Monday, August 4, 2008

McCracken for Congress -- Weekly Update -- August 3, 2008

White House Announces Bush Administration to Leave a Record Budget Deficit of $482 Billion.

Since January when we began our campaign for the 5th District seat in the US Congress, I've consistently stressed that my biggest concern is the fiscal mess that has happened in Washington. This week, White House officials admitted the Bush administration would leave office in January 2009 with a record budget deficit sitting on the books of $482 BILLION. This record $482 billion deficit is coupled with a record debt of $9.5 trillion.

On January 20th, 2001, when George W. Bush was sworn in to his first term in office and the Republican Party had control of both houses of Congress, the United States government had a record budget surplus, our economy was in a period of record expansion and the national debt was being paid down. In fact, if the Bush administration would have continued the fiscally responsible polices from the 90's by continuing to grow the surplus and pay down the debt, the federal debt could have been retired by 2013.

It is all fantasy now thanks to the irresponsible fiscal policies of the last 8 years, but, imagine what we could have done in the United States after the debt was paid off in 2013. Our country would have had a surplus of funds that we could have invested in a complete rebuild of our infrastructure to make it ready for the next century, We could have made a real effort at addressing the health care crisis because funds would have been available. We could have invested in updating and upgrading our military and providing for our veterans. We could have had a real investment to fix our public education system. All these possibilities - GONE.

In the 90's, difficult decisions were made and sound fiscal policies were put in place by the federal government. These decisions were made in a bipartisan manner with a Democratic administration in the White House and the Republicans in control of Congress the second half of the decade. Rather than sticking with sound logic in support of a fiscally strong government, Republicans in Congress joined with George W. Bush in the early days of his administration and decided that short term gratification from across the board tax cuts, with the overwhelming majority directed towards the top 2% income levels, was more important than the long term fiscal and financial security of the federal government.

In the 5th District race, voters will have the decision to choose between more of the same fiscal irresponsibility as my opponent continues to voice his strong support for the Bush tax cuts. Or, they can choose something better because I believe we must show the courage and responsibility to clean up this fiscal mess once and for all. It won't be easy in the short run, but, if we make the commitment to stick to strong fiscal policies, we can finally invest in the things we need to in order to make the lives of our citizens better and our country more secure.

Campaign Receives Endorsement from Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

I am pleased and excited to announce that our campaign has received a letter from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO endorsing my candidacy. I am truly honored that we have received this important endorsement as it represents support from working men and women, not only in the 5th district, but from throughout Pennsylvania working for our cause.

In announcing the list of endorsed candidates in a press release posted on, Bill George, President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO said "These candidates have proven themselves to be the friends and supporters of working families. They understand that workers are struggling in this economy with stagnant wages, soaring prices for health care, gas and food. They advocate and support an agenda that mirrors the priorities of the labor movement. We are confident that they will put this country back on track toward prosperity and opportunity for all not the few.".

The letter from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO concluded with the positive exclamation "Congratulations on Labor's endorsement! On to Victory!".

Major Fundraising Event for DuBois area / Elk and Jefferson Counties:

Campaign Chairman Henry Guthrie and his wife Molly have finalized plans for a McCracken for Congress fundraising event to be held Friday August 15th at the Lion's Club Sky Lodge in DuBois. This is going to be a fun filled evening with entertainment from the Moore Brother's Band and a Chicken BBQ dinner. We are inviting several local and state level elected officials. Tickets for the event are $20. We are also looking for sponsor level support for the event for a donation of $150 or more. Please contact Henry or Molly at 371-1892 or 577-2398 for ticket information. Also we would greatly appreciate it if you could take 10 or more tickets and sell them.

Recap of the Past Week:

The majority of the past week was spent working close to home at the Clearfield County Fair. The response from people visiting the Democratic booth was tremendous. I was also encouraged by the positive comments and remarks that we received from people interested in the Obama campaign. I have to recognize the people who put in the time and effort to make the booth available for the week. Specific recognition goes to County Chair John Sughrue, Sue Lemmo and Terry Noble for leading the effort over the past months to have the booth. Also, Patrick Yingling was at the booth several nights, County Controller Claudia Read worked for many weeks to schedule people to work the booth and Rodger Baumgardner was on hand every evening to make sure the booth was properly secured at closing time.

Tuesday evening I made a trip to Potter County to spend the evening working with County Chair Norma Nichols in the Democratic booth at the Potter County Fair. It was a very positive visit and I made contact with many voters from Potter, McKean and Tioga counties.

On Friday evening, I traveled to St. Marys for the Elk County Democratic Picnic. Media Advisor Diane Kesner traveled with me to shoot some footage that we will use later in commercials for the campaign. The event had a great turnout with the highlight of the evening coming from a rousing speech given by Rep. Dan Surra who talked about the problems facing our region, state and country. Rep. Surra made it clear that this is a key election in the history of our country and he called on everyone to get involved to elect the candidates who will work to solve the problems. State senate candidate Don Hilliard also gave a tremendous speech addressing the important issues in his race.

On Saturday, Kelly, Amanda and I made a trip to Juniata County to appear in the parade for the Fayette carnival in McAlisterville. While this was a small parade, it was an important event for the campaign. Fayette Township is the only municipality in Juniata County that is part of the 5th District. Juniata County Commissioner Teresa O'Neal has been working with me to make sure our campaign has a presence in Juniata County. Although Juniata County only has a very small portion in the 5th District, it is important to me that we include them on our campaign schedule.

Scheduled Events for the Upcoming Week:

Monday -- Clinton County Fair -- 6 PM

Tuesday -- Meeting with Sierra Club -- State College

Wednesday -- Elk County Fair -- 6 PM

Thursday -- Sykesville Fair -- 6 PM

Friday -- Tentative -- Venango Co. Fair

Saturday -- Multiple Events Subject to Change -- Clinton County Fair Parade / McKean Co. Fair / Warren Co. Fair

Sunday -- Potter / Cameron County Joint Democratic Picnic -- Austin PA

We look forward to taking our positive message to each of the 17 counties in this district.

Mark B. McCracken
Your Candidate for Congress

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