Fraser Smith's Commentary

WYPR's Senior News Analyst opines on recent Maryland news.

Question for Maryland Republicans: is it time to find another argument for getting Democrats out of office? 

Everyone in government promises transparency, but then comes the real world. 

Praise for an outgoing Baltimore schools chief is almost certainly unprecedented. No one in the job over the last few decades has accomplished nearly as much Dr. Andrés Alonso. The very culture has been changed.

And yet the list requires the addition of one more item, and what an item it is: $1.1 billion in borrowing capacity granted recently by the General Assembly. Surely Dr. Alonso’s successes here were a key to the confidence-building effort in Annapolis.

Governor O’Malley’s suggestion that Baltimore’s prison mess is a good thing has been referred to as a masterpiece of spin. It was not. 

A shocking level of corruption has been uncovered at the Baltimore City Detention Center. Unbeknownst to inmate Tavon White, federal authorities were listening when he called himself  “the law.” 

We are all Bostonians, all Newtowners, all marathoners: We have to keep running in our pain and anguish.  

All politics is still local.

Elected officials know that nothing illustrates the point more clearly than dogs. Barking dogs, dogs that want to “mark” your shrubbery, dogs that litter the sidewalk, biting dogs.


Pit Bulls. Even if you don’t own one, you’re probably interested in the issue.


Everyone won’t agree with the methods or the goals, but Maryland finds itself leading often on progressive solutions to pressing national problems. 

Smith: Controversial Bills Should Face a Gauntlet

Mar 28, 2013


Controversial legislation almost never has an easy first year -- or first few years – in Annapolis.

It shouldn’t.

Even the least contentious 90-day sojourns in the Capital City are inevitably taxing. Making the right decision on important bills takes time and study and tinkering.

Sometimes difficult bills come bearing social change: marriage equality would be one. So it took some years to build support for legislation that many would say was an obvious matter of civil rights. Think how long it took for civil rights bills to gain the necessary support.