many will take him seriously. “Ludicrous,” said a veteran Democrat. “If people have trouble taking Martin O’Malley seriously as a candidate, how in the world does Ehrlich think he has a shot?” said another.

Christopher Connelly / WYPR

Time is running out for Gov. Martin O'Malley to decide whether or not to commute Maryland's four remaining death sentences before he leaves office in January. WYPR's Fraser Smith and Christopher Connelly talk about why the state's repeal of the death penalty in 2013 created complicated legal questions for both O'Malley and the courts.

MdAgDept via flickr

The General Assembly begins in early January and one longtime lawmaker, State Sen. David Brinkley (R) of Frederick and Carroll Counties, will not return to his post after a defeat in the June primary. WYPR's Fraser Smith talks to him about the increased partisanship in Annapolis in recent years and what governor-elect Larry Hogan needs to do to have a successful session.

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