Print 49 comment(s) - last by Moishe.. on Feb 20 at 12:31 PM

Patton received at least $42,825 between 2002 and 2013

Tesla Motors is trying to sell its Model S EVs directly to customers without auto dealerships acting as middle men. And while Ohio is just one of the U.S. states giving the automaker a tough time about it, many are specifically questioning an Ohio senator's motives against the new sales model.

According to Autoblog Green, Ohio Sen. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) is the man behind a new bill called Senate Bill 260, which aims to prevent Tesla and any other automaker from "applying for a license to sell or lease new or used motor vehicles at retail."

Tesla opened its own stores in both Cincinnati and Columbus, as Ohio's current laws allow the automaker to do so. However, Senate Bill 260 would certainly put a stop to it, unless existing stores opened before the bill are deemed safe. 

It seems Patton definitely likes green, but in the way of money instead of Tesla's cars. The article noted that Patton received at least $42,825 between 2002 and 2013 from state and national auto dealership owners, employees, and political action committees. 

Auto dealerships have said that Tesla's new sales model threatens their network, which many other automakers rely on. If other automakers were to follow Tesla's example, it would put the dealerships in a bad spot. 

They're clearly hoping that staying close to politicians will keep their model safe, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a tough competitor that likely won't back down easily. 

Sen. Tom Patton [SOURCE: Strongsville Post]

Musk believes that auto dealerships don't do a very good job at selling specialty cars like Tesla's high-end electric vehicles (Roadster, Model S). Hence, he's looking to run his own Tesla stores around the U.S. where he believes his cars will get a fair shot at being sold. 
The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) said that dealerships are necessary to ensure competitive prices for customers, and that it will continue to defend franchise and consumer laws in the states.
The problem for Tesla is that auto dealerships have much deeper pockets -- meaning that they have a lot more to spend on lobbying, and lawmakers will surely side with them when money is involved. 
Tesla Model S

In fact, auto dealers spent $86.8 million on state election races across the U.S. between 2003 and 2012. They also spent $53.7 million on federal campaigns. 

Tesla, on the other hand, has spent less than $500,000 on both state and federal politics. 
“The challenge we face, of course, is that the auto dealers are very strong and very influential at the state level, among the legislatures, making it harder to get things done.” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. 

While Tesla has been able to fight off auto dealership assaults in some states -- like North Carolina -- it has had a more difficult time in others, like Texas. The state has laws that protect the franchise dealership system where car manufacturers are not allowed to run and own dealerships -- and Texas isn't looking to budge on that issue.

Massachusetts and New York are a couple of other states going head-to-head with Tesla over the use of auto dealerships.

Lobbyists say Tesla needs to staff up in Washington to "protect its interests." The company has one registered lobbyist, Daniel Witt, a former aide to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Meanwhile, the National Automobile Dealers Association has an annual lobbying budget of about $3 million.

Musk said in April that he'd be willing to make the fight a federal battle

Source: Autoblog Green

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Should be Industry-Wide
By Flunk on 2/14/2014 3:36:59 PM , Rating: 5
I don't see any reason why we can't just buy vehicles direct from the manufacturer and save the markup from the auto dealer. There're no lack of competition in the auto market and we could all save if we had the option to simply order direct from the car manufacturers.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By tanjali on 2/14/2014 3:57:32 PM , Rating: 5
Because you can’t argue with democratically elected,,, mafia.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By niva on 2/14/2014 4:00:40 PM , Rating: 4
Musk is doing a good job arguing though, if he loses this fight hope he pulls his dealerships out of state. I think they should then proceed to make it expensive for dealers to purchase cars from them for resale.

This model has to go.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/14, Rating: -1
RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By ianweck on 2/14/2014 4:12:44 PM , Rating: 5
Even if he wins, nothing is going to change for most of us.

Why do you think the other dealerships are fighting him? Because if he wins, they are afraid other manufacturers will do the same thing.
I mean, it's right there in the article.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/14, Rating: -1
RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By Moishe on 2/20/2014 12:31:34 PM , Rating: 1
The problem is, instead of offering Tesla a business deal they're using legislation to stop them from legally doing business.

So much for "freedom" of market.

The auto dealers should be able to approach Tesla and make a deal. Tesla should be able to accept or reject that deal.

The legislative route bypasses the market and goes straight to the point of a govt gun.

