Monday, July 7, 2008

McCracken for Congress -- Weekly Update -- July 6th, 2008

"Use It or Lose It" legislation fails to reach two-thirds majority.

On June 26th in response to ongoing calls to allow oil drilling off the coast of the United States and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Democratic members of Congress offered "Use It or Lose It" legislation to mandate that oil companies either drill on federal land they have leased or relinquish the right to do so. Currently, oil companies have dormant leases to over 68 million acres in the western United States and Alaska that are available for immediate drilling and exploration that, according to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md) "contains over 100 billion barrels of oil".

While the vote was 223 for and 195 against, it failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed for passage under shortcut parliamentary rules. For the record, all Democratic members of the Pennsylvania delegation voted for "Use It or Lose It" while all Pennsylvania Republicans voted against with the exception of Rep. John Peterson who did not vote.

One would think with leaders such as President Bush, Senator John McCain and many Republican members of Congress calling for more domestic drilling that oil companies would be rushing to tap the 68 million acres they already have access to. Also, with the overwhelming emphasis placed on the idea of increased domestic drilling, the "Use It or Lose It" bill would have received bipartisan unanimous approval.

It appears the calls for increased drilling offshore and in ANWR are nothing more than an election year maneuver to keep the American people from realizing the failures of the Bush Administration and the former Republican controlled Congress to enact an energy policy. While the Republicans had total control of the White House and both houses of Congress from 2001 to 2007 they did nothing to enact meaningful legislation that could have averted the oil crisis.

Oil prices continue to climb and American citizens are feeling the pinch of higher gas prices. Yet, 68 million acres with over 100 billion barrels of oil remain untapped. When called upon to help the American people, 195 members of Congress failed to help the people they were elected to represent. Voters need to remember this on November 4th when they can decide if they want more of the same or something better.

Campaign Team Welcomes Jennifer Anderson

The McCracken for Congress campaign welcomes Jennifer Anderson of Kersey, Elk County to the campaign team. Jennifer served as Elk County Director of Elections and Voter Registration for many years and is currently working for the Auditor General's office under Jack Wagner. Jennifer is going to handle coordinating the campaign in Elk County along with compiling voter registration data and past election results from throughout the 5th Congressional District. Jennifer will be assigned the dual titles of Elk County Coordinator / Data and Information Director.

Upcoming Events for the Campaign:

The following fundraising events are scheduled:

Thursday July 17th – Clearfield
McCracken for Congress Dinner
5:30 to 7:30 PM – Lawrence Township Fire Company Social Hall – Mill Road Clearfield
Cost - $20 per person
Event catered by The Country Butcher – Door Prizes

Friday July 18th – Tioga County
McCracken for Congress Picnic
4-8 pm - Hills Creek State Park, Crabapple Pavilion
Cost - $10.00 per person, $18.00 per couple, $25.00 per Family
Hot Dogs, salads, desserts and water, iced tea and lemonade to be served.
RSVP – Ann Gazda

Sunday July 20th – Lock Haven – Clinton County
McCracken for Congress Dinner
3:30 to 5:30 PM – Sons of Italy Hall – Downtown Lock Haven
Cost - $20 per person.
After dinner, although not an official part of the campaign event, people are encouraged to take part in the concert held at the riverfront amphitheatre which will feature a performance from a band featuring classic rock. NOTE – bring lawn chairs in case the stands are filled.

Please contact for additional details on the above events.

Weekly Event Wrap Up: It was a busy week for parades with the 4th of July holiday. Kelly, Amanda and I participated in the Osceola Mills parade in the morning on July 4th then it was on to Brockway where we met up with Jefferson County Commissioner Jeff Pisarcik and his family for the annual Brockway parade. Saturday morning I traveled to Lewistown to have breakfast with the Mifflin County Democratic Women's Club and later in the day it was on to Bellefonte where Kelly, Amanda and I joined up with Tim Wilson, Jayson Harpster and a pickup full of Obama supporters for the Bellefonte parade. With these 3 long parades, it is estimated that Amanda and I tossed approximately 150 pounds of candy over the 3 day weekend.

Campaign Events for the upcoming week: This week I'll be attending Democratic meetings in DuBois on Monday evening and Potter County on Tuesday evening. Saturday will be busy with possible visits to Clarion County for the Tri-County Farm Bureau Town and Country Day and to Philipsburg for the Heritage Days Parade.

Mark B. McCracken
Your Candidate For Congress

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