People like to criticize US politics. People like to speak poorly about President Barack Obama. There are a lot of electric vehicle haters out there. Put those three issues into the Internet blender and it's no surprise when they blow up. That's what happened with the recent story about long-time EV advocate Paul Scott spending $32,400 of his retirement savings to attend an Obama fundraiser and thereby get a chance to talk to the President about the benefits of electric vehicles.

In fact, the story got so much attention that the Democratic National Committee has now apparently disinvited Scott and returned his check. Even though Scott – a Nissan Leaf salesman, a co-founder of Plug In America and a friend of the site – took the action independent of his job and his PIA association, the public discussion of "pay for access" apparently mucked things up but good. We've asked Scott for his thoughts on the matter, but have not yet heard back. He did tell Mother Nature Network that, "I'm not in good health, and I don't know how much longer I'll live. This seemed like a good way to spend my money, to push the economic benefits of electric cars for our nation. My thought is that the average American pays this kind of money, over time, to the oil companies. We pay out $700 billion a year to Big Oil, and spend $80 billion a year protecting the oil supply." It's a discussing worth having, $32,400 or no. You can read Scott's original message to the President here.

*UPDATE: Scott sent AutoblogGreen a new statement, which you can read below.
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It's unfortunate I will not get to break bread with the President, I was really looking forward to that. However, the important thing is that my message about the importance of transitioning to renewable electricity and away from oil as the energy that moves our cars is getting out to the people more than I expected. The media storm this created is working in our favor. Plus, I get my money back. I'm thinking of something creative to do with the money.

I don't think it would have served the purpose of the EV community if I had not gone after publicity for the message. I was naive in how it would be seen by the right wing, but so be it. That's how they play the game. For them to whine about paying money to have access to the President when those are the rules of the game was disingenuous in the extreme. They are huge hypocrites.

If people don't like money in politics, then they should work to eliminate it. But as long as those are the rules of the game, then the Dems need to play by those rules. I believe they should have stood up to the right and stated that is was my right to talk to the President.


