What do former (as in retired) far-right South County disgraced politician Steve Frogue and former (as in no more) far-far-far right South County disgraced politician John Schmitz have in common?
The answer is: sons who worked on Donald Trump’s transition team (and still sniff around the White House).
Half of the preceding game show Q&A is brought to you by Dissent the Blog, operated by the ever-rascally Irvine Valley College philosophy professor Roy Bauer.
“The Unabauer” landed the scoop on a Trump healthcare advisor being the son of former South Orange County Community College District board trustee Steve Frogue, first in the IVC instructor’s post “Frogue’s son was Trump’s senior health policy advisor during the 2016 campaign!” and then in the follow-up “Jim Frogue is on Trump’s ‘beachhead team.'”
That reminded this corner of the dark web that a Trump campaign foreign policy and national security advisor is the son of deceased South Orange County Congressman John G. Schmitz, which is no scoop at all. As the Weekly Way Back Machine shows, Schmitz and son were connected in an item carried by the former (as in no more) A Clockwork Orange a dozen years ago. (Yes, of course, said Clockwork item also connected John Schmitz and daughter Mary Kay LeTourneau, the parolee who recently separated from two of her six children’s father, who was a 12-year-old elementary school student when he first started having sex with his teacher, Mrs. LeTourneau.)
Mary Kay’s little brother Joseph E. Schmitz served as Inspector General of the Department of Defense during the George “Dubya” Bush administration. As chairman of the Finance Committee, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) accused Schmitz, who was then the senior Pentagon official charged with investigating waste, fraud and abuse, of fabricating an official Pentagon news release, planning an expensive junket to Germany and hiding information from Congress. Schmitz resigned in September 2005 to join the Prince Group, which was the parent company of defense contractor Blackwater USA. The Presidential Council on Integrity & Efficiency in October 2006 cleared Schmitz of wrongdoing while Inspector General.
His new boss Erik Dean Prince, an ex-Navy SEAL officer who founded Blackwater, later sold the company and now heads a private equity firm. He supported Trump but played no formal role in the transition, although a Jan. 11 meeting he attended in the Republic of Seychelles—where Prince presented himself as an unofficial representative of Trump—is part of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The Clockwork nugget referenced above noted that Time magazine wondered how Schmitz managed to get his Pentagon job. Whether or not you are down with his competency or politics, at least he’s not as nutty (outwardly at least) as his old man, who we described thusly:
[T]he late John G. Schmitz, the ultraconservative firebrand and former Orange County lawmaker whose career highlights included membership in the John Birch Society; loss of the presidency by a mere 44 million votes as the 1972 American Independent Party nominee; his 1982 press release titled “Senator Schmitz and His Committee Survive Attack of the Bulldykes”; that missive’s description of feminist attorney Gloria Allred as “a slick, butch lawyeress”; his apology to Allred to settle a $10 million defamation suit; his announcement of his 1982 candidacy for the U.S. Senate with Yasser Arafat at his side; revelations that the staunch critic of declining American morals and father of six also had two more kids with a mistress; and revelations that his then-35-year-old daughter (and Joey’s big sis) Mary Kay LeTourneau, a Seattle schoolteacher, had sex—and later two babies—with a 13-year-old boy.
Joe Schmitz, a partner in the law firm Schmitz & Socarras LLP, still gets mentioned as a possible Trump appointee. You can read his columns (like this one on the Muslim Brotherhood) on Newsmax. He also authored The Inspector General Handbook: Fraud, Waste, Abuse, and Other Constitutional “Enemies, Foreign and Domestic.” Exposing government fraud via a book is something else he has in common with James “Jim” Frogue, author of Stop Paying the Crooks: Solutions to End the Fraud That Threatens Your Healthcare.
The latter book’s forward was written by Newt Gingrich, Frogue’s former boss at the Center for Health Transformation, which despite the name has nothing to do with crystals, incense and swatting imaginary flies like a Dead & Co. audience member. Frogue served as vice president and director of State Policy for Little Newtie, after gigs with the Heritage Foundation, Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) and the American Legislative Exchange Council, where he directed the Health and Human Services Task Force.
