From the Office of State Senator Troy Fraser

For Immediate Release
May 26, 1998
Contact: William A. Scott - (512) 463-0124

The following is Senator Troy Fraser's response to Attorney General Dan Morales' press conference this morning regarding Morales' motion for sanctions in federal court

"Dan Morales is acting like a desperate man. He realizes that in less than 24 hours, Joe Jamail is willing to provide the details of what Mr. Jamail has called 'legally suspect and questionable' conditions that Morales tried to impose on him for representing the State.

"Morales is trying to give $2.3 billion to his five, rich trial lawyer friends -- money that belongs to the State. The motion filed today by Morales is further evidence of the hostage approach he has taken regarding his unwillingness to sever the issue of attorneys' fees from the main portion of the tobacco settlement. As a state legislators, we have not only a right, but a duty, to question actions of any state official who tries to give away the taxpayers money.

"Our position is clear: we want the Minnesota deal applied to Texas. Under that formula, Texas would receive more money from the tobacco companies, the lawyers would get a reasonable fee of less than $200 million, and the State would be completely off the hook.

"This latest move by Morales is nothing short of a terrorist attack. If Morales is concerned about our legal challenges, he should meet us in the courtroom and argue the merits of his case. This is a very feeble attempt to intimidate us, and it will not work."