-----Original Message-----
From: Gww1210@aol.com
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2017 17:18:29 -0500
Subject: Press Inquiry - folloup: I have not heard back...
To: Press@ed.gov, Alberto.Betancourt@ed.gov, Jim.Bradshaw@ed.gov
CC: Betsy.DeVos@ed.gov, Tracy.Catoe@ed.gov, Gww1210@aol.com, gww1210@gmail.com
For attachments in this email & related docs, please refer to this folder:
http://GordonWatts.com/tips/ or:
To: Press Officers, U.S. Dept. of Ed., 202.401.1576, Press@ed.gov
Attn: Alberto 'Al' Betancourt, 202.453.5753,
And: Jim Bradshaw, 202.401.2310, Jim.Bradshaw@ed.gov
Cc: DOE, Attention T. Tracy Catoe, Dep. Dir. of Correspondence
Betsy.DeVos@ed.gov, Tracy.Catoe@ed.gov, 202.205.4169, 202.401.1361, 202.401.3000, 616.643.4700, 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327)
Dear Al and Jim:
Thank you both for speaking with me by phone last month. (And thank you, also, for whomever visited The Register from the DOE. And also: Thank you, Tracy, for acknowledging my email.) I am writing because I made press inquiries (below), and a month (almost) has passed, and I have not heard back from your office. In fact, NONE of you responded further, tempting me to make clever jokes (like it might be easier to squeeze blood from a turnip, or the DOE staff are harder to locate than a Bigfoot!..) – OK, enough of my amateur and lame humour... I should be serious & professional:
To begin with, let me remind you, in no uncertain terms, that I am "friendly press," i.e., I am supportive of more or all of the policies of the new Trump administration, and those policies which I believe the new Sec. of Ed., Betsy DeVos, advocates (for example, vouchers in Public Ed). **HOWEVER**, one month of no answer (even for a 'small organisation, such as The Register) is abnormal. Based on our phone conversations, I'd hoped that you all understood my requests as me asking if the DOE could offer *some* clarification on whether or not (a) you supported my recommendations, below, and (b) whether there would be action (and not just 'big talk').
Probably, I didn't make specific & exactingly precise requests for specific answers (I will take the blame), so I'll try again. Here's the information the DOE requests for press inquiries, according to the greeting message on your work phone:
NAME: Gordon W. Watts, Editor-in-Chief of The Register (but not the only writer, just the chief writer)
OUTLET: The Register web-ring (with social media pages), as listed in the left-hand column of the flagship mirrors
DEADLINE: Last time, I had no 'precise' deadline. This time, the deadline is ASAP. If I hear back from you, I can publish sooner, but if I don't hear back from you, within, say, a few days, I will go ahead with the article, but I will make a "good faith" effort for you to give me an answer before I attempt to publish. (Some of my resources move on their own time-schedule, like when The Lakeland Ledger decides to publish something for me. Others, The Register, are under my control, and more-easily controlled to give you "extra time" to reply.)
PHONE: home:863.688.9880, cell:863.409.2109
Gww1210@aol.com and Gww1210@Gmail.com
QUESTIONS: see below...
**1. QUESTION ANSWERED: By the way, thank you, Jim, for your estimate of 4,800 employees for the DOE. Your website, 
https://Ed.gov/about/landing.jhtml and its sister site: https://www.Grants.gov/web/grants/learn-grants/grant-making-agencies/department-of-education.html both listed 4,400, and I think it may be 4,800 or so by now. Indeed, what are the odds I'd try to dial Betsy DeVos' extension backwards and get the number of 1 of only 4 press officers, such as Al Betancourt, whose last name is like Betsy's 1st name!? Coincidence? I think not... Not sure if this is newsworthy for my upcoming article(s), column(s), letter to the editor, etc., but it's a miracle, no less than how I almost won the Terri Schiavo case all by myself! (Getting a close 4-3 split decision loss at the Fla Supreme Court, doing better even than Jeb Bush, who lost 7-0 before the same panel. 2nd miracle was my faith to proceed: No one in their right mind, heck, no one in the crazy mind, would try what lawyers couldn't do, especially risking restricted filer censure by the court, fines, people hating me for butting into the controversial Schiavo case.)
[1] In Re: GORDON WAYNE WATTS (as next friend of THERESA MARIE 'TERRI' SCHIAVO), No. SC03-2420 (Fla. Feb.23, 2005), denied 4-3 on rehearing. (Watts got 42.7% of his panel)
[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. (Bush got 0.0% of his panel before the same court)
[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. (Terri Schiavo's own blood family only got 33.3% of their panel on the Federal Appeals level)
Before I ask my questions, here are but a few examples of my past publications:
1. "A Polk Perspective: Fix our bankrupt policy on student debt," By Gordon Wayne Watts, Guest columnist, The Ledger, August 04, 2016:
Cache: http://gordonwatts.com/TheLedger-print-version-WATTS-GuestColumn-Thr04Aug2016.html
Cache: http://gordonWAYNEwatts.com/TheLedger-print-version-WATTS-GuestColumn-Thr04Aug2016.html
