Oklahoma's 53rd Legislature will be the first with Republicans in complete control of state government.
The GOP owns large majorities in the House and Senate and inhabits every statewide office. The voters, however, have a sobering message: Only 40 percent think the Republicans will run the state any better than Democrats did.
And only 13 percent agree with the statement: "The Legislature spends most of its time working on issues important to me." Such were the findings of the most recent Oklahoma Poll, which asked 520 Oklahomans with a history of voting what they thought of the Legislature and state government.
"I'm a Republican, but I don't vote that way always," said poll respondent Patricia Duff of Tulsa. "If they quit blowing out steam and go to work, they might get something done. But they'll be like the Democrats. Mediocre."There are a number of reasons why the public feels the way they do here in Oklahoma. A lot of it has to do with how the Republicans promised big during the election cycle and now that they are in office, we see charges of cronyism, career politicians taking political jobs which stand in contrast to how they campaigned, and more of the "good old boy" network shenanigans seen under previous Democratic leadership.
Is anyone really surprised? Our government is still being run by a small number of special interests and influences, and the communications infrastructure remains the same but somehow we bought into the propaganda that things were going to change. Granted, we're only a month into the new regime, but we have already had more scandal and compromise than the previous administrative leadership did in four years here in Oklahoma. And the talk is that there is more to come.