IL-14: Ted “the Truth” Gradel, Part 2: Opportunities

Ted Gradel

Today, McHenry County Blog concludes its analysis of Ted Gradel, ranked #2 based on the initial rankings published October 18, ranking the candidates in the 14th district Republican primary.

And this will conclude the entire series of close-ups about the four top tier Republican candidates for the 14th district.

Part 1 on Gradel’s strengths was published on Friday.

Gradel’s opportunities can be outlined into 3 parts:

  • U.S. Stem Cell Clinic, LLC
  • Messaging
  • Record in the Republican Party

U.S. Stem Cell Clinic, LLC

When Ted Gradel filed his Financial Disclosure (FD) statement with the House clerk’s office in late August, something jumped out at me which started two months of research.

Gradel only reported $2,500 in earned income.

The bulk of his earnings is documented under the unearned income section, and included this entry:

Source: Ted Gradel FD Filing

Recalling the fierce debate over embryonic stem cell research from decades past, the research drilled-down on this “US Stem Cell Clinic”.

While embryonic stem cells was quickly eliminated from the research, actions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC out of Sunrise, FL, included court documents where Gradel was named as a defendant in civil litigation pursued against US Stem Cell Clinic over adverse events from treatments.

There was even local newspaper and TV coverage in south Florida on the actions against US Stem Cell Clinic going back to 2017.

And some documents filed with the state of Florida gave the appearance Gradel was involved in more than an investor’s role.

And then, just over one month prior to declaring his candidacy for Congress on April 23, it was learned that Gradel signed a consent decree concerning the litigation being pursued by the FDA in federal court against US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC, Gradel and Dr. Kristin Comella.

Ted Gradel’s campaign was contacted to answer questions about the results of the 2 months of research, and here is the Gradel campaign’s response:

“Ted has been an extraordinarily successful entrepreneur, and was asked to invest in this company after first being a patient successfully treated with the procedure for his knees and later for his hip. He had nothing to do with the day-to-day operations and divested from it months ago. If investing in start-ups was disqualifying, then career politicians like Lauren Underwood would be our only representatives in Congress.”

Ted Gradel for Congress Campaign Spokesperson, November 8, 2019

Using the National Football League (NFL) replay review standard, the statement from Gradel’s campaign is the “call made on the field.” And any research completed to overturn Gradel’s campaign explanation must stand up to discernment and be conclusive.

After further review, the Gradel campaign’s explanation stands as called.

Based on my own research including information from the FDA, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), and the state of Florida’s Division of Corporation, here is a timeline built from that research piecing together Gradel’s involvement with US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC.

  • LATE 2012: Mr. Ted Gradel was diagnosed with moderate osteoarthritis in both knees at age 48 and told he had no other options other than to endure the pain and eventually have knee replacement surgery.
  • 2012-2014:  Gradel “…sought out the alternative, stem cell therapy and the results have been fantastic…”
  • 8/2014:  Initial filing with state of Florida Division of Corporations for LLC named “Regenestem Health LLC” naming Gradel “authorized to manage” the LLC
  • 12/2014:  Name change of LLC filed with state of Florida renaming Regenestem Health LLC to “US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC”
  • 1/2015:  Gradel electronically filed and signed state of Florida Annual Report for US Stem Cell Clinic LLC as the manager
  • 4/2016:  Gradel electronically filed and signed state of Florida Annual Report for US Stem Cell Clinic LLC as the manager
  • Early to MID 2016:  Gradel diagnosed with moderate to severe osteoarthritis in left hip and two different orthopedic surgeons told him no options other than endure the pain and eventually get hip replacement surgery.
  • 9/2016:  Gradel appeared before FDA Panel in Bethesda, MD, and testified about his successful experience with stem cell therapy for his knees, said he’d do same for hip
  • 1/2017:  Gradel electronically filed and signed state of Florida Annual Report for US Stem Cell Clinic LLC as “officer” but referenced as “MGR”
  • 4-5/2017:  FDA inspection of US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC takes place
  • 8/2017:  FDA issues warning letter to US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC, addressed to Dr. Kristin Comella.  Gradel not named in letter
  • 1/2018:   Gradel electronically filed and signed state of Florida Annual Report for US Stem Cell Clinic LLC as “officer” but referenced as “MGR”
  • 5/9/2018
    • FDA seeks injunction through federal civil cause of action against US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC, as result of 2017 inspection
      Gradel named a co-defendant
    • FDA press release lists Gradel as “co-owner and managing officer”
  • 7/1/2018:  Gradel removed from state of Florida LLC filing of US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC through amended 2017 annual report
  • 3/22/2019:  Gradel signs consent decree which includes provisions he’s separated completely from US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC, and Dr. Kristin Comella as co-defendants
  • 4/23/2019:  Gradel announces campaign for Congress
  • 6/4/2019:  Summary judgement issued in FDA’s civil suit against US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC
    • The permanent injunction by federal court named only US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC and Dr. Kristin Comella
    • Consent decree cited, and press release from FDA listed Gradel as “U.S. court previously entered a consent decree of
      permanent injunction agreed to by the FDA and defendant Theodore Gradel, a former manager of US Stem Cell LLC”
  • 8/2019:  Gradel submits his Financial Disclosure statement to the House Clerk’s office