NOTE: Right after this published, Congressman Ross issued this press release, which his Dep. Chief of Staff, Kyle Glenn, says he thinks was a direct response to my guest column, above – something with which I agree:
“Ross Introduces Student Loan Repayment Bill,” Washington, September 27, 2016:
“Dennis Ross: Responsible solutions to repaying student loans,” By U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross, GUEST AUTHOR, Florida Politics, December 14, 2016: http://FloridaPolitics.com/archives/228979-dennis-ross-responsible-solutions-repaying-student-loans
“H.R.6191 - Student Loan Repayment Act of 2016,” by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL-15), Introduced 09/27/2016:
and: “Ross Reintroduces Student Loan Repayment Bill,” Washington, January 26, 2017: http://DennisRoss.House.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398554
“H.R.615 - Student Loan Repayment Act of 2017,” by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL-15), Introduced 01/23/2017: https://www.Congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/615
2. “Why College Prices Keep Rising,” By Alan Michael Collinge (Google him: He is famous), republished with permission:
Mirror 1:
Mirror 2: http://gordonWAYNEwatts.com/images/permission-from-alan-collinge.PNG
Special to The Register, September 16, 2012: Cross-posted to at least six (6) mirrors:
[ii] http://gordonWAYNEwatts.com/#alan
[iii] http://Gordon_watts.Tripod.com/#alan
[iv] http://gordon_watts.tripod.com/Higher-Ed-Tuition-Costs.html#alan
[v] http://ThirstForJustice.net/Higher-Ed-Tuition-Costs.html#alan
[vi] Originally published at FORBES: https://www.Forbes.com/sites/peterjreilly/2012/03/19/why-college-prices-keep-rising
3. "Is the Mark Tetzlaff Case Over at the Supreme Court? Maybe Not., Posted by: Gordon Wayne Watts (Guest Post) (Debt Articles, Student Loan Bankruptcy Discharge), GetOutOfDebt.org, March 23, 2016: https://getoutofdebt.org/98813/mark-tetzlaff-case-supreme-court-maybe-not
Cache: http://gordonWAYNEwatts.com/GordonWayneWatts-column-cache-GetOutOfDebtGuy.pdf
4. “Beware the debt trap,” By Gordon Wayne Watts, TBO.com, The Tampa Tribune, October 18, 2009: http://www.tbo.com/list/news-opinion-letters/beware-the-debt-trap-62424
Cache: http://gordonWAYNEewatts.com/FannyDeregulation/TampaTrib10-18-2009.jpg
Cache: http://gordonwatts.com/FannyDeregulation/TampaTrib10-18-2009.jpg
5. “Allowing Student Loans Increases the Cost of Education at All Levels,” By Gordon Wayne Watts, The Ledger, June 3, 2011: http://www.TheLedger.com/opinion/20110603/allowing-student-loans-increases-the-cost-of-education-at-all-levels
Cache: http://gordonwaynewatts.com/FannyDeregulation/LetterLedgerFri03June2011.jpg
Cache: http://gordonwatts.com/FannyDeregulation/LetterLedgerFri03June2011.jpg
Four misc. press releases:
6. U.S. 11th Cir. Allows me to participate (denies all other NonLawyers) http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12361433.htm
7. Petition to Whitehouse re Student loan issues: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/11/prweb8994334.htm
8. Novel Compromise Proposed (Gay Marriage case)
and: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12608035.htm
9. Controversial U.S. Supreme Court rule is challenged in court:
and: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12608018.htm
More examples of past publications & news:
10. * "Gordon in LAKELAND, Fla," on College Debt, Coast to Coast AM, "Open Line FRIDAY's," top of "Hour 4"; Fri.22-July-2016-PM to Sat.23-July-2016-PM: https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=-mgY5eoiXg0
Official Episode page: http://www.CoastToCoastam.com/show/2016/07/22
* YouTube annotated video:
* Facebook annotated video:
* Twitter feed:
mirror 1 cache: http://gordonwatts.com/FannyDeregulation/StudentLoan_Call-in_C2C-Fri22July2016-OpenLines-FRIDAY_WMV.wmv
mirror 1 cache:
11. “Higher-Ed Tuition Costs: The ‘Conservative’ view is not on either extreme,” By Gordon Wayne Watts, The Register, Monday, 28 September 2009:
Link 1:
Link 2: http://GordonWayneWatts.com/Higher-Ed-Tuition-Costs.html
Link 3:
Link 4: http://Gordon_Watts.Tripod.com/Higher-Ed-Tuition-Costs.html
12. "Republican Congressman breaks with party, admits college loans deserve bankruptcy," By Gordon Wayne Watts, The Register, Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2016: www.GordonWayneWatts.com/BraveRepublicanBreaksRanksWithGOP-HigheEd.html and www.GordonWatts.com/BraveRepublicanBreaksRanksWithGOP-HigheEd.html
See also the front page news of The Register (GordonWatts.com and GordonWayneWatts.com) for these 4 items:
13. (Thr. 02 Mar. 2017, HEALTHCARE; NEWS; COMMENTARY; POLITICS) UPDATE: In-depth analysis of HealthCare debate:
14. (Thr. 02 Mar. 2017, EDUCATION; NEWS; COMMENTARY; POLITICS) UPDATE: Dept. of Education responds to email:
15. (Sat. 11 Feb. 2017; UPDATED: Thr. 02 Mar. 2017, EDUCATION; NEWS; COMMENTARY; POLITICS) Open Letter to U.S. Sec. of Education, Betsy DeVos
16. Another Whitehouse Petition You Should Read Concerning Student Loans & Bankruptcy, Posted: Wed. 22 Feb. 2017 (EDUCATION; NEWS; WHITEHOUSE) by Gordon W. Watts

