The Roemer Revolution

Louisiana's strange new prospects: fiscal prudence and honesty

From fire-breathing Huey Long to high-living Edwin Edwards, Louisiana's populist Governors have almost always pushed at the boundaries of executive power. The latest to occupy the mansion, Democrat Charles ("Buddy") Roemer, has quickly stretched those boundaries to all but a breaking point. Since he took over from Edwards in March, the scrawny Harvard-educated chief executive has extracted from the legislature budgetary and political power rivaling that $ once held by the dictatorial Kingfish. "I'm the most powerful Governor in America," exults the pragmatic populist as he flashes a baby-faced smile.

Unlike his predecessors, Roemer is using his new clout to dismantle...

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