Oklahoma governor flexes muscle to gain influence

By Michael McNutt Published: July 28, 2013

Gov. Mary Fallin, with the assistance of lawmakers and Oklahoma voters, has attained additional gubernatorial power during her first 2½ years in office. And she doesn’t appear to be shying away from attempting to increase her influence.

“Obviously she has flexed her muscle, and that’s her prerogative,” said Senate Minority Leader Sean Burrage, D-Claremore. “Whether or not it’s outside the realm of what other governors have done, it’s hard to say. But she certainly has been active.”

House Minority Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, said Fallin, a Republican, has succeeded in increasing the limited powers given her office by the state’s constitutional framers.

“They wanted to diffuse power,” Inman said. “But Gov. Fallin is just another example of this effort by chief executives to overturn the will of the people and to get around the constitution, as it were, to try to consolidate as much power in his or her office as they possibly can,” he said.

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