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Candidate Boasso says one thing, Sen. Boasso did another

The politically-inspired transfiguration of state Sen. Walter Boasso, gubernatorial candidate has created a polyglot candidate – former Republican who voted liberal on the question of government power and economic intervention, now Democrat who sounds like a conservative on that same issue.

Boasso the contestant for the state’s top job tries to sound conservative when he goes around saying he’s for scaling government back, that state government already has enough money and doesn't need new taxes. But Boasso the legislator did exactly the opposite. He supported increasingly larger budgets during his term. He voted for a new “sick” tax in 2005 on hospitals that would have raised health care prices, and continues to argue that Louisiana must continue to operate its inefficient, government-provided indigent health care system rather than allow more private sector involvement.

Boasso the applicant for being the state’s chief executive talks of how he is an outsider to government, successful in the business world, who can bring change because he is the “Big Guy” representing the “little guy.” Yet Boasso the senator voted for a sweetheart retirement deal for legislators that would have cost taxpayers, a deal the typical “little guy” citizen could only dream of getting.

And, for good measure, the contradictions inherent between Boasso the candidate and the senator extend to a battle waged within the candidate himself. Boasso talks of how the state needs to attract out-of-state companies, yet proposes to force car insurers to write home insurance policies – a deal unlikely to lower insurance prices precisely because it would drive insurers away and perhaps jack up the prices of both kinds of insurance, providing yet another disincentive for business to exist in Louisiana.

Boasso’s current rhetoric seems to echo a theme at odds with his past record. Which only fuels speculation, which began with his party switch when it became clear he was not the favored candidate of the GOP, that Boasso is nothing more than an unprincipled politician willing to say or do anything to get elected. Or, as he put it in regards to his campaign, “We'll do whatever it takes” – apparently including saying one thing while having done another.

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