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GOOD MORNING ON THE RIVER! Serving Antojitos to Zucchini \(Breakfast, Nachos, Burgers, Chili, Hot Dogs, 7:30 a.m. until Midnight 225-4098 RESTAURANT 511 Rivcrwalk Across from the Kangaroo Court San Antonio, Texas Well, first of all, I think I have a better understanding of the problems of the teachers than either of my primary opponents. And obviously more than my general election opponent. My mother was a schoolteacher. My wife was a schoolteacher. My campaign manager is a schoolteacher or was. I have been in close communication with a host of teachers throughout my term of office, and the attorney general’s office on student discipline. We’ve got to get back to some rather fundamental approaches to education. You don’t have to give up anything. You’re going to gain quite a bit. What you’re going to gain is a person who can read and write, and make decisions for himself, and be acquainted with life in the real world. And hopefully will have a job when he graduates from high school those who don’t go to college. Bilingual Ed. What about bilingual education? We’ve got a host of kids out there who are illiterate in two languages .. . Well, it doesn’t matter if you’re illiterate in any language, if that’s the only one you’ve got, you know, you’re illiterate, you’re in trouble. What we’ve done in bilingual education, I inherited a lawsuit that started back in 1972, I believe, and that lawsuit went through the courts, and it’s now on appeal. My commitment, and I think some of the misunderstanding that peolawyer, I have to defend the law that may or may not agree with my own thoughts on what the law might ought to be. I have gone out and vigorously supported changes in our bilingual law, worked very closely with the Mexican-American political legislative caucus to see that we have an updated bilingual law which touches not only the needs of the Spanish-speaking child, but every other child who comes to this state who does not have English as a first language. We now have a law that is acknowledged, I think, by every educator of any consequence that I’ve spoken with as being one of the finest in the country. I think you’ll find that if it had not been for my efforts in initiating that legislation, nothing would have been done. So you’re saying you’re doing that more as Mark White than . . .? That’s Mark White’s positive response to the problem. And I am also as Mark White, the attorney general, have been trying to show the court that what Texas has is appropriate and constitutional. Are there several areas where Mark White, the attorney general, might have to defend positions that Mark White, citizen, or Mark White, governor, might not necessarily agree with, and could we talk about some of those? Well, yeah, I think you can say that I much preferred that, you know I’d like to write the law that I have to defend, but the constitution doesn’t permit that. Sometimes I would make changes in some of those laws that could make it easier for me to defend them. What I did in several areas in this last session was try to focus on some bills as they went through, and try to model them so that they would be constitutionally supportable, and so that they would be legislatively effective. Could you give us some examples? The drug paraphernalia bill was one of those. That was a bill that, had it passed in its original form, would probably have been unconstitutional. Are you comfortable with the form in which it finally passed? I think it’s constitutional now, and I have supported that bill. If that bill in its final form came to you as governor, would you have signed it? Yes, I certainly would have. I think primarily what we have is a society not condoning the abuse of a person with the use of drugs, especially among young people. What about the governor’s war on drugs package? Wire-tapping . . . ? I support wire tapping of drug pushers. I think it’s important that they be brought to the bar of justice. I think to that extent it’s an effective statute, and that it should be utilized and renewed. I believe that there should be additional protection built into that statute, which they did not accept, and I did propose and did support. Would you have vetoed that bill had you been governor? I would have had that bill with stronger protections against abuse, and then I would have signed it. Do you have any indications, general, whether it has been effective or not? Too early to say. Too early to tell. I think the reason there’s a drop-dead date in that bill is so there can be legislative reassessment of its effectiveness. I think this is going to be of importance in whether it will pass again in that form or in some amended form. How about your position on the Voting Rights Act as attorney general? I’ve always protected the or supported the sections of the voting rights act. Too often the press will ally you as for something or against something, depending on whether you said you didn’t like one thing about one section, they say you’re against it. What I did not like about the Voting Rights Act was the provision on pre-clearance, whereby you send everything to Washington, D.C., for them to pre-clear. If you’ll look at that, we have wasted about 99% of their efforts, because 99% of what we have sent them up there has been approved. When you have a voting poll change from one block to another in Amarillo, Texas, and there are no minorities in that ‘ census tract, it seems senseless to send that change to the Justice Department, and then have them review it to see whether it can be implemented. My position as enunciated at the hearing held this past summer in Austin in a House committee hearing is very similar to the one, to the statement made in the earlier part of that day by Cong. Bob Krueger, who supported the original passage and was one of the sponsors of the act. So I think there’s very little difference of opinion over what needs to be done with the statute. If you will look at Senate Bills 1046 and 1047, passed in the 1975 Legislature, you will find that the protections against intimidation and coercion are now state law, permanent THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15