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For The Record  

FTR #469 The Schmitzes: Republican Family Values

Recorded July 17, 2004
MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

The difference between the image of the GOP’s “family values” propaganda and the reality as lived by GOP operatives is illustrated in this discussion of the life, times, and offspring of former Representative John G. Schmitz. An ultra-right winger from Southern California, Schmitz was too far to the right for the John Birch Society. His own “family values” came to light when it turned out he had a second family by his German mistress and that a son by that union had been sexually mutilated. Schmitz’s daughter–Mary Kay Le Tourneau—bore two children by one of her thirteen-year-old male students. Much of the program focuses on the presence of “things German” in the life and times of Schmitz and his son John P. Schmitz, raising the question of the possible relationship of the Schmitzes to the Bormann group. Of more interest than the elder Schmitz is his son John P. Schmitz, a former counsel to the elder George Bush and partner in a German international law firm that represents many of the German core corporations that comprise the main element of the Bormann organization.

Program Highlights Include: The elder Schmitz’s habit of giving a Nazi salute; the elder Schmitz’s curious association with Yasser Arafat (unusual for a Bircher); the younger Schmitz’s presence in investigations involving various aspects of 9/11; the younger Schmitz’s involvement with both the Iran-Contra machinations and the Iraqgate scandal; the younger Schmitz’s work for former CDU treasurer Matthias Wissman; the younger Schmitz’s presence on the board of directors of the American Council on Germany; the younger Schmitz’s work for Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering—one of D.C.’s most powerful law firms; the younger Schmitz’s work on behalf of Bayer AG, Bertelsmann, Deutsche Bank, Rober Bosch GmbH. Deutsche Welle (German TV).

1. Beginning with a summary of the life of the head of the Schmitz family, the program notes his reactionary mindset and unusual personal life. As the title of this article notes, Schmitz was so far to the right that he alienated the John Birch Society. ” . . . John G. Schmitz served in the House of Representatives and ran for President and the Senate. He was the kind of pure reactionary who surfaces occasionally on the national stage and leaves the mainstream gasping for breath. But at the height of the welfare state—the 1972 presidential election—he garnered a million votes. ‘I lost the presidency by a mere 44 million votes,’ he said in what was perhaps the least offensive joke he made in his entire life. . . .”
(“John Schmitz: Too Right Wing for John Birch, Beset by Scandal”; p. 1.)

2. As listeners peruse this description, note the trappings of Nazism and “Germania” in Schmitz’s life. One of the questions to be answered in connection with Schmitz is whether (as seems possible) the Underground Reich made contact (and common cause) with him. ” . . . Schmitz was elected to the California state senate in 1964, in part on his reputation as a hero. The remainder was pure Orange County John Birch Society reactionary conservatism. Schmitz found he had a great talent for garnering controversy merely by opening his mouth. He called the Watts riots a year later ‘a communist operation.’ In 1968, he said California Governor Ronald Reagan was unsuitable for President because Reagan had abandoned conservative principles. He said, ‘Jews are like everybody else, only more so.’ Schmitz was anti-immigrant, anti-women’s lib, anti-communist, anti-black, anti-homo. He named his dog Kaiser and thought that giving a Hitler salute was a good joke.” (Idem.)

3. “In June of 1970, still in the state Senate, Schmitz won a special election to fill the seat left vacant by the reactionary Rep. James B. Utt [insert joke here] who had died in office. He won the regular 1970 election as well, and moved his family to Washington. His tiny reactionary stone created barely a ripple in the great pond of Congress. His politics alienated even his most prominent constituent, President Richard Nixon, of San Clemente, CA. When Nixon went to China, Schmitz quipped, ‘I have no objection to President Nixon going to China. I just object to his coming back.’ This didn’t just sink him in the eyes of Nixon and the Republican party; his own constituents abandoned him, and Schmitz was not nominated to run for the house seat in 1972.” (Idem.)

4. In 1972, Schmitz ran for President on the American Independent Party ticket—born of George Wallace’s runs at the White House. Note that the AIP was one of the crucibles that nurtured the Free Congress Foundation, a major fount of ideological inspiration for the American far right. (For more about the Free Congress Foundation, see—among other programs—FTR#465.) “His loss in the primary led Schmitz to seek the highest office in the land on the American Independent Party the same year. The party was originally a vehicle for George Wallace’s second know-nothing assault on the two-party system. But Wallace dropped out after an assassin’s bullet left him crippled. When Schmitz’s lackluster presidential bid garnered him only a million votes nationwide, he noted that this was more votes than George Washington every received. Then he slunk back to lick his wounds and teach embittered civics lessons to credulous conservatives-in-training at Santa Ana.” (Idem.)