OK, now that I've shown you that I'm not just some random blogger, but a (hopefully) professional investigative news reporter and political commentary writer, here are my questions proper:
**1. ((# employees) QUESTION – ASKED – and ANSWERED: (see above – thank you once again)
**2a. (vouchers) QUESTION ASKED: “Do Sec. of Ed., Besty DeVos and the Department of Education policy experts agree with my comparison between Federal Pell Grants and Public Ed vouchers?” Here is what I plan to write:
“Proponents of Public Ed vouchers, chiefly Conservatives, Republicans, & right-wingers, argue that vouchers would help Public Education because they promote free market competition between private & public schools by affording “school choice” to parents & students. Proof of that is seen because this model has worked in Higher Ed, with publicly funded colleges & universities directly competing with private universities for tuition money provided by the Government, such as the G.I. Bill & the Pell Grant.
Since liberal college students have no compunctions or qualms taking their Federal Pell Grants, and running to any school of their choice (even private or religious colleges), this is proof that this model works, but are Pells and Vouchers comparable?
Based on numerous phone conversations with U.S. Department of Education policy experts, the DOE Press Officers, and my own research from their official website, I conclude that the answer is 'yes': The Pell Grant, a need-based aid, like the Voucher, can only be used for authorized school expenses at qualified schools, and, like the Pell, the money follows the student, for use against those authorized expenses (not all expenses are covered): Sources: "Federal Pell Grants are usually awarded only to undergraduate students.". Retrieved March 10, 2017: https://StudentAid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/pell and: "Wondering how the amount of your federal student aid is determined?". Retrieved March 10, 2017: https://StudentAid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/next-steps/how-calculated Lastly, DeVos, Trump, and others have found many people who have testified publicly that they were helped when vouchers made up a financial shortfall to compensate for their attempts to get out of a poor-performing public school.”
(Before I ask this, I'll thank DeVos, Trump, & the rest of your team for not only supporting vouchers for public ed, but also for finding a few brave witnesses; thank you)
**2b. (voucher-redux) QUESTION ASKED: “Why is there a deafening silence from the Dept of Ed and the Trump administration when there is a good comparison, with the Federal Pell Grant, they might use to defend the use of vouchers?”
Possible answers to 2b include the following:
** “We did use such a comparison” (cite your sources)
** “We didn't use this analogy because we don't think the Pell is comparable to public ed vouchers” (offer proof)
** “We plan on using this analogy...” (offer some plan, and I will take your word on the honour system, ok?)
**3a. (subsidies) QUESTION ASKED: “Do Sec .of Ed., Besty DeVos and the Department of Education policy experts agree with the 'Bennett Hypothesis' so-named after REAGEN's Sec. of Ed., Dr. Bill Bennett?” [This theory, with which I agree, asserts that subsidies result in costs increasing because those spending monies have more to spend.] (Answers are either 'yes,' 'no,' or “partially agree with explanation.”)
**3b. (subsidies redux) QUESTION ASKED: “Why is there a deafening silence from the Dept of Ed and the Trump administration in both their words and their actions to seek use of the Bennett Hypothesis to end all subsidies for Higher Education (College) Loans?”
Possible answers to 3b include the following:
** “We did use such a comparison” (cite your sources, and, in all fairness, I think Trump has come out against subsidies, publicly, but DeVos is silent & mute on this.)
** “We didn't use this analogy because we don't agree with Dr. Bennett, here.” (offer proof)
** “We plan on using this analogy...” (offer some plan, and I will take your word on the honour system, ok?)
**4. (Free Market checks/balances) QUESTION ASKED: “Do Sec .of Ed., Besty DeVos and the Department of Education policy experts agree that Standard Consumer Protections for college loans [such as bankruptcy, statutes of limitations, truth in lending, & those removed by changes to 11 USC § 523(a)(8)] are a Conservative Free Market check/balance against predatory lending in college loans?” [This is a yes or no question.]
**5. (Uniformity clause of U.S. Constitution) QUESTION ASKED: “Do Sec. of Ed., Besty DeVos and the Department of Education policy experts agree that the removal of Standard Consumer Protections for college loans [due to changes to 11 USC § 523(a)(8)] was unconstitutional because it created “non-uniform” bankruptcy law, running afoul of Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 4 of the U.S. Constitution – a special form of Equal Protection regarding bankruptcy rights?” [This is a yes or no question.] Hint: The Founders demanded a “uniform bankruptcy” system in Art.I, §8, Cl.4, ahead of even the power to raise an army and declare war when they gave Congress its powers in the Constitution. The student loan disaster proves their wisdom.
[[Note: Liberals support the return of Standard Consumer Protections for college loans that were deleted due to changes in 11 USC § 523(a)(8). However, I am suggesting that 'Conservative' reasons exist to return them, namely that college was once free or at least very affordable in the past, and secondly, since tax dollars back & guarantee these loans, and college debt makes up almost ten (10%) percent of total Nat'l Debt, then if you ignore me, this will stress the U.S. Debt and crash the dollar. Proof of 1st claim: “Was college once free in United States, as Bernie Sanders says?,” PolitiFact, RATED “Mostly True” - By Amy Sherman on Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. http://www.PolitiFact.com/florida/statements/2016/feb/09/bernie-s/was-college-once-free-united-states-and-it-oversea for proof of 2nd claim, you Google College Debt and U.S. Debt and compare the two, and then get scared when you see the size of student debt.]]
**6. (monopoly, anti-trust) QUESTION ASKED: “Do Sec. of Ed., Besty DeVos and the Department of Education policy experts agree that there exists an illegal monopoly in higher education?” [Hint: it might help to look up the legal definition of 'monopoly' here. The answer is simple, but the implications of admitting the truth are frankly painful.]
**7. (contract law) QUESTION ASKED: [regarding existing or “past” college loans] “Do Sec .of Ed., Besty DeVos and the Department of Education policy experts agree that the removal of Standard Consumer Protections for college loans illegally changed the Loan Contracts for existing college loans, running afoul of Contract Law?
** 8. (due process & VFV issues) QUESTION ASKED: [regarding prospective or “future” college loans] “Do Sec .of Ed., Besty DeVos and the Department of Education policy experts agree that the removal of the Truth in Lending consumer protections for college loans violates Fundamental Due Process due to Lack of Notice & Void for Vagueness issues? [Hint: Sen. Marco Rubio has attempted to beef up Truth in Lending for college loans, but I don't know how far his legislation has gotten.]
** 9. (actions vs words) QUESTION ASKED: In light of questions 3—8, above, does the DOE intend to ask for cessation of using tax dollars to make/subsidise or back college loans; ask congress to repeal 11 USC § 523(a); seek court action under anti-trust or monopoly laws; and/or speak vocally to the news media with the bully pulpit of press releases on these issues?
** 10a. (feedback) QUESTION ASKED: Are my questions too difficult and/or lengthy and/or too many questions? [[Hint: Answering my questions will prepare you for 'really' big news media, and moreover save face, which is necessary because I predict if you ignore me, then the U.S. dollar will crash due to the college debt becoming a sizable portion of total U.S. Debt.]]
** 10b. (feedback) QUESTION ASKED: What are you all doing this weekend? (Meaning, I know it's after 5pm, Friday, but unless you have something else important planned, do you think that your team could reply to all my questions, particularly the ones about the contentions voucher controversy?)
With kind regards, I am, Sincerely,
Gordon Wayne Watts, Editor-in-Chief, The Register
In a message dated 2/12/2017 11:56:58 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, Gww1210@aol.com writes:
-----Original Message-----
From: Gww1210@aol.com
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2017 11:55:29 -0500
Subject: (Errata) PRESS Inquiry for Sec of Ed, DeVos & staff
Gww1210@aol.com, press@ed.gov
CC: Alberto.Betancourt@ed.gov, gww1210@gmail.com

