Don Shelby   [5-22-2020]

One name in the Midwest and far beyond that people recognize is that of DON SHELBY, whose decades long media career resulted in numerous awards including a two Peabody Awards and an Emmy. Don is also an author, hosts many television benefits and is more involved in retirement than ever, with many charities and social projects. Recognized as well as an environmentalist, Don hosted the 20th Anniversary Special for Access to Democracy last August. He and Alan engaged in a spirited dialogue on the state of the nation and the state of Minnesota which is facing a spike in Covid-19 cases, and how the political fortunes of citizens are affected.

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Matt Goldman   [5-22-2020]

Author Matt Goldman started his career as a standup comedian, then writing for TV, moved to California and won two Emmys, among other awards, while working on “Seinfeld” and “Ellen” before returning to his Minnesota roots as a novelist. He recently completed his fourth book in the Nils Shapiro series, “DEAD WEST” which takes Shapiro to the West Coast that Goldman knows so well. The release date is pushed back to August, but in the meantime Matt has created two new possible TV series, and is writing another book not in the detective/thriller vein. Matt spoke of the burden on his writing buddies on the West Coast; unlike being a novelist, they all work in the TV industry which is virtually shut down because of the pandemic.

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David Housewright    [5-22-2020]

Author David Housewright, multiple award-winning author, multiple times guest, who writes the well-known thriller series about Private Detective Rushmore McKenzie has outdone himself with his latest book “FROM THE GRAVE” in which McKenzie delves into the world of psychic phenomena. Originally scheduled for June 2020 release, the pandemic pushed back the release date until August. Having read an advance copy, Alan said, “Go to bed early the night before you read it, because you won’t be able to put it down.” The two also discussed how, or if, the pandemic has changed the author’s life, and other projects in the pipeline.

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Holly Jenkins
[5-8-2020]

HOLLY JENKINS, mother of two young adults, her husband and one dog are longtime Eagan residents. She has been involved in countless civic endeavors: in the League of Women Voters, founder of “Wilderness in the City,” (one of her many environmental endeavors), testified before many legislative bodies, is a well-respected environmentalist, is active in school functions, tackled the airport noise problem, the Diffley Road safety project, and many other civic activities. She recently announced her candidacy for the (soon to be vacated) seat in the Minnesota House, Dist. 51B. And, oh yes, with all that she has found time to be an Access to Democracy Guest Host for several years.

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[5-8-2020]

James Backstrom
[5-8-2020]

Dakota County Attorney JAMES BACKSTROM, is second in seniority among Minnesota County Attorneys, and is the county’s top civil and criminal elected official. Jim, who is also a popular Elvis impersonator in lighter times, heads an office of about 100 lawyers and staff, and discussed with Alan in a Zoom interview the many changes which have taken place, necessitated by the pandemic which is raging around the globe. Handling trials while sheltered-in-place, trying to reduce the jail population to prevent the spread of the disease, dealing with the Sheriff’s office, the Governor, local officials and police departments and still maintaining the ability to complete the necessary functions of the office, have all been a continuing challenge with many working from home. But he relates that all essential functions have continued under his leadership.

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Tom Egan
[5-8-2020]

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TOM EGAN has been a fixture in Minnesota government for decades, as Mayor of Eagan, and recently announced that he is retiring as a Dakota County Commissioner. Tom helped create the Dakota County Regional Greenway System, served on the Met Council, was instrumental in bringing West Publishing (now Thomson Reuters) to Eagan, as well as the Minnesota Vikings, and helped create the Whitetail Woods Regional Park among other accomplishments. He and Alan, in a Zoom interview, reviewed as much of his incredible career as a half hour permitted.

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[5-8-2020]

Hon. Paul Anderson
[4-24-2020]

Who better than retired Minnesota Supreme Justice PAUL ANDERSON to participate in our first interview via Zoom, a technical solution to conducting an interview remotely during a pandemic. Justice Anderson has been a guest since 2002, and has also served as a guest host. As always, Justice Anderson and Alan covered a gamut of topics, and the Justice is now considering publishing a book of all his Access interviews.

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Prof. Richard Painter
[4-24-2020]

PROFESSOR RICHARD PAINTER was the Chief Ethics Attorney during the George W. Bush Presidency. He has been a guest on several occasions. He ran in the Senatorial primary race in 2018, and now teaches Ethics at the University of Minnesota Law School. His latest book, which he displayed and discussed on the program, is entitled “AMERICAN NERO: The History of the Destruction of the Rule of Law, and Why Trump is the Worst Offender”

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[4-24-2020]