By: Mark Vaughn on 6/04/2013
Mr. Smith didn’t make it to Washington. He didn’t even make it to West Los Angeles.
Electric-car advocate and Nissan Leaf salesman Paul Scott was going to speak directly to President Obama to advocate for electric cars as the best way to get us all off oil, a simple enough message. But when word got out that to do that Scott had paid $32,400 to attend an exclusive donor lunch with Obama and contributors to the Democratic Party, the whole thing got politicized.
“I got an email yesterday morning very politely, very nicely, telling me I was no longer invited and that they were returning my money,” Scott said.
Scott’s story had been picked up by numerous media outlets and some of those outlets portrayed the meeting as pay-to-play. Maybe it was. Maybe that’s how things work in politics. Ultimately, it was a distraction that the Democratic Party would rather not have.
So, while he’ll have to eat lunch somewhere else June 7, Scott, for his part, remains enthusiastic about his cause.
“I still have the utmost respect for the Democratic Party and for President Obama,” Scott said Tuesday morning. “I’ve been disinvited to the lunch, which is fine, but what’s important is that we get more and more people into electric cars and switch our dependence on oil.”
In fact, Scott, ever the optimist and ever the EV crusader, thinks the controversy around the lunch might have worked out for the better.
“Why it happened isn’t interesting to me, but now we will get more media exposure and get my message out to the media and the public.”
That message is the same one Scott has been proclaiming for the last decade, as put forth in a statement he released last week:
“What I want Obama to hear is that for over a decade, I’ve been driving a zero-emission electric car powered by sunlight — it runs on solar electricity generated by the solar panels I purchased over 10 years ago … By powering my home and car with clean energy, I’m no longer forking over thousands to the oil, coal and natural-gas companies.”
Has the disinvite been beneficial?
“Well, we’ll see,” Scott said. “Ultimately, I believe it will. We’re just getting started. We have a huge amount of emails and Facebook traffic from people cheering me on and very happy that I’m getting the message out. One friend said she’s buying a plug-in car because of this.”