A local tea party group that has splintered from other tea party groups held a small gathering billed as a rally outside the Capitol on Thursday.
Sooner Tea Party drew less than 30 people to its event Thursday.
The group's leader, Al Gerhart, told the small crowd that the group spent $1,000 on radio advertising for the event.
The turnout was a far cry from the 5,000 who showed up to a similar event on April 15 two years ago outside the Capitol.
Then, organizers of the Oklahoma Tax Day Tea Party said America's leaders were out of control with spending and were ignoring the Constitution. That rally, on the deadline to file federal and state income taxes, was intended to send a message to Washington to stop excessive spending, organizers said. Between 800 and 1,200 people showed up for a similar rally last year.
But since then, Gerhart has drawn criticism from other local tea party activists, who claim he has become too radical.
As a result, other tea party groups have broken ties with Sooner Tea Party.
In a promotional posting on Sooner Tea Party's website, Gerhart billed Thursday's event as a chance to learn how to speak with legislators.
“After a very short training session that will prepare you for just how these slimy weasels will try to confuse you, leaders will take you inside in large groups to pull individual legislators out of the Chambers so you can read them the riot act,” Gerhart wrote. “Don't worry about what to say or worry about being intimidated; the legislator will be soiling their drawers when they have to face you. Enough of you will rise to the occasion and you will have a leader there to watch your back.”