The following letter was written by Gordon Wayne Watts of Lakeland, Florida, who received a Bachelor’s degree from The Florida State University with a double major in Biological and Chemical Sciences with honors and was the valedictorian from United Electronics Institute. Watts, a non-lawyer, is best known for his lawsuit on behalf of Terri Schiavo[1], which lost 4-3 in the Florida Supreme Court, arguably doing better than even then Governor Jeb Bush’s similar suit[2] (lost: 7-0) or Terri Schiavo’s own family’s federal case[3] (lost: 2-1). Mr. Watts, who ran unsuccessfully for Dist. 64 Fla. House of Representatives[4], is a part-time political activist while he searches for a full-time job in his field.

Dear Bill McCollum, Rick Scott, and Alex Sink:         (Wed. 28 July 2010)
Cc: Charlie Crist, Marco Rubio, and Kendrick Meek
(Cc's to you since I won't talk about you behind your back)
* Fri 03 Sept 2010 BREAKING: Rick Scott's campaign can't take criticism: Deletes Mr. Watts' Facebook post / Blocks him. (Click here for details)

Since you are the top 3 candidates for Fla Governor, and “Education” is the backbone of America (probably our most important 'Issue'), I figured I'd check out where you 3 stand on this vital/critical issue.

My first discovery was that all 3 of you are 'personal responsibility' conservatives (even you Alex, the Democrat), and (referring to Table 1 below), I see all of you support merit pay for teachers, and accountability by both teachers and students, and referring to Table 3 below, it would appear that the top 3 candidates for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. George LeMieux (R-FL) also seem to support "merit pay," including (as best I can tell) even U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL, 17th District). So, since I'm on the same page as the 6 of you (as are probably all the rest of Florida -except for a few lazy teachers), I have no bone of contention. --Moving on...

Next, however (referring to Table 2 below), I see all 3 of you are Liberal Boneheads when it comes to the fiscal side of things. (And, referring to Table 4 below, apparently so are all 3 candidates for U.S. senate, but the jury is still out on Marco Rubio; his campaign website is simply not clear on where he stands on higher-ed funding.) I'm not trying to insult you with my assessment: I, MYSELF, was a 'stupid conservative' in this area, when I supported taxpayer funding of not only Higher-Ed (i.e., Fla. Bright Futures, Fed PELL Grants, guaranteed student loans, etc.), but also an expansion to high schools in the form of 'vouchers'; however, I was wrong on both counts. Can I share my wisdom with you?

You see, the reason all 3 of you are Liberal Knuckle-heads (yes, even you Bill & Rick) is that you (probably inadvertently) support interjection of tax dollars into higher-ed, which has resulted in the distortion of the free market, and thus caused tuition (legally a tax) to skyrocket at a rate much higher than inflation, all the while that quality of education has fallen -thus we have an unjustified increase in costs here, creating a new class of slaves: College students = “debt slaves.”

To understand why a BIG MAC at McDonald's (or merchandise at Wal-Marts) has NOT skyrocketed in like fashion, read my recent Op-Ed to the Tampa Tribune. HERE – Let me give you the link:


Although I am not mad at you (an I do love my enemies & pray for my leaders as is my faith), I am as mad as a hornet, and I would not feel one bit guilty if I somehow derailed all the liberal politicians' campaigns -leaving probably some unknown 3rd-party candidates. If you care about education and students/teachers -and Florida taxpayers (who subsidised these addictions and payed for a bad product), then read my piece -and enact my legislation proposals. If you do nothing, then how many other students will get soaked for an inferior product?! Shall we remain silent at that? At the link above, print-out, read, and RE-read my treatise already. You all disappoint me: Alex, you're a financial expert, and you support this mess? And you 2 so-called 'conservative' Republicans (McCollum & Scott) support an obscene *skyrocketing* tax increase on the most vulnerable students? -LOL-

PS: Since the method outlined in my Op-Ed works for Higher-Ed, I expect it to be implemented for high school education too. Maybe we'll finally catch up to the rest of the world!

With kind regards, I am,

Gordon Wayne Watts

[1] In Re: GORDON WAYNE WATTS (as next friend of THERESA MARIE “TERRI” SCHIAVO), No. SC03-2420 (Fla. Feb.23, 2003), denied 4-3 on rehearing.
[2] In Re: JEB BUSH, GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA, ET AL. v. MICHAEL SCHIAVO, GUARDIAN: THERESA SCHIAVO, No. SC04-925 (Fla. Oct.21, 2004), denied 7-0 on rehearing.
[3] Schiavo ex rel. Schindler v. Schiavo ex rel. Schiavo, 403 F.3d 1223, 2005 WL 648897 (11th Cir. Mar.23, 2005), denied 2-1 on appeal.
[4] Key Phrase search: and -- Official Campaign pages: and

Table 1: Fla's 3 leading 2010 candidates for Governor on Education “standards”:
{Spacing changed for clarity. Some items highlighted yellow with red font for emphasis.}
Bill McCollum (R-FL) on education “standards”:
•Raise the standards for school grades
•Raise the bar on high school graduation
•Reform Florida’s approach to teacher quality, compensation and removal
•Provide teacher support structures
•Require specific subject area proficiency
•Create a merit based compensation system
•Phase out tenure
Rick Scott (R-FL) on education “standards”:
Where do you stand on merit pay for teachers?
In business, we judge that by the quality of work people produce. In the same way, a “merit pay” plan would reward high-performing teachers and hold school administrators accountable, while under-performing teachers would be challenged to improve.
Alex Sink (D-FL) on education “standards”:
•Instead of “teaching to the test,” we ought to be teaching to the individual child. Alex believes strongly in accountability, but testing should be used as a measure of how our children are progressing and used to develop individualized plans for each child.
•Excellence should be rewarded, which is why merit pay for teachers and charter schools need to be part of any conversation about education reform.

