Remi Bald Eagle: South Dakota’s Future Needs Hope Not Fear

Eagle Butte, SD (November 6, 2020)
I have just finished a contest for South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner and am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the democratic process in this land that we all cherish. In doing so, I held close to my heart the bright future of public service. I am deeply disappointed and disturbed by the behavior of Republican Gary Hanson during his “victory speech” that is featured in full on Instead of taking the opportunity to graciously accept the charge South Dakotans entrusted him with and outlining his position and goals on the Public Utilities Commission, Mr. Hanson chose the language of division and fear.

In a time when the single biggest issue facing our state is a pandemic, which has resulted in families mourning hundreds of South Dakotans who will not be with them this holiday season, we are assaulted with riot-boosting rhetoric that encourages violence over peaceful transition of the government. Mr. Hanson’s behavior robs South Dakota of the leadership South Dakotans elected into office. As a combat veteran who has seen the inevitable violence down that path, I know peace, understanding and compromise are preferred over war mongering.

The office of the Public Utilities Commissioner is a state office, not a national one. We have problems with race relations here in this state. It is a disservice to South Dakota to utilize 1960s Mississippian race speech which sends a message to tribal nations, marginalized populations, and anyone who is not a Republican that there is no place for us in the world Mr. Hanson envisions. Furthermore, whether Mr. Hanson likes it or not, his constituency consists of Independents, Republicans, Libertarians and yes, Democrats, who deserve a fair and non-partisan public servant. He need look no further than our governor’s mansion or White House to realize he is repeating the damaging rhetoric of the last four years.

Pressures from the pandemic notwithstanding, we have a lot of work to do in becoming responsible members of our country by setting the example for safe, efficient and stable energy services to our people. Work, speech and conversations on issues in South Dakota and what we are going to do to solve our problems is necessary for our state’s future, not pandering to national political party messages at the expense of South Dakotans. There are countless opportunities for us to work together and create boundless sustainable energy and a future for all South Dakotans. Mr. Hanson’s anger does not give me hope that he will lead us in that direction.

Furthermore, Mr. Hanson admits in his rant that the Republican Party has not done enough to protect the environment, and he appears angry that the Democratic Party would handle addressing climate change differently. If we continue to put human laws and behavior above the simple laws of nature, we will be judged harshly by our children, as they suffer the consequences of our crimes against our land.

Lastly, Mr. Hanson stated that and that deliberate misinformation has created hatred and alienation within America, yet that is exactly what Mr. Hanson does in his speech.

It was an immense privilege to run for the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission and I ran because I wanted to unite people around common causes and a mutual sense of purpose. The experience extends my understanding of South Dakota and our people, and I will use it in my continued endeavor to serve.

Remi Bald Eagle, Eagle Butte
2020 SD PUC Candidate

Please direct questions to SDDP Executive Director Pam Cole via email
or phone (605) 695-1996.