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  • 245 Comments
      semperfi7x
      • 2 Years Ago
      The DNC is becoming as sleazy as their opponents. As Groucho said: "I won't belong to any club that will have me as a member." President Obama once seemed to be the one in charge; not surprised to see he's as much a puppet of the political do-nothings as anyone else.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @semperfi7x
        As a member of the DNC, I believe that the Democratic Board made the right decision. If this "average" guy had gone, "everyone on this thread" would have been saying that "it was wrong and it should not have happened, and YOU would have wanted to impeach the President of taking money in the wrong way. Think about it people, whenever a decision is right, it always seem to be "WRONG" for you, and if he makes a decision that is "wrong" you will still criticize him for it. The President cannot win because the type of idiotic things and ideas that people say or do. I'm not surprise that this man wanted "in," because of his accessibility to get to the President in a "wrong manner." This is NOT the way you do things. The DNC should be like the Rep Party/Teabaggers brigade, but be more above board, just as they did with this man. MONEY is not everything, but to some, it is, especially Karl Rove and the like. Get a grip people, don't badger the President as you do, but help him to help us, not degrade the good things that he is trying to do. Some of you think that the President can do or that, BUT, people that is not the case, you have a Congress, tell me what are they doing for you and how about the great amount of money they are receiving @ your expense? Give this a break!
      JE WA ZA WI
      • 2 Years Ago
      The losers are out in force today . It shows at election time . Clinton 2016 ,and beyond .
        Major
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JE WA ZA WI
        Way beyond. Back to Arkansas with Billy. That's where. The Girl Scouts don't even want her.
        Joan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JE WA ZA WI
        Not the losers, JE, but the truth tellers.
          Chris
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joan
          What truth would that be?
        Poppy Joe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JE WA ZA WI
        Just what we need more socialist, more welfare, more unemployment benefits, more obamacare, more gov't jobs & more taxes to pay for these nonproductive programs. LET REWARD EVERYONE FOR TRYING. RESULTS DON'T MATTER. VOTE FOR HILARY. Four more years of failure.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Everyone here is ready to bury the President only they really don't know all the facts. The article did say the man was refunded his check they did not take his money. There could good reason why the man was disinvited. Why not those who are so ready to criticize the President. Why not write the WH and ask the President why he dis-invited this man
        Say NO to libs!
        • 2 Years Ago
        Show me proof that any of us have been given "all of the facts"? How about the idiots who unquestionably buy into the Liberal BS? Much like yourself, with all "due" respect.
        cljvedelman
        • 2 Years Ago
        The bigger the check the easier the access.
        jofother
        • 2 Years Ago
        IN his own words he tells you why he was disinvited and his money returned. "I was naive in how it would be seen by the right wing, but so be it. That's how they play the game. For them to whine about paying money to have access to the President when those are the rules of the game was disingenuous in the extreme. They are huge hypocrites."
        • 2 Years Ago
        why ask the WH when all you are going to get is a bunch of BS? i don't trust those buttmunchers
        • 2 Years Ago
        If the White House won't give Congress, the press, or the American people "all the facts" on a wide array of scandals polluting this country, what makes you think they would give peons like an average American any facts about this?
        • 2 Years Ago
        There is no way to analyze Obama. It is absolutely rediculous to pay him money to talk to him. This country is going to pot way too fast. I hate to see these kids today have to take over this mess. Uou watch Obama scream and holler when they staryt blaming him.
      reynold1
      • 2 Years Ago
      wow, you cant even pay to talk to politicians anymore. I suspect it is because he only had $32,400 and this isn't enough.....
      madkono
      • 2 Years Ago
      and the great campaigner, rolls on!!!
      Chuck
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can speak for the electric bills on the Nissan LEAF. The LEAF easily gets 5 miles per KWH and a KWH usually runs in the neighborhood of $0.10 to $0.14 depending on where you buy your power. That's only about $3.25 to go 150 miles. And you don't even have to kill any of our young soldiers to fight over oil. If you put up a small solar array that cost drops to $0. Yes you have to pay for the solar array. I put a 6KW solar array on my home and it cost $15k. The car, after incentives, cost $20k. That totals 35K. I save $200 in gas and $100 in electricity every month. That's $3,600/year, $36K over a ten year period. That was two years ago and the same solar array has dropped to 10K now. (self installed) My power bill is $0 and my conscience is clear.
        cowboy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Chuck
        Liar.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @cowboy
          Oh? You own an electric car? You actually have the knowledge and information to make such an accusation? I didn't think so.
        cyretired
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Chuck
        Have a solar system on it's way. I only wish they were cheap enough to go off grid, maybe one day soon.
      Brady Boby
      • 2 Years Ago
      Have you notice when they talk about how much money is saved with electric cars they never tell you what the bill is on their electric bill when they charge them? I have tried to find out how much their electric bills go up and I can not find any site willing to inform me, the cars are not cheap to operate if you have high electric bills.
        Nick Kordich
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brady Boby