Table 2: Fla's 3 leading 2010 candidates for Governor on Higher-Ed “funding”:
{Spacing changed for clarity. Some items underlined in green font for emphasis. Editorial comments added in brackets for clarification.}


Bill McCollum (R-FL) on Higher-Ed “funding”:
Colleges and Universities
•Link [high school] education funding to graduation rates
•Refocus Florida’s [higher-ed] financial aid programs to accomplish concrete goals
•Build incentives for performance into Bright Futures
•Encourage students to apply for federal student aid before state funds are awarded
•Develop stronger public/private partnerships for higher education in Florida
Workforce Training
•Prioritize targeted workforce training program funding
•Develop the Florida “Back to Work Program” through competitive funding for programs that target local industry needs
•Update the Community College funding formula
Rick Scott (R-FL) on Higher-Ed “funding”:
Invest in university research, laboratories, business incubators, and technology transfer
•Maximize the impact from university research on the economy by ensuring that each Florida university – and the research conducted by our universities – are connected to the state’s economic development process
•Leverage the research strengths of our state’s universities – such as recent investments made in medical colleges – to invest [read: 'SPEND Tax Dollar$'] in new and emerging technologies that positively impact our economy
•Florida has many unique clusters revolving around university specific research, such as the biotechnology cluster associated with the University of Florida. State economic development grants [paid for by your tax Dollar$] will include partnerships with universities to develop research strengths into unique cluster
Alex Sink (D-FL) on Higher-Ed “funding”:
•We must invest in [read: 'SPEND your Tax Dollar$'] Florida’s future by fully investing [read: 'SPENDING'] in our schools from pre-K to the university level and funding workforce training and development programs.
•Our best schools are the schools with the best principals at the helm. Through public-private partnerships, like the ones Alex led in the business world, Florida should be committed to leadership training and development for our public school principals. [Comment: If this plan were so good, why did it not work for anyone's benefit while Sink was in the business world -e.g., the private sector? Obviously, it did not work: We see our college tuition skyrocketing whilst our quality of education goes down, and 'funding' such as this has only distorted the market, resulting in higher tuition in our colleges/universities and likewise in our high school costs -and lower quality of education. So, it is a bad plan that should be changed.]

Table 3: Fla's 3 leading 2010 candidates for U.S. Senate on Education “standards”:
{Emphasis added with underlining for clarity; Editorial comments in brackets and italicized in dark green for clarification.}
Charlie Crist (I-FL) on education “standards”:
“The future of America hinges on an educational system that is progressive. A system that provides accountability of students and teachers.”
Marco Rubio (R-FL) on education “standards”:
“During his legislative career, Rubio also promoted efforts to develop a world-class public school curriculum, increase performance-based accountability, enhance school choice and target the socio-economic factors affecting chronic academic underperformance.”
Kendrick Meek (D-FL) on education “standards”:
“Meek also scorned Christ for changing his stance on past political issues, such as oil drilling and teacher merit pay.” [Editor: I can't tell where Meek stands on merit pay, but it looks like he was upset that Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed SB006, the recent “Merit Pay” bill this 2010 session.]
Source: “Kendrick also understands that it will take more than money to prepare our next generation of citizen leaders. Learning begins with high quality teachers. He believes that we must find better ways to prepare and support our teachers for the challenges of the classroom.” [Editor: I'm still uncertain where Meek stands on merit pay, but, in context with the quote above, this quote from his congressional website seems to hint that he is for merit pay for teachers.]

Table 4: Fla's 3 leading 2010 candidates for U.S. Senate on Higher-Ed “funding”:
{Emphasis added with underlining for clarity; Editorial comments in brackets and italicized in dark green for clarification.}


Charlie Crist (I-FL) on Higher-Ed “funding”:
“Governor Crist recently created a Commission which brought all stakeholders to the table to work together on education reforms. His leadership in creating this unparalled [sic] cooperation is essential in Florida’s effort to seek some $700 million dollars for our education system through the Race to the Top Program...Florida’s tax credit scholarship program is providing a record number of scholarships to students throughout the state.” [Editor; This influx of tax dollars into higher-ed is precisely what distorted the market, resulting in a skyrocketing tuition.]
Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Higher-Ed “funding”:
[Rubio is citing a South Florida Sun-Sentinel op-ed apparently describing Crist in negative light.] “Crist, whose political disposition often matches the state’s nickname, offered a budget plan that, at best, can be described as rosy. More funds for public schools and higher education? Sure! Additional money for Medicaid? Of course!” [Editor: I can't tell, but, based on the quote picked here, it looks like Rubio is opposed to Crist's plan to use tax dollars for higher-education.]
Kendrick Meek (D-FL) on Higher-Ed “funding”:
“Kendrick believes that higher education should be affordable and accessible to help us all continue to compete in the global marketplace. That's why he has voted to increase student aid and supported legislation to cut interest rates in half for student loans.

As Florida's U.S. Senator, Kendrick will continue his work to increase federal dollars to help students achieve a college degree and will make sure they know of funding sources available to make their education dreams a reality.”

        ** TAKE ME HOME: -- **