Dear Alberto and DOE Press Office: (Sun. 12 Feb. 2017 addendum/errata)

[Subject: (Errata) PRESS Inquiry for Sec of Ed, DeVos & staff]

Thank you for reviewing my email (below), and for whomever at the Dept. of Ed. who visited my online paper's website, thank you -- I hope you enjoyed your visit, and I trust that our continuing news coverage of the DOE is pleasant music to your ears. (See cute MEME below.) -- But, on a more serious note, I proof-read my email to you after-the-fact to make sure I had done a good job. Mostly, I am comfortable that I said what I needed to and avoided too much unnecessary stuff. However, I noticed one *glaring* omission in my email: I did not point out that the twin curses of (past) student debt & (future) college tuition harm Blacks (African Americans) two to three (2-3) times as much.
This is important for you to know for at least two reasons: First, as a "moral" issue, of course, Blacks are people too, and hurting because of lingering discrimination (which is better but not fixed yet), college debt, defaults, etc., which places this on front-burner. Secondly, however, as a "practical" matter, I know that Blacks hate your guts, and while much of their hatred is undeserved, nonetheless, I'm hoping that you accept the tools I give you to do your part to "bridge the gap," ok? TOOLS: "Knowledge is Power," so here are 5 key citations that I feel you should discuss in front of a microphone every-other time you speak:
* "Black-white disparity in student loan debt more than triples after graduation," by  Judith Scott-Clayton and Jing Li, The Brookings Institution, Thursday, October 20, 2016: https://www.Brookings.edu/research/black-white-disparity-in-student-loan-debt-more-than-triples-after-graduation/
* "Blacks owe nearly twice as much student debt as whites four years after graduating college—and they are three times more likely to default." Source: "Black College Grads Owe Nearly Twice as Much Student Debt as Whites Four Years Out: The findings suggest the past decade’s surge in student debt is affecting blacks far more than any other racial group," by Josh Mitchell, Wall Street Journal, Oct 20, 2016: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2016/10/20/black-college-grads-owe-nearly-twice-as-much-student-debt-as-whites-four-years-out/
* "Four years after graduating college, black students owe nearly twice as much student debt as their white peers do and are three times more likely to default on those loans, according to a new paper by the Brookings Institution." Source: "Black College Grads Have Twice as Much Student Debt as Whites," by Kerri Anne Renzulli, TIME, Oct 21, 2016: http://Time.com/money/4540266/student-debt-racial-gap/
* "A new study of the gaps in student loan debt between black and white young adults both confirms reports of the gap and provides new details. The study, published in the journal Race and Social Problems, finds that black young adults have 68.2 percent more student loan debt, on average, than do white young adults." Source: "New Study of Black-White Gap in Student Loan Debt," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, March 9, 2016: https://www.InsideHigherEd.com/quicktakes/2016/03/09/new-study-black-white-gap-student-loan-debt
* "Black borrowers have a default rate of 7.6 percent within four years -- three times the rate of white graduates." Source: "Growing Racial Disparities in Student Debt," by  Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed, October 21, 2016: https://www.InsideHigherEd.com/news/2016/10/21/brookings-study-finds-growing-disparities-student-loan-debt-between-black-and-white
OK, by and large, that was the only "real" point I missed in my last email, but I wanted to offer some tips to read my email, because I know it is quite long, OK?
** TIPS: First, remember I'm the guy who almost won in court for Terri Schiavo *all by myself* -- doing better even than former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush (before the same 7-Justice panel of the Fla. Supreme Court), so I'm hoping you "cut me some slack regarding my egregious omission (which I'm correction, here), OK? Thx. Secondly, you'll notice that my email (below) is probably 75% or 80% "citations," meaning you can speed-read them to make my "email proper" about 4-5 times shorter. Third, please remember that Pres. Trump testified (below) no less than *twice* that this issue was "the" single most frequent question he got on the campaign trail (and with good reason: Since almost 10% of total US Debt is college Debt, with mostly toxic loans via Predatory Lending, this **WILL** crash the U.S. Dollar if you ignore my painful, but effective, solutions, and the latter pain will be greater than the former. *Lastly*, you'll notice that I've included attachments in my emails: The attachments are to support the message in the body of my email, and the email & attachments "go together," for the complete message. I.e., neither is a stand-alone. But, I make my points in the body of my email, to keep things simple.
One other thing: I litigated before the U.S. Supreme Court on one "key" college loan case: http://GordonWatts.com/FannyDeregulation/Tetzlaff-case/DOCKET-15-485_Tetzlaff-v-ECMC.html or
http://gordonWAYNEwatts.com/FannyDeregulation/Tetzlaff-case/DOCKET-15-485_Tetzlaff-v-ECMC.html and I'm including my initial brief seeking Intervention, as it is "comprehensive" in raising *all* the key legal issues surrounding the Higher Ed laws which are so broken. (Granted, you & your staff can't fix these, yourself, but you can get up to speed, and use the "Bully Pulpit," if you so choose.) ONE QUESTION, if I may: What can Sec. DeVos and the Dept. of Education do to fix these problems? (I know Lawmakers have "God-like" powers, and the DOE is limited in its regulatory role, but I don't know the exact limits, which prompts me to ask.) If you need to respond several times - like I did - feel free. Take your rime, but please do not hesitate to reach out to me if I may be of any actual assistance in solving these problems. I hope my analyses & observations are both encouraging & actually helpful to Sec. DeVos, her staff, U.S. Dept. of Education, & Lawmakers as well.
Gordon W. Watts (full contact info below)
In a message dated 2/10/2017 12:23:16 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, Gww1210@aol.com writes:
To: U.S. Dept. of Ed. press office -- Cc: Al Betancourt, Press Officer, U.S. DOE
Dear Alberto:                            [202.453.5753 / 202.401-1576]
Thank you for speaking to me just now. Pursuant to your request, here is the email in question. What I ask from the press office is to address the questions posed to Ms. DeVos and your department (below), and to please answer two (2) additional question I overlooked/forgot -- these questions:
Q1: Considering the fact that there are limitations on what the Dept of Ed and/or the Secretary of Ed over your department can do, what (if anything) can Sec. DeVos, herself, or the Department, itself, do to address and remedy the problems I've outlined below? (In other words, while Lawmakers have almost god-like powers in these matters, getting them to do anything is like herding cats, and if I have reached my limits with lawmakers, what can the new secretary and her department do, as allowed by her regulatory powers?
Q2: Regardless of the statutory limitations on the regulatory powers enumerated for the Department (and its secretary), what battles (described below) are the Dept of Ed and/or Sec. DeVos willing to fight with the First amendment use of the "Bully Pulpit" (e.g., press officer(s) and/or Sec. DeVos speaking to the news media directly and/or via press releases), remembering that the DOE and/or its officers/secretary all have more of a bully pulpit than an ordinary Joe.
Thank you,
Gordon. W. Watts
Editor-in-Chief, The Register
In a message dated 2/10/2017 12:08:22 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, Gww1210@aol.com writes:
-----Original Message-----
From: Gww1210@aol.com <Gordon Wayne Watts>
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2017 19:00:01 -0500
Subject: Congratulations & feedback for Sec of Ed, DeVos & staff
Contact@BetsyDeVos.com, AskaLibrarian@ed.gov, edpubs@edpubs.ed.gov,
    ocr@ed.gov, Betsy.DeVos@ed.gov, Betsy_DeVos@ed.gov, webmaster@ed.gov,
    FL15RossDennis@mail.house.gov, kyle.glenn@mail.house.gov
CC: Gww1210@aol.com, gww1210@gmail.com, Caleb_Orr@Rubio.senate.gov,
    Alicia_Tighe@BillNelson.Senate.gov, Kevin.drake@ledgermediagroup.com,
    kevin.drake@theledger.com, voice@theledger.com,
    bill.thompson@theledger.com, lenore.devore@theledger.com,
    lynne.maddox@theledger.com, Rick.Rousos@TheLedger.com,
    tnickens@tampabay.com, nickens@tampabay.com, local@tampabay.com,

