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.
Show full PR text
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
      EVnerdGene
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why doesn't he just send an ignored postcard like the rest of us ?
      John Riecke
      • 1 Year Ago
      So dude bought his access like any good lobbyist and got turned down because he's not one the approved elite? It can't only be because he spelled out that he's doing what every their in Washington does.
      GoodCheer
      • 1 Year Ago
      There was a really good 'Planet Money' podcast dealing with 'pay for access'. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the topic. http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/04/20/150984304/when-lobbyists-pay-to-meet-with-congressmen
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GoodCheer
        Pay-to-play is certainly wrong. But there is a HUGE difference between some lobbyist representing some big corporation meeting with a government official behind closed doors and a constituent donating money to attend a public fund raiser where he will get a few minutes to speak with the president in front of other people. The GOP has the exact same kind of fund-raiser but apparently no self-awareness of the hypocrisy of the charge.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          EZEE, let me repeat the first words I said . . . "Pay-to-play is certainly wrong." But there is a difference as I pointed out. Look, when Romney had that fancy high-priced private fundraiser at some home in Florida where you certainly got the same treatment . . . did anyone make a big deal about it? No. No, it only became a story when that tape of his "47%" speech came out that it became a story. That was a very similar type of fund-raiser.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Hm ok, can we stop defending either of these crooked gangs then? whether they be red or blue..
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Democrats doing it is okay because the GOP does it and when the GOP does it it really makes me mad but when the democrats do it I realize it is fine because the GOP does it and they are jerks and I hate them for doing what the democrats do that I am okay with. Warrantless wiretaps anyone? Well I know, the GOP did some of that, so when the democrats get the records on every single person with Verizon, well, it's okay, because the GOP...
      Vlad
      • 1 Year Ago
      So, paying for access is ok (it is done all the time) - but talking about it is not. Makes sense.
      Chuck
      • 1 Year 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
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Chuck
        Liar.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year 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
        • 1 Year 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.
      reynold1
      • 1 Year 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
      • 1 Year Ago
      and the great campaigner, rolls on!!!
      • 1 Year 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
        • 1 Year 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.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Obummer doesn't want good things for the USA----isn't it obviou? Obummer isn't stupid, he is evil
        Pat
        • 1 Year Ago
        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
        • 1 Year Ago
        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
        • 1 Year Ago
        Still hurting from the 2012 election huh?
          ebicious
          • 1 Year Ago
          @antipodal2u
          And the country will be hurting from it for years and years to come....
          b'hamster
          • 1 Year Ago
          @antipodal2u
          Unfortunately, yes
        • 1 Year Ago
        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.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Check the IRS, check with the phone companies, check with the families of the dead in Libia, and you say he's not EVIL !!!! Get your head out of your butt and look at the world without your rose colored glasses !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      semperfi7x
      • 1 Year 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.
        • 1 Year 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
      • 1 Year Ago
      The losers are out in force today . It shows at election time . Clinton 2016 ,and beyond .
        Major
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JE WA ZA WI
        Way beyond. Back to Arkansas with Billy. That's where. The Girl Scouts don't even want her.
        Joan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JE WA ZA WI
        Not the losers, JE, but the truth tellers.
          Chris
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joan
          What truth would that be?
        • 1 Year 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.
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