For the ones who had a notion, had a notion deep inside

If you’re a Balloon Juice reader and you run for office, we’ll do a fundraiser for you. It’s the least we can do for you while you’re out their busting your ass to make the world a better place.

Reader Aaron Matson is running for State Treasurer of South Dakota. Here is what he has to say:

I am a 4th-generation South Dakotan, and except for a couple years of seminary, I have lived in South Dakota my whole life. Before joining the South Dakota Democratic Party in my current role as their Communications Director, I was a reporter at the Watertown Public Opinion, and a Lutheran pastor in the Watertown and Brookings area. I received a Ph.D. in Political Science with a focus on Public Administration from the University of South Dakota in December of 2017. Like Harry Truman, I believe government isn’t just about dollars and cents, but rather, “there must be life and hope in government.”

I am running for State Treasurer because I believe that the political establishment has forgotten the key point about public administration and public service – it is first and foremost, about the public. As State Treasurer, I will always remember I answer to the taxpayer first – not banks, not special interests, but the people of South Dakota.

Let’s raise some money for him.

Goal Thermometer

15 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Can’t wait for my fundraiser. Thanks, Doug.

  2. 2
    RedDirtGirl says:

    Go Aaron! In for $25. Asking for a raise next week. Here’s hoping I have more to give soon!

  3. 3
    Mary G says:

    Great, now I have “Badlands, whoa whoa whoa whoa, Badlands” on a loop in my brain. Even though there is no baby or dog picture, I threw in $5. Wish I had more to give, but go, Aaron! Do you not have a website?

  4. 4
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Baud: Baud, you are too much!!

    Good luck to Aaron. Threw a few coins into the pot.

  5. 5
    Cermet says:

    Agreed; we need to support one of our own

  6. 6

    @Mary G: Thanks to you and everyone else! Here’s my website:

  7. 7

    @Aaron Matson: Good luck and don’t forget us when you become famous.

  8. 8
    kindness says:

    Good luck in November Aaron. South Dakota needs good people running things.

  9. 9
    TenguPhule says:

    If you’re a Balloon Juice reader and you run for office, we’ll do a fundraiser for you.

    No you won’t. Not for me. Not unless you’re completely nuts.

  10. 10
    Mary G says:

    If you’re not reading “women’s magazines,” you’re missing a lot of good political writing. Vogue profiles Tammy Duckworth:

    Politicians who want to bolster their military bona fides often visit Walter Reed to have their pictures taken while shaking a vet’s hand. Among soldiers, it is jokingly referred to as “the amputee petting zoo.” With her high cheekbones and long, jet-black hair, Duckworth would have made an appealing poster girl, but she was wary of being used. When Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wanted to visit her, she said no. She might be military, but she leaned liberal, a result of growing up a mixed-race child in Southeast Asia, where her father’s development work took them to Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. “Being Amerasian, post Vietnam War, people just assumed you were the child of a GI and a prostitute. I was so lucky my parents were married and I had an American passport. I saw kids spat upon, going through garbage, selling themselves, doing whatever they could to survive because they’d been discarded.” When the Duckworth family, including her little brother, moved to Hawaii, her father, who was then in his 50s and could trace his roots all the way back to the Revolutionary War, found it nearly impossible to get a job. To survive, the family went on food stamps, and Tammy, then in high school, took a series of low-paying jobs to keep the family afloat. At one point, she sold flowers from a plastic bucket on the side of the road, an experience that profoundly shaped her worldview. “I never worked as hard as when we were at our poorest,” she says. “So I felt if we could end up there, anyone could.”

    One day, a call came to Walter Reed from Illinois senator Dick Durbin, asking if there were any wounded veterans from his state who would like to attend the State of the Union. Duckworth volunteered. That night Durbin shook her hand, gave her his card, and said she should call if she needed anything. So she did. Again and again. Not for herself but for other veterans who needed things, like missing pension payments. Durbin was impressed by her tenacity but also by the way she carried herself. “When I did the math later on, I realized she’d been injured only twelve weeks prior,” he recalls. “I couldn’t believe what a positive attitude she had.”

    The closing paragraph:In the meantime, there’s dinner to think about. It’s one of the ironies people tend to overlook about politicians. They have a staff of dozens helping to implement their policy visions, but at the end of the day, they still have to go home and make dinner. (Her husband could do it, but then, she says, they’d be eating tacos every night.) I watch Duckworth and two of her millennial staffers engage in a passionate discussion of . . . couscous. Does she prefer Israeli or regular? “Whatever tastes good, cooks in five minutes, and costs $3 for two boxes,” she answers. Pragmatic, economical, and hopeful. What more could you want in a politician?

    There’s lots more that shows she’s as badass as Subaru Diane.

  11. 11
    trollhattan says:

    @Mary G:
    Isn’t that “Baudlands, whoa, whoa, whoa Baudlands”?

  12. 12
    Ruckus says:

    @Mary G:
    Tammy is a bad ass for sure. And in her case that’s a good thing.
    @Aaron Matson:
    I like your style.
    When I talk to people I remind them that politicians and civil servants work for us. We aren’t in line to tell them what to do but we do pay their salary. They are employees of all of us, and that includes each of them. You live here you pay taxes, they work for you. You live here and don’t have to pay taxes, they still work for you. You live here and owe back taxes, you ain’t shit. (That one is for people like old man Mercer, who owes 7 BILLION in back taxes. Which I guess actually does make him shit. )

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Aaron Matson:
    Keep pushing till it’s understood, and these badlands start treating us good!

    Amir Khalid, Balloon Juice Malaysian correspondent

  14. 14
    gammyjill says:

    Good luck, Aaron. I kicked in $100. Knock ‘Em dead.

  15. 15
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Amir Khalid, Balloon Juice Malaysian correspondent

    …and guitar-playin’ rockstar jackal.

    Go Aaron!

    (I too will have Bruuuuce singing “Badlands” in my head all night. Not that there’s any problem with that!)

Comments are closed.