I don't care which side you're on, this is crap.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By tanjali on 2/14/2014 4:13:25 PM , Rating: 2
Even If he doesn't say it officially he is actualy fighting for consumers willingly or not. Government doesn't pay sh.t you idiot, they are only giving tax brake.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By tanjali on 2/14/2014 4:18:28 PM , Rating: 2
Guess where the dilerships have so much money to pay politicians, by skimming average consumers way over manufacturers suggested prices.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By tanjali on 2/14/2014 4:25:44 PM , Rating: 2
Question is why do they spend so much money on politics, because they know they stink and only some stupid laws can keep them afloat. If they were to have legitimate bussines they wouldn't need to spend dime on politics.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By kickoff on 2/15/2014 8:52:15 PM , Rating: 5
You're the only person I know who tries to defend car dealers and you only do it to be a contrary ass. You're one of those people that if someone says "the sky is blue" you want to argue about how that's a perception of the brain as it interprets Rayleigh scattering, blah, blah, blah.

You know what? Some times it's better to just shut the fuck up. Now would be one of those times.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By Reclaimer77 on 2/15/14, Rating: -1
RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By kickoff on 2/15/2014 10:40:51 PM , Rating: 5
No, you're so obsessed with Musk that you automatically take the contrary side to anything he says. Yes, Musk is an egotistical ass. So what? It doesn't change the fact that NADA is an evil bunch of bloodsuckers who leach off all of us.

If Musk is the first person to challenge the corruption that has become NADA, then least something good comes out of his efforts and we'll all benefit when other companies follow his lead and tell the NADA cretins to PISS OFF.

You need to stay out of any discussion regarding Musk or Tesla because you have no ability to be objective when he's involved.

And you ARE the most contrary Son Of a Bitch on this board on ANY subject and that's saying something. Because some of these other dumbasses don't know any better. You just have some strange need to be contrary.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By Reclaimer77 on 2/16/14, Rating: -1
RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By topkill on 2/16/2014 12:13:55 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not making Musk out to be a hero. He's an egotistical ass who lash's out at anyone who doesn't hero worship him. That doesn't mean he's not "right" in a lot of cases either, just as you claim about yourself.

But Musk is not the important issue here. Stopping NADA and other organizations who milk our middle class are the issue. Musk may be looking to help himself out but that is irrelevant here. If he succeeds, then others will have the door opened to do the same and THAT is the issue here.

The real problem is our gov't, both local and federal. They take way too much in taxes, they spend it on subsidies to their buddies on ALL sides of the political spectrum and they get us into wars that bankrupt us. And they sell out to any lobby group who will keep them in power and make them richer.
Like you, I'm cynical, but I'll keep fighting for every little victory to give us a chance to roll back this tide of corruption.
Musk's personal self-serving actions? At least he did risk a great deal of his own money to make Tesla happen and besides.... I have more important shit to worry about than the great ego that is Musk.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By JediJeb on 2/18/2014 2:30:53 PM , Rating: 2
But Musk is not the important issue here. Stopping NADA and other organizations who milk our middle class are the issue.

If Musk can win on this, then maybe there will be hope someone will also be able to start knocking off other groups like the RIAA and MPAA to help kick out the middle men that get rich off doing essentially nothing these days. Well actually they are not "middle men" they are more like side leaches grabbing some of the profits from outside the actual flow of cash between consumer and owner.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By topkill on 2/16/2014 2:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
And yes, you're right. That was a low blow and I apologize. I get frustrated because you have more intelligence than the apes on here who just attack anyone who doesn't agree with their politics or religion (and two are usually intertwined).

You have a brain so I simply expect you to be more objective.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By DT_Reader on 2/14/2014 4:15:56 PM , Rating: 2
Tesla doesn't have dealerships to pull out of Ohio. That's sort of the point. What this would mean is that Ohio residents would have to go to another state to buy a Tesla, as do residents of several other states.

Too bad you can't just order one online and have UPS deliver it. Well, I suppose you could, but the shipping charges would be prohibitive.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By Rukkian on 2/14/2014 4:24:08 PM , Rating: 2
I am thinking that if you can afford a $100k car, that you could probably afford a one way plane ticket to pick it up, or pay a delivery company to drop it off. In the end, Ohio will loose out if this goes through, as any vehicles sold will no longer give a sales tax on the purchase price to Ohio, it would go to another state.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By tanjali on 2/14/2014 4:31:01 PM , Rating: 2
Why would they pay extra? Are you defending the bill?
This will only damage Ohio people and their economy.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/14, Rating: -1
RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By tanjali on 2/14/2014 4:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
Hey Reclaimer, Your momma so fat..., she needs a tax brake.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By ebakke on 2/14/2014 5:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
Hey tanjali, your momma so stupid... she couldn't teach you how to spell "break".

