Discerning ownership of the small businesses on Lauf’s Financial Disclosure leads to a question – what has Lauf accomplished outside politics in her own name?
Note from McHenry County Blog: Numerous attempts were made asking the Catalina for Congress campaign for responses to many of the issues raised in this article, and none were returned.
In last week’s Part 1 article on McHenry County Blog of Catalina Lauf’s (R, Woodstock) Financial Disclosure statement (FD), many inconsistencies were discovered between Lauf’s FD filing on August 13 in the IL-16 race, compared with her October 2019 filing of her amended FD in her 2020 IL-14 race.
There are more discoveries through discernment which must be shared, which concludes today, beginning with the Super Bowl from Tampa back in early February. Something said from Part 1 must be repeated here in Part 2:
“Recalling last year in various congressional races across the country, claims to small business ownership by some millennial candidates could not be confirmed, and recalling the due diligence to track down IL-16 Republican Jack Lombardi’s (R, Manhatten) business name, I was prepared to do the same for Lauf, with some of the findings here.”John Lopez, 10/5/21
Now, let’s recall another conversation here on McHenry County Blog which has bearing since it accompanied the article sharing Lauf’s Instagram picture from Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium from February 7.
In Part 1, the LinkedIn excerpt of Lauf’s past jobs was shared, and the omission of the name Citizens for Rauner was already discussed. Here’s the rest of Lauf’s LinkedIn page with her current jobs, as identified in LinkedIn:
It must be pointed out, “business owner” of Begin Health or any other private sector entity not listed. Also, Defense of Freedom PAC, per Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings did not formally launch until June of 2020, and publicly launched in September of 2020.
The time entry on Lauf’s LinkedIn can be called a “typo” in all fairness.
As I said in my February 11 comment, Heartland Global Resources was her employer, and Begin Health was one of two clients she “managed and advised”. It looks like the Bodyworn Gear employer has replaced Heartland Global Resources on Lauf’s LinkedIn page, with her having the job title of director.
Let’s look at Bodyworn Gear from Lauf’s FDs for earned Income:
So according to Lauf’s FD filings, “Body Worn Gear” paid Lauf $12K in 2019 for consulting and in 2020, “BodyWorn Gear” paid Lauf $7K for consulting.
So who is BodyWorn/Body Worn Gear? According to the Illinois secretary of state (ILSoS):
BodyWorn Gear is an assumed named entity of a company where Catalina Lauf’s father, Phil Lauf, is the president. While “BodyWorn Gear” is the active assumed name, “Body Worn Gear” (which appeared on Lauf’s 2019 FD) is an inactive assumed name entity which was likely active in 2019. So, what is the legal name of this assumed name for this business?
Similar to Jack Lombardi, Catalina Lauf on her FD did not disclose the full, legal name of a business which paid her $7K for consulting in 2020 or $12K in 2019. The legal name, and what Lauf should have documented for her August FD filing, is:
SBL Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a BodyWorn Gear
Given the entity information from the ILSoS identifies “DOMESTIC BCA (Business Corporation Act)”, the entity name SBL Enterprises, Inc. is incorporated in Illinois, not another state like Delaware.
I could not find anything about the “Heartland Global Resources” reference Lauf used earlier this year, and while the entity is still a registered business under the ILSoS under the ownership of Phil Lauf, the business no longer comes up on Google searches and looks like it is no longer being used, which would explain Catalina Lauf dropping it from her LinkedIn profile.
Such is small business.
Defense of Freedom PAC & Media Appearances
Late last year and earlier this year, Lauf’s Defense of Freedom PAC was highlighted as a small business success story for Catalina Lauf in her own name, and indeed, it clearly started out, as her LinkedIn entry stated the PAC’s performance in 2020.
But like the “BEFORE-AFTER” look at fad diets, what does “AFTER-AFTER” look like in reference to Defense of Freedom PAC?
|Reporting Period||Receipts||Disbursements||Cash on Hand|
|TOTAL 2020 6/24-12/31/20||110,461.89||75,682.20||34,779.69|
|Post-Runoff 1/1 – 1/25/21||5,887.00||3,252.34||37,414.35|
|S1 2021 1/26 thru 6/30||2,758.84||12,712.30||27,460.89|
Put another way, the burn rate of the Defense of Freedom PAC went from a year-end 68.5% at the end of 2020, to 461% for the latest filing period for the period of 1/26/21 through 6/30/21.
To be fair, Lauf started her IL-16 campaign on 2/23/21, and it’s only expected her political fundraising would be focused on raising money for her congressional campaign committee.
That said, would a business owner let their business suffer and instead implement contingencies to prevent their business from suffering measurably?
Fair enough, Defense of Freedom PAC is not a private sector business producing a product, but one would think Lauf could have done something different to keep Defense of Freedom PAC running to its vision while multi-tasking to build her IL-16 campaign war chest to face Adam Kinzinger.
Since Lauf paid herself $3K from her PAC earlier this year as earned income, another question of earned income is raised.
With Lauf’s frequent media interviews on NewsMax, Fox News, OANN and other outlets, are all of these interviews non-compensated (but expenses reimbursed if travel involved?). The average person won’t understand how Lauf’s gigs work, and I’ll admit, I barely understand, knowing these kinds of gigs are a part of a bigger gig economy.
Any paid media appearances, Lauf would have to report the payments, but not expenses reimbursement, as an “honoraria”, or paid speaking engagement.
This would appear under Schedule C, and none were reported.
So now we know, outside of businesses run by family members, namely her father and sister, Lauf has no private sector business ownership record outside of politics in her name.
Her current “job” is a minority ownership stake in Begin Health, the company started by her sister in late 2018 which launched its product in the fall of 2020, which has not brought income to Lauf in all of 2021, as covered in Part 1.
When award-winning freelance writer Gabriella Hoffman interviewed Lauf on video back in early April, Hoffman described Lauf in an article on Townhall.com that mentioned nothing about being an owner of any kind in Begin Health:
“Lauf currently serves as Director of Heartland Global Resources, overseeing brands like BodyWorn Gear and Begin Health, INC. She previously worked for Uber Chicago and served as a Special Advisor in Trump’s Commerce Department.”Gabriella Hoffman, “Catalina Lauf Wants to Be a Formidable Kinzinger Challenger” Townhall.com, 4/9/21
So as covered in Part I, Lauf, as the Townhall.com article reads, goes from Uber Chicago to the Commerce Department, completely missing her time 10 months in 2018 at Citizens for Rauner. Knowing Gabriella Hoffman, I can’t believe she wouldn’t have at least questioned Lauf about the “Political Organization” job on her LinkedIn job history in between Lauf’s Commerce Department and Uber jobs, and omitting her Citizens for Rauner job is a purposeful omission.
The IL-16 Republican primary race will change dramatically this month, starting with the first publication of a draft congressional remap as early as Friday by Democrats who control the mapmaking in Springfield. All expect the current IL-16 to be eliminated, with Illinois losing a congressional seat.
By the end of this month, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R, Channahon), Lauf along with the other announced current IL-16 candidates will have to seriously consider if not decide what to do next year, including possibly sitting-out the 2022 election cycle or running for another office other than Congress.
Serious candidates for Congress will decide sooner than later, since critical fundraising will not wait until petitions are passed or the spring filing deadline for the June 28 primary.
Should Lauf stay in the race, voters’ questions about her candidacy will shift as the target of her campaign will no longer be Adam Kinzinger.
A potential and valid question about Lauf will shift to a “what have you accomplished in your own name” to merit election to Congress.
That is where Lauf, and many of the current IL-16 candidates are very weak, and will be more exposed once Kinzinger is out of the picture.