Sec. of Ed., Betsy P. DeVos (Contact@BetsydeVos.com) 616-643-4700
c/o: U.S. Department of Education,
1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327)
400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-0001
Cc: U.S. Representative Dennis A. Ross (R-FL-15th), http://DennisRoss.House.gov
Cc: Kyle P. Glenn, Deputy Chief of Staff for Hon. Dennis A. Ross, MOC [
Cc: Misc. news see cc line above...]
170 Fitzgerald Road, Suite 1, Lakeland, FL 33813, Phone: (863) 644-8215, (813) 752-4790
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(Subject: Congratulations & feedback for Sec of Ed, DeVos & staff)

Wednesday, 08 February 2017

Congratulations on your confirmation in the U.S. Senate, Secretary DeVos! You have done some good things and (no offense – we're all human) some bad things. As you've asked for 'feedback' from us, so here it is: First, I'll drop two big names to let you know I'm credible: First, you may inquire of my good friends, U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL-15th), who is my congressman or selected members of his staff appearing in the cc line. They will give me a good character references. Secondly, I'll drop my OWN name - yes, I will: I'm "the" guy who almost won in court for the famous Terri Schiavo case (see court references below), -- I achieved a 4-3 split decision in the Fla. Supreme Court - all by myself -- so, I'm no dummy, OK? Below is a copy of my email to Congressman Ross, which I've asked him to pass to you, the other 537 Lawmakers, the VP, and the President -- it's long, but worth it -- here goes nothing!

Subject - bears repeating: Tips for Sec. of Ed.: Addressing GRIZZLIES, GUNS, VOUCHERS, and (past) College Debt & (future) Tuition Inflation – and how she can answer her critics!...

Dear Congressman Ross:

To preview my feedback, here are the 2 citations I promised you earlier to prove that the “most common” question President Trump gets is about the twin curses of past student-debt & future college-tuition—to prove that my feedback here is likely the “most important” constituent feedback you'll receive all year long:

Citation 1: “QUESTION: Hi, Mr. Trump. My name is Kris Coulter (ph). I'm wondering what your plan is for addressing rising college tuition costs and student loan debt. Would you support something as aggressive as, say, student loan forgiveness?

