Tuesday, October 11, 2005


(KILLEEN) -- Mary Beth Harrell, the wife of a retired military officer and mother of two active-duty soldiers in the war on terrorism, today formally announced her campaign for the U.S. Congress from CD 31, inviting voters to join her in a campaign "to restore the kind of integrity, accountability, and faith in the future that we demand ‹ and deserve."

"The current leadership didn't get the job done," Harrell said. "I will."

A successful attorney specializing in criminal law, Harrell said her get-tough record in the courtroom and additional work on behalf of taxpayers as a city prosecutor in Nolanville and interim prosecutor in Temple reflect the mainstream values of Central Texas families and small businesses.

"It's time to send someone to Washington who will put our priorities first and Tom DeLay's priorities last," Harrell said.

Harrell's opponent, incumbent Rep. John Carter, was one of the disgraced former Majority leader's top lieutenants. He has spent much of the past year defending DeLay, who was indicted last month by a Texas criminal grand jury and currently being investigated in Washington D.C. on multiple charges of violating campaign finance and ethics laws. Carter has also personally contributed thousands of dollars to DeLay's legal defense fund.

Harrell served notice that her campaign will be guided by a set of "middle-class rules" highlighting the common-sense values fundamental to families and small businesses throughout the district.

  • Paying our fair share: Mainstream families and businesses have little choice to pay their taxes, while special interests and big corporations regularly avoid their responsibilities. Shifting jobs and revenues overseas to avoid paying for the basic services that make our country great is unfair, unwise, and unacceptable.
  • Investing in America: Fiscal responsibility in Washington is apparently a thing of the past, and Washington has ground to a halt amid gridlock and greed. We need a new faith in the power of investment to make America stronger, our communities safer, our schools better, our air and water cleaner, our schools second-to-none, and our health care affordable and available for those who need it most.
  • Securing your retirement: The least our senior citizens should be able to count on from us is that we will keep our commitments to them instead of pushing privatization schemes designed to make Wall Street even richer.
  • Clean air, clean water: There is nothing debatable about our need to protect food supplies, preserve air and water quality, and conserve our natural heritage for recreation, hunters, and sports enthusiasts. Economic development and jobs depend on our ability to protect the quality of life in our communities for this and the coming generations.
  • Pain at the pump: We are told that Washington has spent the past three decades giving billions of our hard-earned tax dollars to big oil corporations so that they can research and develop energy sources and technologies that don't use fossil fuel and free us of our dependency on foreign sources. Yet, we're still paying record prices at the pumps while pouring tons of toxic pollutants into our air and water.
  • Affordable health care: In the name of lower insurance rates, the courthouse doors have been closed to ordinary taxpayers who have been injured by dishonest corporations and their big insurers. But have your insurance premiums gone down? Your homeowners' insurance, which are still twice the national average? Your co-pays? Can you now afford health coverage that you couldn't before? Of course not.

"You and I work, raise our families, pay our taxes, vote, and obey the laws of the land," she told supporters during stops in Killeen and Round Rock. "We send our sons and daughters off to fight in foreign wars defending our country. We play fair and don't try to change the rules in the middle of the game when it looks like we might lose. And we have a right to expect our elected leaders to play by those same rules."

In addition to her legal work, Harrell operates the non-profit St. Francis Animal Sanctuary with her husband, a reserve police officer and Vice-Chair of the Bell County Bail Bond Board. The Harrell’s recently opened a second shelter, Assisi Animal Refuge, and continue to work in cooperation with the Killeen Chamber of Commerce on a wide range of humane education programs in the area.


At 10/12/2005 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Harrell is off to a strong start. Great statement. Steep climb but she sounds like she might be up to it. Best of luck!


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