5. “By 1978, he was back in the California state senate, making trouble and saying things so outrageous that even the John Birch Society kicked him out. When Reagan was elected president, Schmitz was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt: ‘A good military coup might be the best we could hope for if President Reagan’s policies are not successful. A lot of people can’t imagine anything like that happening in our country. These same people could never imagine themselves staling to stay alive.'” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

6. Note Schmitz’s dalliance with Yasser Arafat. Most right-wingers in this country would have nothing to do with the PLO kingpin. Is it possible that Schmitz’s anti-Semitism (pro-Nazi?) sentiments may have inclined him in this direction? “In 1982, a committee he chaired held hearings on abortion, after which his office issued a press release titled ‘Senator Schmitz and his Committee Survive Attack of the Bulldykes.’ It described pro-choice supporters as ‘a sea of hard, Jewish and (arguably) female faces.’ Feminist Attorney Gloria Allred, a wife and mother who had testified at the hearings, sued for $10,000,000 for defamation. In settlement Schmitz was forced to pay $20,000 and issue a statement that read in part, ‘I apologize to Gloria Allred and to all others who may have been wrongly characterized . . . I have never considered her to be . . . a slick, butch lawyeress.’ The same year he announced his candidacy for the US Senate, he stood at a podium with Yasser Arafat by his side. Surveying the room of reporters, he snarled, ‘Hello all you commies.'” (Idem.)

7. One of the strangest episodes in Schmitz’s saga concerns a second family he raised by his German (!) mistress. A young boy conceived in that relationship appears to have been sexually mutilated. Mr. Emory muses about the possibility that the strange circumstances of the boy’s torment may have been part of some kind of mind control procedure. “But the man who saw conspiracies everywhere, who was an equal opportunity bigot, and who decried America’s moral decrepitude, had, himself, a skeleton in the closet. It came to light in a curious way. An Orange County child abuse case in 1982 concerned a thirteen-month-old infant who was discovered with hair so tightly wound around his penis that the organ had nearly been severed. The baby was placed in protective custody, and the court demanded that the father step forward. It turned out to be none other than John G. Schmitz, now again a state senator, paterfamilias of five children and, er, two others with his German mistress, once his student at Santa Ana. It marked the end of Schmitz’s political career (although he did attempt to run for Congress once more). The charges against the mother were eventually dropped and the infant restored to her care. But it was never explained what was going on with the hair-wound penis. One historian has suggested that it was a ‘mysterious sex—or probably anti-sex ritual . . . as if a chastity device.’ Schmitz, feisty as ever, remarked, ‘I ought to get the Right to Life man-of-the-year award for this.'” (Idem.)

8. Yet another strange episode in the Schmitz family’s values concerns Schmitz’s daughter Mary Kay LeTourneau. Ms. LeTourneau conceived two children by a thirteen-year-old student of hers. (She is a school teacher.) “In a scandal that broke years later, Mary Kay le Tourneau, the notorious Seattle schoolteacher who bore two babies with a young teenage student, turned out to be Schmitz’s daughter. Her boy lover, a Samoan, was said to be mature for his years; perhaps he had been reading that arch-liberal Margaret Mead on his own customs. ‘Can’t you understand that this is not a story about me,’ an unrepentant LeTourneau told George magazine. ‘It’s a story of two remarkable men.’ Those would be her thirteen-year-old student and her domineering father, both of whom LeTourneau loved beyond reason. Schmitz researched the Samoan treaty to see if there was something in it that could save her from prison. There wasn’t.” (Idem.)

9. “As the LeTourneau case played out in the national media, the Schmitz household was revealed to have been a chilly place, often under siege due to John’s latest atrocious remark. Mary Kay and her brother would sometimes play German marching music out the window to drown out angry demonstrators. Schmitz’s wife Mary was said by Mary Kay to be an unaffectionate mother who stressed personal appearance, counseling her daughter to always wear lipstick and even toenail polish. Mary was a vocal ally of Phyllis Schlafly, and appeared on TV to denounce the ERA. She stuck with her man to the end.” (Idem.)

10. “After dropping out of politics, Schmitz went back to indoctrinating the youth of California and pretty much stayed out of sight except for a brief bid for Congress in 1984, in which he was defeated by ‘B1’ Bob Dornan. When the LeTourneau scandal erupted in 1994, he had retired from academia and was discovered working at a souvenir stand at Washington DC’s Union Station. He had purchased the home of his hero, McCarthy. ‘I don’t talk to reporters any more,’ were his unwitty and last recorded words for a public hungry for the thoughts of a fallen paragon.” (Idem.)