Some additional notes from the research not in the timeline:

  • State of Florida Division of Corporations and the filing of “annual reports” is the equivalent of state of Illinois’ Secretary of State’s office for filing corporate documents for Illinois-based corporations
  • The titles used by Gradel was solely within the context of the annual report filings, and are perfunctory. Gradel, and Dr. Comella, were both named in the state of Florida filings.
  • The FDA used the state of Florida filings to name both Gradel and Comella as co-defendents as well as US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC
  • The parent company, US Stem Cell, Inc., is a publicly traded company with quarterly and annual filings with the SEC
  • On annual reports (10-Ks), Gradel is not named, but Comella is named as a member of the board of directors, with salary disclosures as required by federal law
  • The 2018 unearned income salary range of “$100,001 to $1,000,000” and the “None” for 2019 unearned income is consistent with the Gradel campaign’s explanation

While this closes the question of Gradel’s involvement, the adverse events that occurred to patients are being taken seriously by the appropriate governing authorities and this research does not minimize the harm patients suffered.

While Gradel’s involvement is as his campaign stated, the issues with US Stem Cell Clinic in Florida is out there and if a citizen journalist/blogger can find this information, you can bet Lauren Underwood, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the opposition research of Gradel’s major primary opponents have this information, too.

And given Lauren Underwood’s campaign history of telling half-truths and embellishing herself witnessed last year, and recently with a completely staged and scripted town hall meeting in Crystal Lake, the images and newspaper headlines connected with US Stem Cell Clinic could be used against Gradel if he is the nominee.

One recent example with Jim Oberweis last month, and how quickly the DCCC pulled up data on Oberweis’ Florida property and openly questioned Oberweis’ residency is an example of the kind of opposition research that has been done or will be done during the course of the campaign.

And the DCCC will use all of the opposition research on whomever the Republican nominee is.

How Gradel’s campaign responds to adversity over this issue, or other issues from his opponents during the primary will be something Republican primary voters must discern in deciding if Gradel is the best candidate to beat Underwood in November of 2020.


While Gradel has been a declared candidate for over six months, determining his messaging is difficult. Oberweis has his business success, Sue Rezin has her perfect electoral record in top-tier races and Catalina Lauf has her “unapologetic love for our country” message which is heartfelt.

Gradel is clearly a successful businessman and has raised a family living in Chicagoland since the late 1980s, but apart from being 18 years younger than Oberweis, discerning his unique message is difficult, and that is something Gradel needs to refine.

Given Gradel’s successful fundraising, he’s getting a message out to campaign donors/investors. Just having trouble determining what the message is to an average voter.

Record in the Republican Party

Of all four top-tier candidates in the 14th congressional district primary, Gradel brings the least to the table as far as political experience. He even said this when he launched his campaign.

Jim Oberweis and Sue Rezin are 2-term and 4-term state senators, respectively.

Catalina Lauf worked for Citizens for Rauner for 10 months and the Trump Administration’s Department of Commerce in Washington for 8 months.

And prior to running for Congress, apart from a 2014 contribution to then-State Senator Michael Connelly, he has no history published history in the party, apart from voting.

And Gradel has not made his Will County voting record, in particular his voting history in Republican primaries public.

Depending on the audience, this can be an opportunity or a strength. It’s placed here because blog commenters have asked about voting histories of the newcomers running for the 14th district.

This concludes the series about all of the top-tier candidates running for the 14th district Republican nomination for Congress.

Filling of petitions begins a week from tomorrow (11/25).


IL-14: Ted “the Truth” Gradel, Part 2: Opportunities — 5 Comments

  1. So, was embryonic stem cell work going on during Gradel’s involvement????

  2. Does anyone call this guy “The Truth” besides you Lopez?

    Does his wife call him The Truth?

    Are you going to nickname each candidate, so far we have The Truth and the Bull-Fighter.

  3. Can I rename you Heinrich?

    My choices:

    1.) Slovenly Salesman

    2.) Fall Didley Castout

    3.) Transgender Appreciator

  4. Partridge Family Adoptee, I found no evidence of embryonic stem cells.

    The treatment they specialized in was something called adipose stem cells, which is what Gradel had done to his knees and his hip.

    No opioid solution to his pain.

  5. Mr. Heinrich, “the Truth” was Gradel’s boxing nickname at Notre Dame when he won that title back in 1986, which was documented in the Chicago Tribune a couple of weeks back.

    And don’t forget “fragile frontrunner” for Jim Oberweis.

    And of course, “Fake Nurse” was given to Lauren Underwood, which I rarely use, and will likely be the way the names go for the top tier Republicans.

    We’ll see.

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