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Author and state auditor to speak at county DFL event

Shawn Otto, an award-winning science advocate, author, filmmaker, speaker, novelist, artist and humanitarian, will be speaking in Battle Lake this Saturday along with Rebecca Otto, Minnesota’s State Auditor.

The pair will appear at The Shoreline restaurant as part of the Otter Tail County DFL’s autumn dinner and keynote event, starting at 5 p.m.

Shawn is a regular speaker on the topic of science and democracy at policy and science conferences, in churches and on TV and radio.

He is the co-founder and producer of the U.S. Presidential Science Debates between President Barack Obama and Senator John McCain and Governor Mitt Romney, which have become the largest political initiatives in the history of science.

His book, “Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America,” won the 2012 Minnesota Book Award.

In 2009, he delivered the keynote address at the Nobel Conference and in 2012 he spoke in the Denver Presidential Debate Warm-Up Series. He is a frequent guest of NPR’s “Talk of the Nation: Science Friday,” and his work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Science, the Huffington Post, Scientific American and many other publications.

He also writes for some of the top studios in film and TV. His credits include writer and co-producer of the Oscar-nominated film, “House of Sand and Fog.”

Rebecca was elected Minnesota’s 18th State Auditor in 2006, and was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2010. She oversees the state’s economic interest in local governments, and makes sure local governments are working as good stewards of taxpayer money. 

She has earned the coveted National Excellence in Accountability Award from the non-partisan National State Auditors Association, and in June 2011 the League of Minnesota Cities awarded her its President’s Award, citing her “unwavering support of Minnesota local government in enhancing effectiveness, efficiency and accountability for all Minnesotans.”

Rebecca serves as President of the National State Auditors Association, and is also the Chair of that association’s Human Resources Committee. In addition, she serves on the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers. 

The Ottos live with their son near Stillwater, Minn., in a wind-powered, passive solar home they designed and built themselves.

Registration for the event will begin at 5 p.m., with the Ottos speaking at 5:45 p.m. and dinner following one hour later.

There is a cost to attend. For information and reservations, contact LaRon Adkins at 218-864-0923 or