Mary Beth Harrell On Rep. John Carter’s Pork Project

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:33 pm by wcnews

The Congressional Pig Book for 2006 is out. It’s a compiliation of pork-barrel projects in the federal budget, done annually by Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW). One of our Congressman’s projects it cited in the book:

$18,050,000 for projects at Fort Hood in the district of House Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee member John Carter (R-Texas): $6,800,000 for a physical fitness center; $6,600,000 for a central shipping/receiving point; and $4,650,000 for a fire station. There are six fitness facilities at Fort Hood, including the newly renovated Abrams Physical Fitness Center. According to a local website, “Newly renovated, Abrams is one of the Army’s top fitness centers. Equipped with a state-of-the-art life fitness Interactive Training System, computerized cardiovascular equipment with TV access, free weights, two coed saunas, three regular racquetball courts and a Challenge court, an eight-lane 25 meter swimming pool…”

When questioned about it here’s how he responded, Texas 4th in political ‘pork’:

In Texas, one was a combination of about $18 million in earmarks for Fort Hood, submitted by Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock. It included $6.8 million for a seventh physical fitness center on base.

“That’s not pork,” Carter said. “That is a real need for the war-fighters of this nation.”

Here is Mary Beth Harrell’s Response:

For Immediate Release:

Soldiers’ mom and Democratic Congressional nominee, Mary Beth Harrell, challenged Republican Congressman John Carter’s statement that the “warriors” on Fort Hood have a “real need” for a seventh fitness center on post. Carter made his statement while defending the 6.8 million dollar cost for the new fitness center after it was listed as a wasteful “pork barrel” project by the Citizens Against Government Waste in their annual 2006 “Pig Book.”

Harrell stated, “Carter should have earmarked that 6.8 million tax dollars for the urgent health care needs of soldiers and veterans. I’ve spoken to the Commanders of Fort Hood and Darnall Army Hospital, both tell me that there is an urgent need to upgrade the aging hospital facility and provide additional healthcare programs for returning soldiers. In fact, the Fort Hood hospital needs to be designated as a regional medical facility so our soldiers and vets can get the increased health care funding and support they’ve earned.”

Harrell continued, “Most of the six existing fitness centers on Fort Hood have cut back operating hours due to the reduced soldier population - after all, the 4 Infantry Division is currently in Iraq. I’m well aware of this since my son is serving with them.”

Harrell also pointed out the Base Reduction and Alignment Commission (BRAC) has ordered the permanent reduction of 5,000 troops from Fort Hood. “Fort Hood is losing 5,000 troops thanks to the BRAC report, 4th ID is in the desert, and 1st Cav is busy training to return to Iraq again, or be deployed to other hot spots around the world – so how can Carter justify a real need for a another gym on Fort Hood?”

Harrell recalled her experience as an Army wife while her husband served on active duty, “I watched my husband get up just about every morning at 4:30 a.m. to travel to Fort Hood to do PT with his unit. I can assure Mr. Carter that the NCOs (non-commissioned officers) make it their business to ensure that their soldiers stay physically fit in order to do their mission.” Harrell was referring to the Army’s mandatory physical fitness training. Harrell emphasized that “PT” didn’t require multi-million dollar gyms, “it’s called push-ups, sit-ups and 5-mile runs.”

Harrell stated, “How can Carter justify wasting 6.8 million tax dollars on another gym while Imus raised 10 million dollars in donations for a desperately needed state-of-the-art rehab center in Texas to help our soldiers who lost arms and legs fighting in Iraq?” Harrell was referring to radio and television personality Don Imus who created the Fallen Heroes Fund to raise money to build the physical rehabilitation center in San Antonio.


  1. Capitol Annex » This Post Is A Must Read! said,

    April 10, 2006 at 4:35 pm

    […] Please check out what Congressional Candidarte Mary Beth Harrell has to say about Rep. John Carter and some of his pork projects. It’s here. […]

  2. BigDuck said,

    April 11, 2006 at 8:58 pm

    I wonder who will be getting the $6.8 million to build the coed saunas and other stuff…

  3. wcnews said,

    April 11, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    That’s the next piece of the puzzle.

  4. Capitol Annex » The Aging Prom Queen’s Promise Isn’t The Only One That Has Been Broken said,

    April 16, 2006 at 12:29 pm

    […] Texas Republicans have been some of the worst pork offenders, too. With a Congressional Delegation in which Republicans are the majority, Texas managed to rank fourth nationwide in “pork-barrel” projects sunk within the depths of the federal budget. Recently, congressional candidate Mary Beth Harrell put Rep. John Carter in the statewide spotlight for his pork-barreling. […]

  5. Eye on Williamson » Rep. John Carter On Immigration, Etc.. said,

    April 19, 2006 at 9:49 am

    […] One more thing from good ‘ol Rep. Carter. Because he continues to support this war and has to continue redeploying our troops over and over again he is now trying to make up for it by introducing a bill for military spouses. It’s a tax incentive for businesses to help military spouses find “quality employment”. It would seem to me that “right-wingers” would see this as some kind of “affirmative action” for military spouses and be against it. Maybe he could use the money for the new gym instead? I’ve got a better idea. How about bringing their spouses home instead. He could also so more to bring “quality employment” to the rest of his constituents that need it too. […]

  6. Eye on Williamson » As Fort Hood Tightens budget Rep. Carter Heads To The Border said,

    June 2, 2006 at 10:07 am

    […] That’s great. In this time of war make the soldiers pay even more of a price. I think Fort Hood would be better served if the money to pay for it’s seventh gym was used to make up this shortfall instead of making severe cutbacks. […]

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