TRUMP: Chris [Matthews], I get that question...more than any other question is what are we going to do about student debt.”

Source: “FULL TRANSCRIPT: MSNBC Town Hall with Donald Trump Moderated By Chris Matthews,” MSNBC,

Wed. 30 March 2016, towards end of Town Hall: http://info.MsNbc.com/_news/2016/03/30/35330907-full-transcript-msnbc-town-hall-with-donald-trump-moderated-by-chris-matthews

Citation 2: “ASHLEY: Several other candidates have come out with their plans for lowering or even free education at the public university level. Um, do you have a plan? And if so, do you have a way of paying for that plan?

16:35:50 TRUMP: As a -- as a -- I can't believe I'm saying this as a politician. I'm not a politician, but as somebody that's now in politics and the political world. I'd love to say free education, but again, if somebody gets free education, all of the people paying...But I get that question more than any single question, especially because I've gotten to know so many young people, and they're so incredible.”

Source: “Trump Sets 'Record' Straight at Town Hall, But Not Counting on Rival Support If He's the Nominee: 'Endorsements Don't Matter ... I'm a Realist',” FoxNews, Sun. 03 April 2016: http://Nation.FoxNews.com/2016/04/03/trump-sets-record-straight-town-hall-not-counting-rival-support-if-hes-nominee

OK, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Sec. of Ed. by the U.S. Senate, but only by a razor-thin vote (an even thinner margin than my 4-3 loss at the Fla. Supreme Court as Terri Schiavo's friend, remember?, and, yes, I'm bragging that I nearly won the Schiavo case “all by myself,” because, you must admit, it's easier for a “Big” person to get his common sense ideas listened to, no?), and as DeVos doesn't have a mandate, she WILL need to build consensus – and here is how I propose that you and I, together, help her to do her job. I ask you you, Rep. Dennis A. Ross, to pass along these four (4) ideas/tips: First, my 2 higher-ed ideas (in my column: get tax$$ out of making/backing college loans, and secondly restore bankruptcy, truth in lending, stats of limitation, & ALL standard consumer protections to college loans, since they act as a Conservative Free Market CHECK/balance against predatory lending & tuition inflation), next, my one (1) public ed idea (about the voucher analogy, below), and lastly: #4 -- lastly, ask her to brush up on how Texas' 2nd Amendment with "gun in schools" works (like it did when we, or our parents, were kids and were able to take our 22 rifles into class without a problem). That makes 4 unique, distinct tips or ideas.

DeVos needs to study THIS, BELOW—if she wants to protect her school kids from those Big Bad GRIZZLIES /:-D And if she wants to offer coherent, common sense, answers to her Liberal, gun-grabbing, left-wing critics, without looking stupid, OK?

Back in the 1950s and even later, many high schools had shooting ranges. Students even brought their own rifles to school. What changed in society that we could trust such activities then, but not now?,” Clash Daily: Published on December 21, 2012: http://ClashDaily.com/2012/12/back-in-the-1950s-and-even-later-many-high-schools-had-shooting-ranges-students-even-brought-their-own-rifles-to-school-what-changed-in-society-that-we-could-trust-such-activities-then-but-not-now/

See also this page: https://www.Facebook.com/RiflesHaveBeenInSchoolsForOver100Years/

Once upon a time, it was common for an American child to be packed off to school with a rifle on his back and for him to come home smiling and safe in the evening. Shooting clubs, now quietly withering away, were once such a mainstay of American high-school life that in the first half of the 20th century they were regularly installed in the basements of new educational buildings. Now, they are in their death throes, victims of political correctness, a willful misunderstanding of what constitutes “gun safety,” and our deplorable tendency toward litigiousness. [line-break] In 1975, New York state had over 80 school districts with rifle teams. In 1984, that had dropped to 65. By 1999 there were just 26. The state’s annual riflery championship was shut down in 1986 for lack of demand...But how wise is that “zero-tolerance policy”? Until 1989, there were only a few school shootings in which more than two victims were killed. This was despite widespread ownership of — and familiarity with — weapons and an absence of “gun-free zones.” As George Mason University economist Walter E. Williams has observed, for most of American history “private transfers of guns to juveniles were unrestricted. Often a youngster’s 12th or 14th birthday present was a shiny new .22-caliber rifle, given to him by his father.” This was a right of passage, conventional and uncontroversial across the country. “Gee, Dad . . . A Winchester!” read one particularly famous ad. “In Virginia,” Williams writes, “rural areas had a long tradition of high-school students going hunting in the morning before school, and sometimes storing their guns in the trunk of their cars during the school day, parked on the school grounds.” Many of these guns they could buy at almost any hardware store or gas station — or even by mail order. The 1968 Gun Control Act, supported happily by major gun manufacturers who wished to push out their competition, put a stop to this.”

