Ed Morton, who just last week was touted by the Naples Daily News editorial board as a “respected educational and civic leader” as a means to justify a contract extension for Superintendent Kamela Patton by his endorsement, has been exposed by the national media for his assertion that women make less money than men due to “genetics.”
As reported by Politico on June 20:
A state higher education official said colleges should teach women how to negotiate better salaries, saying there may be a “genetic” explanation for why female graduates of the state’s public universities make less money than their male peers.
Board member Ed Morton, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott, made the remark during the State University System’s board of governors meeting on Tuesday when members were discussing ways to close the pay gap between men and women graduates of Florida schools.
The Politico article went on to quote Morton:
“Something that we’re doing in Naples [with] some of our high school students, we’re actually talking about incorporating negotiating and negotiating skill into curriculum so that the women are given — maybe some of it is genetic, I don’t know, I’m not smart enough to know the difference — but I do know that negotiating skills can be something that can be honed, and they can improve,” said Morton, a retired investment manager who chairs the board’s strategic planning committee.
“Perhaps we can address that in all of our various curriculums through the introduction of negotiating skill, and maybe that would have a bearing on these things,” he said.
As usual, Bolduc & Bracci was well ahead of the curve, prophetically calling “foul” on Morton as a “respected educational leader” in a June 16 post. You can count on B&B to “level the tilted playing field” against the biased and oftentimes false reporting of Collier County’s’ worn-out traditional “paper of record.”
B&B agrees with Morton that his comment demonstrates that he is likely “not smart enough.” B&B also believes that just as negotiation skills can be “honed,” so too can one’s ability to think on one’s feet without putting one’s foot in one’s mouth. Perhaps Morton needs some continuing education of his own.
Morton’s comment slamming women for their “genetic” weakness was so toxic that Governor Rick Scott, who appointed Morton to the state university board, ran for cover:
Asked for a response, Scott’s office sought to distance the governor from his appointee’s comment.
“As a father of two daughters, the Governor absolutely does not agree with this statement,” his spokeswoman, Lauren Schenone, said in an email to POLITICO Florida.
In his comments above, Morton refers to a new high school program in Naples. It seems he is referring to a very sketchy school district program called “Future Ready Collier,” which most of us know nothing about and was implemented by Patton into the school district strategic plan in May 2016. It was first hatched by Patton and her pals at the Naples Chamber and its affiliate organization, “Opportunity Naples.” “Future Ready Collier” is some type of creepy “mentor” program where local business men and women team up with students in an effort to teach them about business and life. B&B has not seen any process by which the school district vets these mentors. What could possibly go wrong?
Morton’s mysogenist comments about women’s “genetic” business inadequacies should greatly trouble us all. If Governor Scott chose to distance himself from Morton, should not Superintendent Patton and the School District do the same? Of concern to Bolduc & Bracci is that the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce is a partner in “Future Ready Collier.” This includes Ed Morton as an honorary director. Parents and the public should be assured that Collier County’s students are not subjected to Morton’s mysogenist views about women’s “genetic” predisposition to underachieve in the business world.
This is not the first friend of Patton who has run into trouble this year. In a strangely parallel fact pattern reported in the Fort Myers News-Press on April 13, 2017 titled “Why Didn’t the FDLE Investigate Two FGCU Trustees?”, fellow local elite Chamber member and university board of trustee member Dudley Goodlette was very curiously given a free pass by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for alleged violations of the Sunshine Law.
Dudley Goodlette himself said he did not realize he was violating the Sunshine when he was meeting directly with a fellow board member to discuss official business behind closed doors. Said Goodlette:
“I just wasn’t thinking of this being a conversation that had anything to do with our relationship as board members,” Goodlette said. “It was sorting out the issues that we were dealing with on the strategic plan.”
* * *
“There was nothing secretive,” he said. “It was an honest error on my part not to have realized that (it should have been a public meeting).”
That’s funny, Dudley — we thought you were an expert in the Sunshine Law, considering how you were specially appointed as “neutral mediator” in the case of Bracci vs. Patton regarding alleged Blue Zones Sunshine Law violations. Dudley — an attorney himself — apparently had no problem serving as a “neutral” despite having served on the Blue Zones Committee, as well as several other committees alongside Superintendent Patton.
Patton even awarded Dudley with “Principal of the Day” honors about a month after his service as the “neutral” mediator in the Blue Zones case.
Dudley Goodlette with Superintendent Patton – a Neutral Mediator??
Ed Morton and Dudley Goodlette – two peas in an elite pod.
The only remaining question we have is whether Morton will again make his once-annual pilgrimage to the Admin Building in June 2018 to pander for another contract extension for his pal Kam Patton…….or whether Patton will instead banish Morton to a principal assignment in Immokalee for bad behavior.
Note: Ed Morton is now Managing Director at Wasmer, Schroeder & Company, Investment Advisors