| June 6, 2013

Assimilated lawmakers become 'small cogs in the industry of big government'

In a recent column in the Edmond Sun, state Rep. Jason Murphey (R-Guthrie), the chairman of the Government Modernization Committee in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, shared some perceptive insights on what often happens with new state legislators at 23rd and Lincoln. These new freshmen come in with “fresh ideas directly from their constituencies,” Rep. Murphey writes. “With pure motives, they eagerly seek to make a difference.

And, then the assimilation starts to occur.

Lobbyists and bureaucrats move in such a way that would make the Borg proud. You may remember the Borg as the collective entity from Star Trek who seek to assimilate entire civilizations into their collective. To the Borg's credit, they give their intended victims advance warning of the assimilation with their famous, “you will be assimilated” catch phrase.

The special interests do not provide the same courtesy. Instead, they befriend the naive new lawmakers and take them to the nicest restaurants and bars. Legislators from out of town do not have much to do during the evening when the Legislature is finished for the day. Lonely and far away from home, they enjoy the opportunity to make new friends, not realizing they have just started down the road to assimilation.

Over the next few years, these relationships become stronger until the legislator is a mindless extension of the special interest. The assimilation has been completed and the legislator is now a small cog in the industry of big government.

I can tell when a legislator has been officially assimilated because he/she starts sponsoring very bad legislation as requested by government agencies and lobbyists.

And unfortunately, as OCPA distinguished fellow Andrew Spiropoulos has pointed out, there’s no shortage of government agencies and lobbyists.

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