Home > SD 2014 Ballot, South Dakota > SD Libertarian Party PUC candidate Ryan Gaddy at the Alt Candidate Forum

SD Libertarian Party PUC candidate Ryan Gaddy at the Alt Candidate Forum

August 27, 2014
SD Libertarian PUC candidate Ryan Gaddy speaking at the Alternative Candidate Forum. Photo by Ken Santema

SD Libertarian PUC candidate Ryan Gaddy speaking at the Alternative Candidate Forum. Photo by Ken Santema

On Saturday, August 23, there was an Alternative Candidates Forum held in Sioux Falls. Among the candidates in attendance was Ryan Gaddy, who is the SD Libertarian Party candidate for the Public Utilities Commissioner six-year elected position. If Gaddy makes the ballot (I’ll get to that in a moment) he will face incumbent Republican Gary Hanson, Constitution Party candidate Wayne Schmidt, and Democrat David Allen. When elected in 2008 Hansen won with about 64% of the vote, Democrat McLarty received about 32% of the vote and Constitution Party candidate Hildalgo received around 4%.

Before going on it should be noted that Gaddy was denied ballot access by the SD Secretary of State’s (SOS) office. In a letter from SOS Gant it was decided Gaddy could not be placed on the ballot because he was not a registered Libertarian through the state on the day of being nominated as a candidate (SDCL § 12-6-3.2). Gaddy is currently fighting this decision, and the SD Libertarian Party leadership is backing him in this fight. Gaddy and party contend it is the party that sets the rules for candidacy requirements, and not the state. Gaddy did register Libertarian that morning. Laws similar to the one cited by the SOS to deny ballot access have been shot down by courts in other states. At this time I think it is likely Gaddy will win his case and be allowed on the ballot this fall.

With that in mind, I will write this post with the assumption that Gaddy will be on the ballot this fall.

Gaddy began by saying he aspires to “be a fresh voice in politics”. He says the capital building in Pierre should reflect the multi-cultural, multi-class, multi-political society that actually makes up the people of South Dakota. Gaddy said the government should legislate more with “compassion and reason, than with cash or religion”. Gaddy wants the state to more forward, but retain fiscal conservatism.

Focusing on the PUC race, Gaddy said as a PUC he would keep environmental concerns when dealing with companies that create power in the state. He expands on this later in his speech.

Later on Gaddy said the States energy concerns are a big priority, but also noted that what is best for the state budget is not always best for the land. That led into his discussion about Keystone XL. He said as PUC he would be concerned about the project because of the “land theft” done via eminent domain. Further Gaddy asked that if “black gold rush” from KXL could lead to aquifer contamination. Gaddy also asked the following questions: how much money would be spent on environmental cleanups, how much permanent damage will be created by damaging water supplies, how many health problems with there be with the workers that have to deal with the other problems, and finally “how many people will become sick in the pursuit of the almighty dollar”. Gaddy finished that talking point by saying he does not want KXL to be ramrodded down South Dakota.

Gaddy said as PUC he would defend South Dakotas environment and the taxpayers wallets. He noted taxes on basic utilities are rising. Gaddy said it is important for South Dakota to look at alternative energy sources right here in South Dakota. Hemp bio-fuel is one of his proposed solutions. It is a cleaner-burning fuel, so Gaddy asks why so many trucks are going down the Interstate polluting the air with traditional diesel. In addition Gaddy would push for more solar and wind energy in the State.

Finally Gaddy decided to ask what South Dakota Common Sense (reference to Rounds) means for the PUC office. To Gaddy true South Dakota common sense would mean that South Dakota “would safely provide high-quality reliable telecommunications, electrical, and natural gas utilities to every South Dakotans”.

Overall I would say Gaddy had some good talking points. There were parts of the speech I didn’t cover in this post because they were unrelated to the PUC run; but I can’t think of anything I disagreed with him on. I actually was really glad to hear him talk about the eminent domain abuse done in conjunction with KXL. I feel the Republican leadership in South Dakota has given up even trying to care about personal property rights by ignoring that issue. I have no doubt that Gaddy will be attacked over the next couple of months because of his in-your-face activism work done over the years. That’s OK, I think he can handle it. I just hope that in the process some people will listen to a few of his ideas and actually consider how the state can balance fiscal conservatism and caring for the environment.

  1. Merlyn Schutterle
    August 27, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    It Is hard to admit but I think the elections are already decided I’ve pretty much lost hope. The Independents and others are probably going through a futile effort. I’m predicting that those leading now will.be elected.

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