Legislature’s Power To Keep Secrets Keeps Oklahomans In The Dark


[John Wood is an associate professor of political science at the University of Central Oklahoma and a member of the FOI Oklahoma board of directors. The views he expresses are his and not necessarily the university’s. This article originally appeared in the Oklahoma Observer.]

Atop the Oklahoma Capitol dome stands the Guardian, a 17-foot, 6,000-pound bronze statue of an American Indian warrior with shield and lance in hand. The working oil rig fenced in a nearby parking lot is not likely lost on his gaze. While some, tongue in cheek, say, “He’s got his weary eyes on Texas,” others say the Guardian reflects Oklahoma’s heritage, according to its creator, former state Sen. Enoch Kelly Haney.

The state Capitol is dubbed, not unlike all other state legislature buildings, as the “people’s house.” It might by all appearances seem “open” to the public, but in reality, only so much.


William Hickman