NEWS RELEASE
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
July 9, 1998
Contact: Jeremy Warren, (512) 463-0113

STATEMENT OF SENATOR RODNEY ELLIS ON DISNEY STOCK

HOUSTON -- (07/09/98)//The American Family Association has claimed that, by investing a portion of Permanent School Fund dollars in Disney stock, the state of Texas is damaging the moral fiber of our children. How does a profitable investment in a high yield stock, which brings in more dollars to our public schools, damaging to children?

Investing in Disney stock does not mean that we are going to have a Mickey Mouse curriculum or lesson plan. Donald Duck uniforms will not be mandatory for our students. Instead, the more Donald Duck t-shirts and Mickey Mouse ears sold across the nation means more money to improve our public schools. To divest from a profitable investment like Disney is short-sighted and foolish.

If we are going to talk about divesting from companies whose products can be deemed harmful to children, then why just focus on Disney? Let's take a long look at some of the other companies in which we invest state dollars. Beer distributors, gambling casinos and the like. I think most Texas parents consider alcohol and gambling to be a greater danger to the moral fiber of their children than "Mulan."

Lawmakers have to focus on the long-term, best interest of our children, not narrow political agendas. The American Family Association isn't interested in adopting a socially responsible investment policy, they are interested only in finding wedge issues. Let's move beyond this bitter debate and focus on what's best for our kids.

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