Source: “Gun Clubs at School: The notion of schools as “gun-free zones” flies in the face of history.,”by Charles C.W. Cooke, National Review, January 21, 2013: http://www.NationalReview.com/article/338167/gun-clubs-school-charles-c-w-cooke

Second Amendment: TEXAS' experience seems to work

* "In Texas School, Teachers Carry Books and Guns" (By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr., August 28, 2008) New York Times: "Barely 100 students attend classes at Harrold, a tiny town in north-central Texas. But the school board's decision to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons has drawn national attention." - http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/29/us/29texas.html

* "Readin', writin', 'rithmetic — and now maybe revolvers: North Texas school's teachers can carry guns" (By JENNIFER RADCLIFFE, Aug. 16, 2008) The Houston Chronicle: 'Thweatt said that despite the outrage from his public school peers, Harrold stands by its decision. The first few months of the new policy have gone smoothly, he said. "We think we have acted cautiously and wisely," said Thweatt. "Others should be free to govern their school districts as they see fit." Thweatt said the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff's office, leaving students and teachers without protection. He said the district's lone campus is situated just 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target.' - http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/5947050.html

* "Guns for Texas school's teachers" (Saturday, 16 August 2008 02:06 UK) BBC: "Teachers in one part of the US state of Texas are to be allowed to carry concealed firearms when the new school term opens this month." - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7564654.stm

* "Texas Teachers Packing Heat" (August 19, 2008) U.S. News & World Report: - http://www.usnews.com/blogs/on-education/2008/08/19/texas-teachers-packing-heat.html

* "Texas School Teacher Guns" (Categories: Education) Mahalo.com.: "When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that’s when all of these shootings started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people can’t defend themselves? That’s like saying 'sic ’em’ to a dog." —quoting Harrold School Superintendent David Thweatt, as reported in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram article: "Small Texas school district lets teachers, staff pack pistols" (August 15, 2008) - http://www.mahalo.com/texas-school-teacher-guns

*** What about California & Illinois? Both are liberal states with strict “anti-gun” laws, yet these 2 states are infamous for school & college shootings all the time. Yet, places like Texas, Utah, & ISRAEL, that have “gun friendly” laws, have no such issues. Looks like the “Liberal” method does not work! DeVos never mentioned this “contrast” of Liberal v. Conservative track record, either, during her confirmation hearings, when asked about guns & schools? What was she thinking!? Actually, besides defending 2nd Amendment, she also should tell her **many** critics that State & Federal Lawmakers, not she, herself, make law on these issues, and to stop asking stupid, moot, questions!! She didn't say that either.. what in the world was she thinking!? ***

Second Amendment: UTAH's experience seems to work

"Utah students hide guns, head to class" CNN: Feb. 21, 2008 - http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/02/20/cnnu.guns/index.html

"Utah only state to allow guns at college" AP: April 28, 2007 - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18355953

For an opposing view, see: "More Guns on Campus?" By Suzanne Smalley, Feb. 15, 2008 - http://www.Newsweek.com/id/112174

Second Amendment: ISRAEL's experience seems to work

* "ARE ISRAELI TEACHERS ARMED?" (By Josh Wander, December 16, 2012) Jewish Prepers: (Short Fair-Use excerpt: "With all that in mind, Israelis have never had a school shooting perpetrated by one of their own...I should also mention that during any class trips, it is required to have an armed escort with the kids at all times. Israel takes their children’s safety and security seriously!") - http://JewishPreppers.com/2012/12/are-israeli-teachers-armed

* "Armed teachers, guards bolster school security in Israel" (By Greg Tepper, December 30, 2012) FoxNews.com: (Short Fair-Use excerpt: "Oren Shemtov, CEO of Israel’s Academy of Security and Investigation, noted that attacks typically happen in a matter of minutes, and said gun-toting teachers could, at the very least, buy time for kids to escape while police race to the scene. [line-break] “Two (armed) teachers would have kept (the Newtown shooter) occupied for 45 seconds each,” said Shemtov...Security consultant Dov Zwerling, an Israeli counter-terror police veteran, believes armed guards are crucial for school security. [line-break] “From what I know of almost all of the active shooter events in the U.S., almost all of them conclude with the shooter taking his own life the moment he is challenged by the first officer on the scene,” Zwerling said. “Why not challenge him earlier?”...At one point the Interior Ministry mandated that a certain percentage of teachers be armed...In order to station armed guards in U.S. schools, an idea advocated by the National Rifle Association, America could tap a ready pool of qualified candidates, Shemtov said. U.S. soldiers returning from overseas are well suited for school protection, he said, and “instead of returning with nothing to do there’s a sea of work” as school guards.") - http://www.FoxNews.com/world/2012/12/30/armed-teachers-guards-key-to-school-security-in-israel

* For an opposing view, see: "ARE ISRAELI TEACHERS ARMED?" (By Ron Cantor, © Messiah’s Mandate 2012. All rights Reserved) Messiah's Mandate: (Short, Fair-Use excerpt: "Well, are they? The answer is “NO.” There may be some exceptions...") - http://MessiahsMandate.org/are-israeli-teachers-armed

Second Amendment: GOD seems to think it works

"Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves." (Words of Jesus in Red; Matthew 10:16, HOLY BIBLE, Amplified Version)

"Then He said to them, But now let him who has a purse take it, and also [his provision] bag; and let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy a sword." (Words of Jesus in Red; Luke 22:36, HOLY BIBLE, Amplified Version)

"When the strong man, fully armed, [from his courtyard] guards his own dwelling, his belongings are undisturbed [his property is at peace and is secure]." (Words of Jesus in Red; Luke 11:21, HOLY BIBLE, Amplified Version)

17 Those who built the wall and those who bore burdens loaded themselves so that everyone worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other hand, 18 And every builder had his sword girded by his side, and so worked. And he who sounded the trumpet was at my side. 19 And I said to the nobles and officials and the rest of the people, The work is great and scattered, and we are separated on the wall, one far from another. 20 In whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us. 21 So we labored at the work while half of them held the spears from dawn until the stars came out. 22 At that time also I said to the people, Let everyone with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that at night they may be a guard to us and a laborer during the day. 23 So none of us--I, my kinsmen, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me--took off our clothes; each kept his weapon [in his hand for days].