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By tanjali on 2/15/2014 9:18:11 AM , Rating: 2
She's not stupid, she doesn't speak English.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By Mint on 2/14/2014 5:25:00 PM , Rating: 2
If you buy a car in Delaware (0% sales tax), you're going to have to pay it anyway when you register it in NY. I doubt it's any different in Ohio.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By 1prophet on 2/17/2014 11:22:57 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly, if you want a valid registration and a set of license plates you have to pay the sales tax.

So the state losing taxes doesn't apply here.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By JediJeb on 2/18/2014 2:42:43 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if anyone has challenged that model, one state taking taxes for a sale that took place in another state?

I know Kentucky used to do that, as my friend who moved from Alabama had to pay sales tax on his car to register it, but recently someone said they no longer do that. Now that is different from a Kentucky resident purchasing the vehicle from and Alabama dealership but still the sale did not take place in Kentucky. The Kentucky law also said that if you paid 5% tax where you bought it you had to pay 1% since Kentucky sales tax was 6%.

But yet if you bought it in Tennessee where the sales tax is 8%, Kentucky didn't refund you the 2% you overpaid, that just doesn't seem fair :)

Honestly if what Kentucky was doing was found to be legal, then that could open the door to them sending a bill to anyone living in another state and charging them Kentucky sales tax on all of their out of state purchases.

To me it should be illegal for one state to charge sales tax for a purchase that takes place in another state. Even the federal government should be able to deny that to happen using the interstate commerce clause. I know that was put in the Constitution to prevent one state from hindering another state from doing business, but allowing someone like Ohio to collect sales tax if someone travels to North Carolina to purchase a Tesla would be denying North Carolina an advantage for having a more open commerce system allowing Tesla to sell without a dealership. If you are going to enact restrictive laws, then you should also have to pay the price for enacting such laws if another state wants to offer a better deal. Otherwise Ohio gets to have its cake and eat it to so to speak.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By futrtrubl on 2/15/2014 12:31:19 AM , Rating: 2
I believe in the US if you buy out of state you have to pay sales tax in your home state. That's what has states worried about online retailers (eg. Amazon) and why they want to force them to collect taxes. Right now if you buy something online and the company doesn't have a physical presence in your state you pay no sales tax during the sale, and most people then don't pay the sales tax they are supposed to pay the state, themselves.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By JediJeb on 2/18/2014 2:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
If the sale physically takes place in another state, yet they want to charge a tax for it in your home state then they should rename it a purchase tax instead of a sales tax.

For the average consumer, sales tax means the seller pays(though it is passed along to the purchaser)so they never think about paying a tax. If stated called it a purchase tax, I am sure most consumers would throw a fit, even though it they have been paying it all along with no complaints.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By DT_Reader on 2/14/2014 4:21:33 PM , Rating: 2
I like the ability to try on a car. I'm 6'3" and most cars just don't fit. Also, gas/diesel cars need service, and that means a dealership network. So dealerships can be a good thing. But currently NADA has a monopoly and they want to keep it that way. That's a bad thing.

Perhaps Tesla could sign up dealers but require them to only carry Teslas, and post their markup on the sticker - this much goes to Tesla, whether you buy it direct from the factory or buy from the dealer, and this much goes to the dealer. Call it the NADA tax.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By Flunk on 2/14/2014 4:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
Not really, a chain of manufacturer-owned stores would offer the same pluses. I'm no secret to the try it before you buy it concept (I'm 6'4"), but I'm saying that independent dealer networks shouldn't be legally mandated.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By Belegost on 2/14/2014 11:53:53 PM , Rating: 2
What the hell does servicing have to do with dealership? It requires a network of service centers, those do not need to also be dealers for selling new vehicles.

Why not just have manufacturers provide inspections and training programs to independent repair shops, and give a certification to qualifying shops that they are trained and equipped to properly service vehicles from that manufacturer?

They currently do this for dealers, why not more generally?

Seems like this would increase competition in auto repair, and help drive down prices for consumers overall.

As it is the dealer system is a leech, they have argued for as long as they have existed that without them there would be no competition for selling cars - bullshat on two counts.

1) I can count ten major car manufacturers currently in the US without even thinking, there is plenty of competition between brands.

2) Since the manufacturer sells units for a certain price, the only form of competition available is on the extra cost the dealer adds to that price. Basically we get a choice between how much we want to be screwed for. Lovely.

The NADA does not serve a legitimate purpose, they exist to protect the profits of leeching middlemen, and it disgusts me.

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/17/2014 12:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
Name those 10..

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By bankerdude on 2/17/2014 1:17:47 PM , Rating: 2

The list could go on........

