Sunday, November 9, 2008

Feeling really good!


So many of you have called or emailed with thoughtful, heartfelt messages of gratitude and encouragement! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I must admit that I felt deeply frustrated by realizing how deeply conditioned Washington County voters are to automatically elect Republicans regardless of the issues or candidates in the race. But that frustration has passed and the future is looking extremely bright.

In fact, if you want to know how excited I feel about the future, check this link to see what it looks like...

I guarantee it will make you smile, laugh and maybe even cry.



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A giant thank you and and invite...

Dear friends,

Wow, did we have a wild ride with this County Commission campaign or what? As Alan Gardner said in the Spectrum today "It was THE hardest campaigned commission race yet."

Quite honestly, I am surprised that the numbers turned out the way they did: Alder 34%, Gardner 66%. I thought our hard work would overcome the hard core influence that leads many voters to vote straight ticket Republican.

All day long, friends have been calling with ways to put it in perspective...

Our campaign earned 13% more votes than Obama did in Washington County.

We earned 10% more votes than the highest-earning Democrat in Washington County's recent history.

Supporters believed in our campaign so much that we raised more funds than any other local race so far.

Jim Matheson earned 26% of the Washington County vote during his first Congressional election; he earned 48% this time, his fourth try.

And remember, Gardner is basically a well-liked politician who wasn't really vulnerable to begin with.

Thanks to all of you for these great calls. I really appreciate them and I'm grateful for your outstanding help during the campaign. The voters of Washington County are much more aware of key issues that will affect the future of this beloved country. And now we all get our lives back.

Many of you have asked "what will happen to your ideas for solar power, Vision Dixie, Lake Powell Pipeline vote" and "will you run again." Quite frankly, I need some time to sort out my options before answering that question. I will spend the next 10 days pruning trees in Grafton to clear my mind and spend time in one of my favorite places on the planet for the fall season. My intention is to have much more clarity once the trees are pruned.

I am completely undecided about whether I will stay in Washington County or go away for a time. I'm considering graduate school (MBA or MPA) or a job in renewable energy (I'll look at T. Boone Pickens and Google) or land conservation.

I will be searching for opportunities to apply my enthusiasm, business acumen and marketing/advocacy skills on the business side of the renewable energy field or as an officer for a foundation that grants funds for conservation work. If any of you have leads, I would like to consider them and would appreciate any suggestions.

In the meantime, please know that the conversation we began about Washington County's future is officially moving to the blog at Because our community will now disperse after the election, I want to be sure we stay connected and maintain the network that we created during the campaign. Please chip in and share any comments you wish on the subjects we care most about.

Thanks again. See you on the blog!

Lin Alder

Final results: Alder 34%, Gardner 66%

Wow! That straight party ticket voting sure is a hard habit to break!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gardner's brother-in-law attempts last-minute smear

The campaign for Washington County Commissioner has been unusual this year, not only for its energy, but also because of the civility with which Alan Gardner and I have conducted our campaigns while explaining our different visions for the county's future.

On Thursday, October 30th, Naghi Zeenati, Gardner's brother-in-law, circulated an email that broke from this civil dialogue. Because Zeenati's email includes numerous inaccuracies and false claims which do not reflect well on him or Gardner, I wish to set the record straight.

Zeenati inaccurately claims that I have raised thousands of dollars "from environmentalists all over the country" and will be beholden to their agendas. I have, in fact, made thousands of fundraising requests during this campaign, mostly among County residents. From my requests, a total of 325 contributions have been received. 78% of them are from Washington County, 9% from the rest of Utah and 11% from outside Utah. Only 5 organizations contributed, all were businesses, and none were environmental groups. All candidates' financial disclosure forms are available at the Utah Lieutenant Governor's website for verification.

To launch my campaign fundraising effort in August, I solicited contributions from everyone I know. Zeenati's claim of "thousands of dollars" raised from environmental groups is incorrect. Six individuals who work for 5 different environmental groups contributed a total of $675 from their own personal funds. This is less than 2% of the total raised. Zeenati's suggestion that I do or would owe my allegiance to any environmental group is unfounded.

Zeenati suggests that my promise to "protect our beloved red rock playground" is somehow disloyal to "the interests and needs of local people." My accomplishments show that I understand the clear connection between protecting our signature landscapes and sustaining the tourism and housing industries that depend on these landscapes. Realtors, land developers and contractors know that beautiful scenery translates into money in the bank. My skills and experience can help find the needed balance to protect the best remaining scenery so real estate professionals can continue putting money in the bank years for years to come.

Zeenati says that I advocate for "stunting the economic life of Washington County" by shifting economic vitality to Kane County that would otherwise reach Washington County. Zeenati did not mention my plan for expanding Washington County's economy by helping us become the Solar Power Capitol of Utah. This economic diversification is critical to refocusing and strengthening our recession-prone, construction-dependent economy.

In 2007/08, I led the campaign against the ill-conceived and health-reducing Toquop Coal Plant. After the community—and Representative Dave Clark—stood behind my position, Alan Gardner switched from pro-Toquop to anti-Toquop.

My track record shows a long history of making our lives better through community service. My loyalty to the interests and needs of our community is clear. This is my "real agenda."

Please share this with others. Thank you for your time.

Lin Alder