paul scott

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.