He left Gingrich to co-found the public affairs consulting firm FrogueClark, whose clients, as of a 2015-16 disclosure reports, included Ehealth, CareSource, Eli Lilly & Co., Georgia Health Care Association, American Healthcare Association, Mountain States Health Alliance, medical helicopter transport company Air Method Corp. and—gulp—my HMO, Kaiser Permanente (don’t jack up my premiums, pretty please?).
Frogue was a domestic policy advisor for the Trump transition, and like Joe Schmitz his name has come up for permanent administration positions. Politico reported on Jan. 30 that Frogue is part of a Trump “beachhead” team, which refers to folks—including healthcare industry lobbyists, obviously—who fill administration jobs until a permanent official is appointed and/or confirmed (by Putin?).
Again, as with Joe Schmitz, Young Froguenstein has displayed no outward nuttiness like his daddy, whose sins I laid out in my April 10, 1998, cover story “The Evil of Froguenstein.” Guess what? While the cover image is intact, that story is not in the OC Weekly archives; it is only excerpted. Perhaps New Times disappeared it.
I did find one copy of the, uh, copy at—where else?—The Unabauer’s Dissent the Blog. And so, I was able to copy and paste this I scrawled onto a wet cocktail napkin about Steve Frogue:
Frogue, a member of the board of trustees that oversees the district encompassing Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo and Irvine Valley College in Irvine, has been accused of anti-Semitism and minimizing the Holocaust. Meanwhile, he’s also part of a reform-minded board majority that-depending upon who you listen to—is saving the colleges from financial ruin or driving them into the ground.
The Holocaust denial bit came from a string of utter Frogueness:
* Ten former students of the then-Foothill High School history teacher Steve Frogue swore that he questioned the Holocaust and denigrated Jews, Asians, Mormons, Hispanics and African Americans during classes. One, who attended Frogue’s social-studies class during the 1982-83 school year, said the teacher told his students: “The Holocaust didn’t really kill that many Jews. It was more like 6,000.” That’s quite a bit off from 6 million cited in his history textbooks, no?
* Frogue told Irvine Valley’s student newspaper in 1995 that he has read publications from the Institute for Historical Review, the Newport Beach organization of “scholars” who contended the Holocaust was exaggerated. The college district trustee inferred that perhaps the IHR’s information should be debated in public.
* Frogue was quoted in a 1997 LA Times story saying he believed Lee Harvey Oswald worked for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an international Jewish civil rights organization that deemed the IHR “the most anti-Semitic publication in America.”
And the coups de grace:
* In the summer of 1997, then-board president Frogue got his fellow trustees to approve spending $5,000 in taxpayer money to bring four speakers to Saddleback for a JFK-assassination seminar. Nothing wrong with that, except two would-be speakers frequently contributed to the IHR publication Spotlight. The most controversial was Washington, D.C., author Michael Collins Piper, whose book Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy characterized the Kennedy killing as a joint hit orchestrated by top-level CIA officials in collaboration with organized crime “and, most specifically, with direct and profound involvement by the Israeli intelligence service, the Mossad.” Piper had also written in Spotlight that the Nazis exterminated far fewer than 6 million people and that, in any case, no Jews died in gas chambers.
The seminar was moved off campus and perhaps scrubbed altogether. I can’t remember. Oh, let’s check those Weekly archives … oh, never mind. But child, if only cell phones had been invented so I could show you video of the SOCCCD board meetings from back in the day. I still have “Die, Nazi scum!” in a thick European accent ringing in my ear, along with the return volley in a plain ol’ American construction worker tone: “Subhuman!” Not that I helped matters any with my “The Evil of Froguenstein” introduction:
If you’re like most Orange Countians, this is probably how you imagine Steven J. Frogue: he’s a big, fat, Nazi goosestepper. He stands in front of his bathroom mirror at night in his swastika jammies, holding a black comb under his nose, and pretends to be Adolf Hitler—foaming at the mouth and swatting imaginary flies before the masses. Frogue thinks the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith is filled with a bunch of Catholic-president-slaying Juden who have nothing better to do these days than figure out ways to fuck with the Frogue. “Holocaust, schmolocaust,” he’ll tell you—without you asking. “So it was strongly suggested the Jews go on a little extended holiday. Is that so wrong? Well, is it?”
Kinda makes all this Trump business tame in comparison. Hey, hey, I said, “kinda.”