RE: Should be Industry-Wide
By JediJeb on 2/18/2014 2:50:36 PM , Rating: 2
2) Since the manufacturer sells units for a certain price, the only form of competition available is on the extra cost the dealer adds to that price. Basically we get a choice between how much we want to be screwed for. Lovely.

When the Chevy Volt first came out wasn't there some places charging over $60k for them?

That sure is an example of the dealership competition keeping prices down for us.

By inperfectdarkness on 2/17/2014 2:59:48 AM , Rating: 2
This is no different than Wal-Mart and Best-Buy lobbying to ban new or used sales of any goods without a brick-and-mortar store.

BTW, 90% of everything I buy (apart from food) I purchase online. Welcome to the 21st century.

Republicans love ubridled free markets and small gov't
By FaaR on 2/14/2014 5:49:33 PM , Rating: 4
...Except when they don't, and that is whenever their lobbyist corporate masters tell them so.

Good on these bribing auto dealership organizations (by the way, unions are terrible - when they organize workers, instead of owners!); their bought-and-paid-for pocket politician is now running their errands like a well-behaved servant (well-trained dog, if you will) should.

Quite handy this small government stuff isn't it, you wave it as a flag to appease your voters, then not-so-quietly ignore it at first opportunity (of dollar bills raining down into your pocket...)

By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/2014 6:18:15 PM , Rating: 1
Don't take some local RINO and use him as a justification for your all-encompassing bigotry.

On the national scale, Democrats don't even have a leg to stand on. Their power-trip has run roughshod over every American.

By room200 on 2/16/2014 5:59:44 PM , Rating: 2
Shut the eff up, coward b!tch.

The price
By nikon133 on 2/15/2014 4:43:20 PM , Rating: 5
Senators come fairly cheap these days, don't they?

RE: The price
By laviathan05 on 2/20/2014 11:12:21 AM , Rating: 2
"State Senator"

-Dwight Schrute

Link to the proposed amendment
By therealnickdanger on 2/14/2014 4:04:28 PM , Rating: 3
In case you wanted to see the bill for yourself (always a good idea). For those that have never read a bill or statute, the underlined portion is proposed to be added to the existing statute:

Sec. 4517.12. (A) The registrar of motor vehicles shall deny the application of any person for a license as a motor vehicle dealer, motor vehicle leasing dealer, or motor vehicle auction owner and refuse to issue the license if the registrar finds that the applicant:

(11) Is a manufacturer, or a parent company, subsidiary, or affiliated entity of a manufacturer , applying for a license to sell or lease new or used motor vehicles at retail. Nothing in division (A)(11) of this section shall prohibit a manufacturer from disposing of motor vehicles at wholesale at the termination of a consumer lease through a motor vehicle auction. Division (A)(11) of this section shall not serve as a basis for the termination, revocation, or nonrenewal of a license granted prior to the effective date of this amendment.

RE: Link to the proposed amendment
By Rukkian on 2/14/2014 4:26:51 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if they could just "lease" them out for 2 days to the store, and then sell them, since it says it does not apply to selling off cars after lease.

You know...
By room200 on 2/14/2014 4:06:17 PM , Rating: 1
It's Obama's fault.

RE: You know...
By Mint on 2/15/2014 9:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it sort of is. Somebody started one of those "we the people" petitions, and got the required 100k petitions to get a response from the Whitehouse. This was back in July 2013.

I want to hear them at least make a statement about the issue.

Why is this news?
By DT_Reader on 2/14/2014 3:36:44 PM , Rating: 2
This is just business as usual in the world of politics.

Tesla Could Have Dealerships
By Floorbit on 2/15/2014 3:15:36 PM , Rating: 2
Just be sure that the 'downstream' outlets are privatly held businesses/franchises.
I can see the relationship of having such a totality as the manufacturer and the dealerships.

As Tesla would only have perhaps several models . Ford manufactures Ford. Chevrolet manufactures .. Toyota manufactures .

Certainly must be areason the 'Franchise ideal would not work at present. Logistics is one thing. Still though,there would probably be many interested in doing that sort of thing with Tesla.

for the consumers...
By zodiacfml on 2/16/2014 1:07:10 AM , Rating: 2
the problem with this is to whom the money goes to...

if the savings benefit the consumer then Tesla should have no problem with their plan. thing is, it is difficult an EV, they should get all the reasonable help they can.

By Richard875yh5 on 2/17/2014 1:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
If Tesla wins it fight, then all auto builders should be allowed to do the same. I can not see favoring just one auto maker.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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