Monday, October 27, 2008

McCracken for Congress -- Working the Final Week to Take Back Our Future

The campaign schedule has been pretty intense over the last week and will continue to be so until the BIG day on Tuesday, November 4th. I want to congratulate everyone for putting so much effort into this year's election, not just for an individual campaign, but for the entire Democratic ticket. I've seen people in every community throughout the 5th district working to make sure the message is getting out.

I want to remind everyone it is important that we finish strong. Don't take anything for granted, ignore the polls and work like the polls show our candidates 5 points down. Remember, while all indications show Barack Obama will be our next president, if we believe the polls, Al Gore would be concluding his second term or we would be working to re-elect President John Kerry right now.

On a personal note specifically dealing with our campaign for the United State Congress, I want to assure everyone that I am working as hard as I can heading into the final week of the campaign. Back in January when Kelly and I decided we would enter the race we knew that 2008 would be a difficult year for our family. We've missed opportunities to do things as a family but we knew solving the problems besieging our nation required a sacrifice. What is encouraging is watching the work everyone is doing and seeing people giving of their time and donating their personal skills to bring a positive result on November 4th.

For the final week, I ask that everyone keep in mind what the real goal is. The real goal isn't just to win an election, what we are working for in 2008 is to take back our future. I've been stressing to voters the last couple of weeks to realize over the last 8 years poor decisions in Washington have put the future for our children and grandchildren in jeopardy. The one issue more apparent than any other is the outrageous deficit and debt that George W. Bush will leave behind when he moves out of the White House in January.

My Republican opponent constantly says the "Bush tax cuts are our tax cuts" when the real truth is the Bush debt is our debt. The only way we are going to get our future back is by voting for the right people on November 4th who will make the tough decisions to put our country back in order. It all starts with making our federal government fiscally strong so we can invest in our nation and make the lives of all our citizens better. Sacrifice will be necessary, but in the end our country will be better.

A Very Important Endorsement:

I am please to announce that my candidacy has received the endorsement of the Veterans and Military Families for Progress. In the letter informing our campaign of the endorsement the organization stated "Veterans and Military Families for Progress has chosen to endorse your campaign. We do this in recognition of your support of veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, and military family issues. We hope that in some way our endorsement provides you an electoral advantage and ultimately ensures your election to the Pennsylvania Fifth Congressional District seat".

This is a very important endorsement to receive from a prestigious organization that is dedicated to supporting the issues important of the active military and their families along with our veterans. This is an endorsement our campaign can be very proud to receive.

Campaign Commercial:

We are getting our message of fiscal responsibility out to the people of this district. We have a plan to right the ship and move in a new direction that includes balancing the budget, paying down the debt and investing here at home.

We can't afford any more of the "borrow and spend" mentality that has gotten us in this situation. This debt is a national security and issue and we intend to confront it with the experience and even-handedness it requires.

Review of the Past Week on the Campaign Trail:

I participated in 4 more candidate debates this week. We started off Monday evening with a 2 hour debate from Mansfield University in Tioga County that was broadcast live on PCN. Tuesday and Wednesday brought debates in smaller venues with stop in Bellefonte on Tuesday and an event on Wednesday in Lewistown. On Thursday all 3 candidates participated in a live 1 hour debate broadcast live on WPSU-TV.

The one thing I've taken out of all these debates that I've participated in, some just with my Republican opponent and others that also included the Libertarian candidate, is I am on the right side of the issues that affect the majority of the people in the 5th district. When you list off the issues we are regularly asked about in the debates -- Fiscal Responsibility, Health Care Reform, Social Security, Public Education Policy, Energy Policy and the Iraq War, the stances I take which mostly mirrors the rest of the Democratic Party platform are in line with what I am hearing from voters in the 5th district. We won't know until next week if what I'm saying is really resonating with the voters in the 5th district but I feel confident that our message is strong and voters are listening.

Saturday finished the week with a strong day of campaigning. I started out the day at 1 PM in Emporium, Cameron County for the fall Democratic luncheon. I then made a 70 mile dash to Lock Haven to attend a 3 PM GOTV rally headlined by Gov. Ed Rendell. I shared the stage with Rep. Mike Hanna, Obama campaign rep. Jayson Harpster, Clinton County Commissioners Joel Long and Adam Coleman, Lock Haven Mayor Rick Vilello and Clinton County Democratic Chairman Dave Wallace. Then it was on to a 5 PM appearance in Boalsburg at the Centre County Democratic Fall banquet with Gov. Rendell and all the Democratic candidates representing Centre County. The long day ended with a final stop after 7 PM in Lewistown for the Mifflin County Democratic Fall banquet.

Schedule for Upcoming Week:

Monday -- 6 PM -- Meeting with Federal Credit Union Members -- Hampton Inn DuBois

Tuesday -- 8 AM -- Radio Interview WRSC

Tuesday -- 9:30 AM -- Tour of AccuWeather

Tuesday -- 6:30 PM -- Debate in New Bethlehem / Clarion County sponsored by League of Women Voters

Wednesday -- 7 PM -- Penn State Political Science Debate -- West Hall Commons Building -- Main Campus

Thursday -- 8 AM -- Radio Interview -- DuBois

Thursday -- 7 PM -- WPSU Radio Debate

Friday -- 8 AM -- Radio Interview with Jerry Fisher -- State College

Saturday -- Time TBD -- GOTV Rally in Clarion County

Sunday -- Time TBD -- GOTV Rally in State College

FUNDRAISING REMINDER -- Keep talking with people about the 5,000 Friends to Flip the Fifth project. We can win the 5th District Congressional District for the first time in 32 years but we need to be organizing our forces heading into the final weeks. The only way to turn this country around is to send people to Washington who will make the tough decisions. The choice in the 5th district is clear. My opponent regularly states that he supports the fiscal policies of the Bush administration AKA "the Bush tax cuts" and will continue them -- More of the Same. While I continue to stress that we must balance the budget, built a surplus and pay down the debt.

In order to get the message out to voters we will need to advertise which costs money. Please contact your family and friends and urge them to financially support our campaign as we move into the final weeks. Donations can be made online through or by direct mail to McCracken for Congress, PO Box 332, Clearfield PA 16830.

Mark B. McCracken
Your Candidate for Congress

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