--Nehemiah 4:17-23, HOLY BIBLE, Amplified Version

U.S. Courts and the Constitution agree: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES in DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER (No. 07-290; Argued March 18, 2008—Decided June 26, 2008) 478 F. 3d 370, affirmed the lower court's decision and held that "1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home." (Pp. 2–53)

* My column: "A Polk Perspective: Fix our bankrupt policy on student debt," By Gordon Wayne Watts, Guest columnist, The Ledger, August 04, 2016: http://www.TheLedger.com/article/20160804/COLUMNISTS03/160809884/1382/edit?p=all&tc=pgall

Cache of this column with related tips for President, Lawmakers, & Sec. of Ed.:







* Summary on 'voucher' comparison: So long as Vouchers go directly to students, who can only spend them on either Public or Private schools that meet *high* standards qualifications, I support use of vouchers, because this is comparable to Pell Grants going directly to students to spend on any public or private college of their "choice" - school choice. (But, if vouchers can only go to the state in block grants and/or if they can be used on expensive, low quality Private & Charter schools to make crony capitalist “pork-barrel”buddies rich, then that's not alright.) NOTE: Since even Liberals take their PELL grants and gladly use them at private colleges, and the "public" state colleges aren't harmed or hurt (even tho said public colleges have LESS public funding than public education schools, which are 100%-funded), then there should be even LESS problem with vouchers than with PELL grants, so DeVos and her supporters would be wise to use this analogy as an affirmative defense & argument in whereof we support vouchers.

CONCLUSION: DeVos is unable to pass law on the four (4) points I raised (Federal law regarding public ed, higher ed, and states' rights issues regarding gun laws), but (A) she may have regulatory powers in some regard; (B) she certainly has the bully pulpit to speak out more loudly than either of us, combined; and, most importantly, (C) you and she have the ear not just Lawmakers, but also the President, who has a bigger bully pulpit to address these issues. Not mentioned above, because it was not related to Education, but here's a 5th Bonus Point #5: As I've suggested in the past (but bears inclusion in my treatise or 'Thesis!'), when Lawmakers are looking for a replacement for the ACA (ObamaCare), as in “repeal & replace,” I respectfully suggest we use POLK County, Florida's indigent county healthcare (funded by 1/2-cent sales tax), since it's more “affordable,” and yet still modestly comprehensive coverage = good compromise. But, things like “competition across state lines” are not bad “add-on” ideas, either? Also, we don't treat our vets right - from A-to-Z: To begin with we shouldn't even be in most of these "wars" (which cost lives, huge medical costs, and anger other nations without cause), and secondly, our Vets sometimes don't go to the VA because they take too long to get an appointment: Therefore, vets should have ability to get coverage at most **any** doctor, just like retired, disabled, Medicare, Medicaid, patients, etc.

If you've read this far and not passed out, you deserve a medal, but it'll have to be a Presidential Medal of Honour, so to get it, you've got to make sure that Pres. Trump & VP Pence get a copy of this, and not just DeVos and your 537 other Lawmaker colleagues. (Get the printing press ready for good ideas to Make America Great Again, like it was when college was great, and yet still affordable!)


[1] In Re: GORDON WAYNE WATTS (as next friend of THERESA MARIE 'TERRI' SCHIAVO), No. SC03-2420 (Fla. Feb.23, 2005), denied 4-3 on rehearing. (Watts got 42.7% of his panel) http://www.FloridaSupremeCourt.org/clerk/dispositions/2005/2/03-2420reh.pdf

[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. (Bush got 0.0% of his panel before the same court) http://www.FloridaSupremeCourt.org/clerk/dispositions/2004/10/04-925reh.pdf

[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. (Terri Schiavo's own blood family only got 33.3% of their panel on the Federal Appeals level) http://media.ca11.UsCourts.gov/opinions/pub/files/200511556.pdf

PS: My email to you, Sec. DeVos, has made me late for church tonight (Wingman Men's Group), but I hope it was worth it for me to try & help you & your department (and lawmakers, president, staff, etc.), for, as my pastor, Dr. Jay Dennis (1st Baptist Church @ the Mall, Lakeland, Fla.) has oft-said: God wants us to be good stewards & use our First Amendment rights (e.g., this email, here) to not only criticise the bad things, but to thank & honour the good things, to encourage you, & to help you, if at all possible. -- Be blessed, and I wish you the best success. Are ,my proposed solutions for the Public & Higher Ed problems tenable & appropriate? Please let me know, one way or the other.

Gordon W. Watts (Lakeland, Fla.)

Gordon Wayne Watts, editor-in-chief, The Register
www.GordonWayneWatts.com / www.GordonWatts.com

For attachments in this email & related docs, please refer to this folder:
http://GordonWatts.com/tips/ or:
Gordon Wayne Watts, editor-in-chief, The Register
www.GordonWayneWatts.com / www.GordonWatts.com
BS, The Florida State University, Biological & Chemical Sciences;
Class of 2000, double major with honours
AS, United Electronics Institute, Class of 1988, Valedictorian

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"First, they [Nazis] came for the Jews. I was silent. I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists. I was silent. I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists. I was silent. I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me. There was no one left to speak for me."(Martin Niemöller, given credit for a quotation in The Harper Religious and Inspirational Quotation Companion, ed. Margaret Pepper(New York: Harper &Row, 1989), 429 -as cited on page 44, note 17,of Religious Cleansing in the American Republic, by Keith A. Fornier,Copyright 1993, by Liberty, Life, and Family Publications.

Some versions have Mr. Niemöller saying: "Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant"; other versions have him saying that they came for Socialists, Industrialists, schools, the press,and/or the Church; however, it's certain he DID say SOMETHING like this. Actually, they may not have come for the Jews first, as it's more likely they came for the prisoners, mentally handicapped, &other so-called "inferiors" first -as historians tell us-so they could get "practiced up"; however, they did come for them -due to the silence of their neighbors -and due in part to their own silence. So: "
Speak up now or forever hold your peace!"- G W W