11. Another article about Schmitz and the Republicans’ hypocrisy over “family values” discusses former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s cynical use of a double murder to defame Democrats. Gingrich attributed Susan Smith’s murder of two of her children to the decay of social values engendered by the Democrats. “Over the past several decades we Democrats have had to get used to repeated accusations that we are immoral and evil and responsible for everything bad in the world – – the Clinton impeachment was the culmination of this. I think that it’s time to turn the guns around. Back in 1994, on the eve of a midterm election, House Speaker Newt Gingrich used the horrifying case of Susan Smith, who had killed her two young children in hopes of being united with her lover, as evidence that the Democrats were ruining the country, saying: ‘How a mother can kill her two children, 14 months and 3 years, in hopes that her boyfriend would like her is just a sign of how sick the system is, and I think people want to change. The only way you get change is to vote Republican.'”
(“Republican Family Values Sex Criminals” by “Zizka”; p. 1.)

12. “Gingrich’s charge that Smith’s murder of her children had something to do with the Democratic Party was deluded and slanderous from the start, and most thought that capitalizing politically on such a horrible event was disgusting. This did not keep the media from publicizing his claim, however, and for all anyone knows Gingrich’s smear tipped some votes the Republicans’ way. In any case, the election was a big victory for Newt.” (Idem.)

13. As it turned out, the unfortunate Ms. Smith’s heritage was Republican and Christian fundamentalist. “Only after the election did the real facts come out. Susan Smith’s stepfather, Beverly Russell, was far from a Democrat: he was a figure of some importance in the South Carolina Republican party and in Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition. This revelation alone invalidated Gingrich’s ludicrous argument; but on top of this it turned out that Russell had been molesting Smith for years, starting when Smith was in her middle teens. Oddly enough, once the reality became known, the media mostly dropped the story. Imaginary and wildly false charges against Democrats are OK, but when actual facts show up implicating Republicans, then it is time to show restraint and good taste and consideration for the family’s feelings. You can go figure this one out for yourself. . . .” (Idem.)

14. Of more contemporary significance is the career of Schmitz’s son, John P. Schmitz. The younger Schmitz has—as Mr. Emory says—more connections than a switchboard. Among the younger Schmitz’s credits is his representation of the elder George Bush during the Iran-Contra and Iraqgate affairs. Note that he joined with Janet Rehnquist (the daughter of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) in protecting Bush. ” . . . There’s still another chapter to the story. John G. Schmitz’s son John P. Schmitz did not share his father’s disdain for George Bush, whom he served as Deputy Counsel from 1984 to 1993. He was involved in Iran-Contra as a deputy to C. Boyden Gray (and as an associate of Janet Rehnquist.) Schmitz was one of the few Iran-Contra players to refuse to be interviewed by the independent counsel, and was highly instrumental, as was Rehnquist, in protecting Bush. Bush was never questioned, and a diary he kept was never examined; Walsh’s final report read ‘The criminal investigation of Bush was regrettably incomplete.’
(Chapter 28, second paragraph.).” (Ibid.; pp. 1-2.)

15. Schmitz’s other clients place him in the “mix” of the various 9/11 investigations and lawsuits. In addition, the younger Schmitz (a partner in a German international law firm) represents many German corporations—more about that below. Among his credits is his presence on the American Council on Germany, an organization whose heritage is at one with the Americans who rehabilitated Third Reich alumni to serve in the Federal Republic of Germany (as well as for U.S. intelligence.) “Since then, John P. Schmitz has popped up every once in awhile. He seems to have had dealings with Iraq before the Gulf War, and with his present law firm has worked for Enron, Bayer (producer of Cipro), and United Airlines (9/11 lawsuit); his firm also has a Central Asian office in Tashkent. Schmitz, along with many men of high repute, is a member of the boards of directors of the American Council on Germany and the Atlantic Council of the US. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

16. The American Council on Germany was founded by John J. McCloy and Eric M. Warburg. McCloy was one of the prime movers of the American power elite in the twentieth century and Warburg a part of the prominent Warburg international banking family. Note that among the officers are Henry Kissinger and a protégé of Kissinger’s—Richard Burt. Kissinger also was deeply involved in the machinations involved in bringing Third Reich alumni into the U.S. national security establishment. “The American Council on Germany (ACG) is a private, nonprofit, national organization that was incorporated in New York City in 1952. Its founding leaders were: John J. McCloy; Eric M. Warburg . . . [Officers include] Richard Burt . . . Among the board of directors are: Henry A. Kissinger; Brent Scowcroft.”
(“American Council on Germany”; SourceWatch.org.)