        You couldn't find any sites to tell you how much it costs to charge an electric car? Did you try the Internet? Articles & Discussion forums: http://www.pluginamerica.org/faq/how-much-does-it-cost-charge-plug-vehicle http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/what-will-that-electric-car-cost.html http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?p=142814 http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/15192-My-Current-Monthly-Electric-Bill-Is-Amazing http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/13541-Electric-bill-change Gas vs. Electricity Calculators: http://www.pge.com/cgi-bin/pevcalculator/PEV https://www.sce.com/nrc/pev/index.html http://www.teslamotors.com/goelectric#savings http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/savings-calculator I talk about my electric bill, but I figure it's something of an anomaly so I don't hold it up as an example. My average monthly bill has gone down, even though I didn't switch to solar. I went from PG&E's flat-rate E-1 plan to the time-of-use (TOU) E-9a plan. Overall the rate is lower, I drive less than most folks, and the car charges at night when the cost of electricity is 10%-40% of what it is during peak hours. As a result, what I use to charge the car comes out of my overall savings from the lower rate plan. For most people, they pay more for their average electric bill but less for their total energy bill (that is, the combined cost of electricity, gasoline and other forms).
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brady Boby
        Just like the article says if you read it, he has solar panels. So for him it is $0. Even the least efficient electric car is about 1/4 the price of gasoline to go the same distance. That's just plugging it directly into your wall socket. So yes they are cheaper.
        lasml
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brady Boby
        And they never tell you that you need the oil and gas to produce the electricity to plug the car into.
        Paul Scott
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brady Boby
        Brady, I installed a solar PV system in 2002 and shortly after bought my first EV. I've driven over 127,000 miles since then on sunlight-generated energy. The PV system long ago paid for itself, and it will last for the rest of my life. I just wash the dust off every few months. For about $6,000-$8,000 you can buy enough solar to generate energy for driving 12,000 miles per year - and the system will last for 40-50 years. Consider how much it will cost to buy gas to drive 12,000 miles per year for 40-50 years. At today's prices that' $60,000 - $80,000. Do you think gas prices will be the same for the next 40-50 years? This is part of the economic case for EVs that I was to make to the President. Since I'm getting lots more publicity, the message is getting out more than if I'd had the lunch. Also, I am getting the money returned. While it didn't work out like I'd expected, this is a pretty good outcome.
        anselrob
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brady Boby
        That's right. The electricity for the cars comes from dams (dead fish), or coal, oil, or natural gas power plants (CO2 emissions), or nuclear (you know the hazards of this one). Nobody seems to talk about this.
      EVnerdGene
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why doesn't he just send an ignored postcard like the rest of us ?
      • 2 Years Ago
      i'm all for the E-car, as a commuter vehicle, the only trouble is America can't wrap their head around a car just for to and fro from work or the market, they still feel that driving their hummer, ford F-350 and dodge hemi's 60 to 100 miles round trip to work is a must,...mostly for image sake. smarten up America! I own a gas guzzling muscle car, but I don't drive it every day, once in a blue moon to work. as for cost of the E-car,.....they do sound expensive, considering that most of the technology is already out there, kinda' like the first calculators costing a couple hundred dollars, now you can get one for couple bucks. charging them?...............i'm in Hawaii at the moment and I see they have charging stations at the mall, not sure of the cost. NOW,.......I also live in new England.......a very brutal place for vehicles of any sort,between the salted roads and the cold, snow and slush..........water and electricity don't play well together ya' know,...a little condensation might ruin your whole day. yes, this guy should be heard if he has anything of value to add, and at no cost, i'm sure the president is gun shy(no pun intended) about taking supporter money when the gentleman is associated with big business,....he did say wouldn't be overly accessible to special interests.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        One of the largest buyers of electric cars is Norway. Norway is just a tad worse than New England so you can bet they work just fine in harsh environments.
      Cristirroe
      • 2 Years Ago
      Obummer doesn't want good things for the USA----isn't it obviou? Obummer isn't stupid, he is evil
        Pat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cristirroe
        You're calling the President of the United States "Obummer" and "evil" on the internet and he's the stupid one? Yeah....good luck with that.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cristirroe
        I think you need to get a slightly larger perspective on things. By slightly, I mean a hell of a lot. Maybe try reading a book or two.
        antipodal2u
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cristirroe
        Still hurting from the 2012 election huh?
          ebicious
          • 2 Years Ago
          @antipodal2u
          And the country will be hurting from it for years and years to come....
          b'hamster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @antipodal2u
          Unfortunately, yes
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cristirroe
        He's no doubt sick to death of butting heads with the Conservatives in Congress and Senate who get up every morning and pray to the holy buck supplied by the oil cartels. All was revealed during the early weeks at the start of the Obama administration when Mitch McConnell announced his first responsibility, ahead of his own constitutes and the American people, was to make sure that "Obama was a one term President". His bills get "defeated" 55-45 because of the Republican filibusters and he gets less cooperation from the house and senate than any President in American history. EVIL was Cheney, EVIL was Rumsfeld, EVIL was Wolfowitz. Obama isn't evil, he's just sick of the lack of support.
      cljvedelman
      • 2 Years Ago
      The bigger the check the easier the access.
      seayakbill
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can't wait till the folks that bought the electrics have to spend the big bucks for a new battery.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @seayakbill
        Hasn't happened yet. Ever look around to see all the repair shops for transmissions, mufflers, oil changes, and engines? An electric car doesn't have any of those... Maybe take a second to actually think about it....
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