Monday, August 18, 2008

McCracken for Congress -- Weekly Update -- August 17, 2008

Campaign Receiving Important Endorsements:

As we move into the fall campaign season, the McCracken for Congress campaign is receiving several important endorsements. Earlier this month we were honored to receive the endorsement from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. This is a key endorsement from an organization that is a leader in supporting the rights of the working people, not only in the 5th district, but in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

This week, we were notified by the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education, the political action committee of the National Education Association, of their decision to recommend the election of Mark B. McCracken to the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressional District 05 in Pennsylvania. This endorsement carries a special meaning to me in light of my prior experience as a former member of a public school board. I truly believe if our local public school systems receive the proper support from our federal government, we can have the finest education system in the world. When I speak of support, I'm not only talking adequate financial support, I also believe that elected leaders at the federal, state and local level should be strong vocal advocates for our public schools.

Throughout this campaign, I've stressed the need for a federal education policy that includes adequate funding while letting standards and policies to officials at the state and local levels. As a person with 10 years experience serving on a local school board, I realize that parents, administrators, teachers and local leaders know what is best for their children. Unnecessary mandates from the federal government in Washington only complicate matters.

Updates Coming to McCracken for Congress Webpage:

Later this week we will be unveiling some changes and updates to the McCracken for Congress webpage --

The big change will be with the issues section. As we've traveled throughout the 5th district meeting with people and discussing the issues and problems, we can now better define what the important issues are on the minds of the citizens in the district. From my position as the candidate, I've spent the last 8 months listening and learning from the people that I hope to represent in the United States Congress. While there are many of the issues I was already aware of as a county commissioner, there were issues I had to learn more about from the citizens of the 5th district.

As we move into the next phase of the campaign, I want to give voters a better outline of the issues and problems they have discussed with me and provide them with specific ideas and solutions they can consider before making their decision on November 4th.

Keeping Up a Hectic Pace:

We were very busy again this week traveling throughout the 5th district meeting people and listening to their concerns.

On Monday we spent the evening working in the Democratic booth at the McKean County Fair. Tuesday took us to State College for meetings with campaign supporters. Also on Tuesday, Victor Ordonez represented the campaign at an event near St. Marys with the Elk County Farm Bureau.

Thursday was an important day in Clearfield County featuring a visit by Gov. Ed Rendell who announced several million dollars in funding for important projects in Clearfield County. Funding announcements were made for the expansion of Paris Company in DuBois creating 40 new jobs, expansion of the Clearfield YMCA, a river walk project in Clearfield Borough and the state's investment to rebuild several deficient bridges in Clearfield County.

On Thursday evening the campaign headed to Janesville in southeastern Clearfield County to appear at the annual Bud George Day picnic. It was a great honor be on the speaking program with Gov. Rendell, State Rep. Bud George, Auditor General Jack Wagner, candidate for Attorney General John Morganelli, candidate for Treasurer Rob McCord and fellow congressional candidate from the 9th district Tony Barr.

On Friday, we were in the DuBois area for a fundraiser organized by Henry and Molly Guthrie. We had a nice turnout for the event with special guests State Rep. Scott Conklin and State Rep. Dan Surra on hand.

Kelly and I want to thank Henry and Molly for organizing the event and also thank the people who did the work getting the site ready and cooking the food. We closed out the week on Saturday with a trip to Emporium for a car show and downtown event sponsored by the Emporium Chamber of Commerce. Later, it was on to Smethport for another appearance at the McKean County Fair.

Plans for the Coming Week:

We'll be spending quite a bit of time in Centre County this week.

Tuesday we will be joining members of the Centre County Democratic Committee to attend Gov. Rendell's appearance at the CBICC luncheon. Wednesday we will be traveling to Venango county for several meetings in the morning and then back to Centre County later in the day to attend the Penn Ag Democratic Picnic held in conjunction with Ag Progress Days. Friday we will be in attendance for the opening of the Democratic Campaign Headquarters in Clinton County. Finally, on Saturday, we will start out a busy day at the Centre County Democratic breakfast followed by "Mark McCracken Day" in the Democratic booth at the Grange Fair in Centre Hall.

I look forward to meeting with everyone at the Grange Fair on Saturday.

FINAL THOUGHT -- Momentum is Building:

Right after winning the primary election in April, I made a statement when asked by a reporter "Mr. McCracken, can you actually win this race?" My response was "We can and we will" which I posted on our campaign blog site. I was encouraged on Monday evening when speaking with a gentleman at the McKean County Fair who made reference to my response. He was asking me how the campaign was going and I gave him a very positive report about the progress we are making. What was so encouraging was when he told me -- "Mark, remember what you said on your blog -- We can and we will…? Just keep up the hard work and you can and you will win the seat."

We'll see you on the campaign trail and with your help, we can and we will win this race!

Mark B. McCracken
Your Candidate for Congress

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