17. Next, the broadcast details some of the conflicts of interest in which Schmitz’s employer is involved—conflicts of interest involving the 9/11 investigations, in particular. “We were shocked to observe how tough and somewhat persistent Richard Ben Veniste was during his opportunities for questioning. This is the same Richard Ben Veniste, a former Watergate prosecutor, who is a partner in the German international law firm, Mayer, Brown, Rowe and Maw which happens to be the lead firm representing United Airlines against 9/11 victim families in the New York City litigation in Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein’s District Court in Manhattan. [Emphasis added.] This famous lawyer even represented the most recognized American drug dealer in the history of the United States: Barry Seal of Mena, Arkansas fame. But interestingly, Ben Veniste won our award as the most tenacious interrogator on both days, even though the lines of questioning were not consistently intense or pressing on a continual basis.”
(“Conflict of Interest?” by Tom Flocco; p. 1; ParaPolitics.info.)

18. “Curiously, no one has questioned whether Mayer-Brown’s partners would have ‘water-cooler and whisper-access’ to all the subpoenaed discovery requests and information flow regarding both the Kean Commission hearings and depositions—public and private, but also Judge Hellerstein’s New York City litigation. But that’s not the half of it. For the Mayer-Brown law firm has another partner named John P. Schmitz, who was the twelve-year deputy counsel to George H.W. Bush during his vice-presidency and presidency—thus affording the White House a behind-the-scenes source for information flow, discovery, subpoenas, and evidence-access regarding both the Commission and the New York litigation. [Emphasis added.]” (Idem.)

19. As noted in FTR#305, the major German corporations are under the stewardship of the Bormann group. It is interesting—and possibly significant—that Schmitz has come to represent so many of them—Bayer, Deutsche Bank, Robert Bosch GmbH, Bertelsmann and others. (For more about Bertelsmann, see the For The Record series about German corporate control over American publishing. For more about Bayer and the Anthrax attacks, see FTRs 411, 419.) Again, one wonders if the ultra-reactionary views of his father and his family’s display of “Germania” may have placed the younger Schmitz in the orbit of the Bormann group and the Underground Reich. As noted above, Schmitz represented the elder George Bush and the Bush family is deeply involved with the Underground Reich. “Additionally, Mayer-Brown also has clients that include Bayer AG (German maker of the antibiotic Cipro which fights Anthrax, about which Larry Klayman and Judicial Watch (JW) will have keen interest. [Emphasis added.] JW has filed suit seeking the Administration’s anthrax documents to ascertain why the White House starting taking heavy doses of Cipro on the day of the attacks—nearly a month before anthrax was even discovered on Capitol Hill, and while postal workers continued to sort mail in contaminated offices—some dying in the process.” (Idem.)

20. “John Schmitz’s Mayer-Brown profile also reveals Enron, adding that ‘we were active in Germany [with Enron] until the end. . . .It [bankruptcy] surprised me as well as anyone else,’ according to Reuters (1-4-2002). [Emphasis added.] Moreover, Mayer-Brown also represents Deutsche Bank on a regular basis regarding its electronic commerce activities; and curiously, Schmitz’s law firm maintains an office Tashkent, Uzbekistan, along with Enron—if only to make sure oil is well in the Caspian Sea basin. And Deutsche Bank is knee-deep in pre-9/11 insider trading stock profits. Enough said. . . .” (Idem.)

21. Schmitz’s curriculum vitae reveals more details about his professional history: “EXPERIENCE: . . . leading U.S. and German political regulatory specialist; represents U.S. and European companies on complex international transactions and regulatory matters; clients include . . . Deutsche Welle (German TV) . . . Bayer AG, Bertelsmann, Bosch GmbH . . . global trade and regulatory consulting on behalf of U.S. energy clients in Germany; played a leading role in international agreements such as the 1996 U.S.-German Open Skies Aviation Agreement, and the 1997 U.S.-EU Heavy electrical Equipment Procurement dispute and agreement (resulting in the reform of the German Procurement Code).”
(Curriculum Vitae of John P. Schmitz, partner—Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP.)

22. Among the interesting points of information in Schmitz’s curriculum vitae is the fact that he worked both for Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering and for Matthias Wissman. The latter was the treasurer for the German CDU during the time when the machinations that were to result in the CDU funding scandal were being put into effect. Wissman later went to work for Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, which was lobbying (successfully) to permit Deutsche Telecom to buy an American media outlet. “EMPLOYMENT: . . . Deputy Counsel to President George Bush, the White House, Washington D.C., 1989-1993; Deputy Counsel to Vice President, The White House, Washington, D.C., 1985-1989; Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, Washington, D.C. 1984-85; Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship, Office of Bundestag Member Matthias Wissmann, Bonn, and Office of General Counsel, Robert Bosch, GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany; Law Clerk to the Honorable Antonin Scalia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C. 1983-1984 . . .” (Idem.)

23. As an undergraduate, he received a fellowship named for Lev Dobriansky, a Ukrainian immigrant deeply involved with the Nazi émigré milieu that figures in so much of the research on this website. “EDUCATION: . . . Georgetown University, B.A. magna cum laude, 1976 . . . Dobriansky Fellowship.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)


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