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DANNA BYROM Dan Morales Defining the Candidate Dan Morales was born on April 25 , 1956. A graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, he received his law degree from Harvard. He served as a prosecutor in the District Attorney’s office in San Antonio and in 1984 launched a criminal-justice-reform campaign against 12-year House member Joe Hernandez and won by 134 votes. He is currently completing his third term in the House. Now a candidate for Attorney General, Morales is considered a conservative on criminal justice issues and more liberal on social programs. He was interviewed in his Capitol office on January 19 by Observer Associate Editor Allan Freedman, who was accompanied by photographer Danna Byrom. What is the philosophy of Dan Morales? I think that the attorney general’s office in particular really offers an opportunity for an officeholder to do an awful lot of good for an awful lot of people. In the 1990s many of the major areas of public policy in Texas are going to be decided, in large measure, in some degree of litigation. For example, the public education policy, and corrections and criminal justice policy, even health and human services policy, we’re in litigation. I’ve been dealing with them in the legislative arena, now they are all moving over to litigation, and I think what that means is our state’s next lawyer is going to have the opportunity to impact policy in all those areas in a way that hasn’t been the case in the past. What are the three major areas? The major one would be public education, and particularly public education finance, the manner in which we decide to invest in the poor, particularly the property-poor districts such as the one I represent in San Antonio, the Edgewood Independent School District. Close behind that, I think criminal justice and corrections matters generally, the manner in which we administer our system of criminal justice in Texas from start to finish. Starting with what’s going to be illegal, why it ought to be illegal, what kind of sanctions we ought to attach to it, all the way through the process of administration, and ultimately capacity concerns and incarceration and varying options and alternatives in that regard. That is to some degree before the courts. And as you know the MHMR is 4 FEBRUARY 9, 1990 Rep. Dan Morales still a live lawsuit. In Dallas, Judge Sanders indicated in a pretty clear way that we’re going to have to continue work in that directiOn. Sd if you add up those areas generally, just look at the budget and the amount of money Texas spends in education, in corrections and criminal justice, in health and human services, you know you’ve got the vast ma jority of state government right there . . . . And the attorney general is going to have a much greater impact in terms of policy implementation in the 1990s than has ever been the case in the political history of our state. You mentioned three major areas. First, public education finance. … What would the