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Advocate staff photo by STACY GILL -- Stephen Waguespack, president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, motions to a graphic on the state budget July 14 during a visit to the Zachary Rotary Club. Waguespack shared insight into the recent Louisiana Legislative sessions concerning Louisiana budget woes and taxes.

STACY GILL

There are lots of professional speakers who can shed light, not just heat. Many of them have a point of view in line the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry's low-tax, anti-regulation political leanings.

Yet instead of bringing one of them to town to speak to the group's annual luncheon last week, the state's highest profile business lobby hired a professional provocateur. And what do you know, Laura Ingraham provoked.

After the radio and Fox News talk show host did her thing — mocking the #MeToo movement that speaks up for women who've been sexually harassed and assaulted, according to an account on NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune, as well as the Democratic mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu and Republicans such as John McCain, who's fighting cancer, and Mitt Romney — LABI tried to distance itself.

"Ingraham ... expressed her views on several national social and political issues, some of which are not reflective of the opinions held by the diverse membership of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry," read the statement. "LABI has a long history of listening to all perspectives in a bipartisan manner to develop solutions to Louisiana's challenges."

To which the only suitable response is: Oh, please.

Being open to "all perspectives" and developing solutions "in a bipartisan manner" is not Ingraham's brand. Being divisive is. She's called Dreamers who've joined the military mercenaries. She's written that Hillary Clinton’s ideas amount to “demanding special gender privileges to get ahead.” And more.

Ingraham decided years ago who she wanted to be, and LABI knew who that was when it hired her.

The question here is, is that really what LABI wants to be?

Follow Stephanie Grace on Twitter, @stephgracela.

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