It’s been a very busy week for the campaign with many highlights:
Monday March 24: I attended the Voices of Central PA dinner in State College. It was a very nice event and I got the chance to speak with the truly progressive minded people who support Voices. The questions were tough but fair and I really enjoyed the Indian food on the buffet at the India Pavilion restaurant where the event was held. The food was a little on the spicy side but was very good.
Tuesday March 25: I spent the late afternoon and evening getting signs out to people. You always get the chance to speak with your supporters while delivering signs and the feedback was good. I did get home in time to catch American Idol with Kelly and Amanda. Not as important as the Obama / Clinton race but Kelly, Amanda and I seem to be pulling for David Cook and Brooke White.
Wednesday March 26: All 12 candidates were on hand for the candidate forum sponsored by the DuBois Chamber of Commerce. Getting the chance to hear the other 11 candidates, I feel very confident of the message our campaign is spreading. We recognize the problems of 2008 and we are offering solutions for 2008 and beyond.
Sadly, many of the other candidates keep offering solutions from the 1980’s. Perhaps most troublesome from several of the candidates are calls for the return to and expansion of the use of fossil fuels. I will continue to stress throughout this campaign as long as I am part of it that we MUST invest in cleaner, domestically produced alternative fuels. It will help our economy and our national security.
Thursday March 27: First, I was interviewed on C-Net, the local cable channel in State College. The interview will run in the State College cable market several times before the April 22nd election. Then, at the invite of Raymond Snyder, I traveled to Lewistown for the appearance of former President Bill Clinton. Prior to the public being admitted to the Lewistown High School gymnasium, I had the opportunity to walk the line waiting to get into the event. I shook hands with approximately 1,500 people who were waiting to get in. Perhaps the most interesting story was about halfway through the line I met a lady and her young son. He asked for my autograph, the first time this ever happened. As I was signing, I saw the young boy reach over and tug his mothers coat and ask “Is that President Clinton?”.
We did have to wait quite awhile in the gym as President Clinton was behind schedule. When he did arrive after 6:30 he didn’t disappoint. He gave a rousing speech that lasted approximately 50 minutes and he actually made mention of ethanol as a viable alternative fuel source and even said that ethanol from cellulose material is the way to go in the future. Then, as he left the stage, he worked his way around the barrier between the stage and the crowd and I was able to shake his hand. I was 3 rows back but I reached up over the 2 rows ahead of me and got the handshake.
Friday March 28: I attended the opening of the Obama campaign office in DuBois. I am so encouraged that a presidential campaign has opened an office in Clearfield County. This is proof that rural Pennsylvania is going to have our say in this election. I met several people at the opening and they are truly committed to making a difference in 2008.
Saturday March 29: I hosted a visit to the Clearfield area by John Cordisco candidate for State Treasurer. I first met John last August at Rep. Bud George’s picnic and I was very impressed with him. One thing that made me interested in him was that he also started his political career by serving on a school board. I invited John and his staff person to join me at Denny’s Pub, famous as the home of the biggest hamburger in the world.
He had a nice interview with Jane Elling from our local newspaper and then we all enjoyed one of Denny’s famous burgers. Not the big one, just one of the regular sized burgers available on the menu. John was very interested in the alternative fuels industry that we’ve brought to Clearfield County and north central Pennsylvania. We also talked about state funding and investment issues and his vision to be an active and involved state treasurer. He is a great candidate and I feel he will make an excellent treasurer for Pennsylvania.
Sunday March 30: Although I was not able to personally attend due to a Commissioners’ Conference, our campaign attended the Obama Rally for Change Event on the campus of Pennsylvania State University. We had a chance to talk with a lot of young eager minds ready for change in Washington. Although the gates opened at 11:30am, it was brought to our attention that students and interested citizens started lining up at 5:30am and even earlier. This is the kind of dedication we need from our young people and from the citizens of the 5th District. Although the lines were long and the wind brisk, the message of change kept the spectators lively.
Obama’s message of change and a new direction is precisely what the 5th District is looking for. He pointed out that it is time to move beyond our differences and come together to forge a better future for all Americans. He addressed the massive amounts of money we send overseas to fight this war and the rising costs of gas. His solutions, and ours, is to invest in alternative fuel sources like ethanol. We are proud to join Barack Obama in this fight.
In our seating location, we were honored to meet up with the great candidate for the 171st State House seat Tim Wilson. Many state officials were also there including Senator Casey and State Rep. Dan Surra. We thanked them for the warm welcome. Luckily for us, we had a great seating location! We were also informed that this rally was the largest in the history of Penn State and we were honored to attend.
It’s been a busy week and every day between now and April 22nd has something on the schedule. Please keep spreading the word about the campaign and let us know what you are hearing.
Also, we expect to release some important campaign news on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Mark B. McCracken
Your Candidate for Congress