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Foster could be handed a reelection gift

Tuesday, Dec 7, 2021

* As we’ve discussed before, US Rep. Bill Foster is beatable next year. But an opponent tying herself so closely to a guy who lost the new district by 16 points last year is probably not the best way to do it

Republican Catalina Lauf, a Trump supporter who has billed herself as the anti-AOC, is running for Congress in Illinois’ 11th District against Democratic Rep. Bill Foster.

Key context: Lauf, a conservative Latina, was a Trump appointee to the Commerce Department and spoke at the GOP convention in 2020. Earlier this year, she set out to challenge Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an ardent Trump foe, in the 16th District. When the Illinois remap eliminated Kinzinger’s district, Kinzinger announced he’d retire instead of challenge GOP Rep. Darin LaHood. […]

Lauf ran unsuccessfully in the 2020 GOP primary in IL-14, losing the nomination to former state Sen. Jim Oberweis, who lost to Democratic Rep. Lauren Underwood in November. That district has been redrawn to give Underwood a little more breathing room in 2022.

The Trump factor: This time around, Lauf is better funded, thanks in part to her association with Trump. In an interview, she said her campaign has raised $1 million so far. Lauf is also hoping for Trump’s backing, though an endorsement is not easily won. “The endorsement process is a long one,” she said.

The 11th District: The seat has new boundaries as a result of the remap. It still includes Naperville, where Foster lives, and it now extends farther north into Lake County to include the towns of Volo and Wauconda. Lauf’s home in suburban Woodstock is also in the district. The seat got a little more competitive in redistricting: Now-President Joe Biden carried Foster’s old district by 26 points last year, but his margin was about 16 points under the new lines.

She may have raised a million, but she’s reported $810K. And she’s spent about $600K. Quite the burn rate.

* Also, she was in “Facebook jail” for a while

You gotta do something pretty wild to warrant that treatment. But Lauf did hire a consultant who spoke at a “Stop the Steal” rally in DC.

…Adding… DPI…

Today, Democratic Party of Illinois Executive Director Abby Witt released a statement following the announcement that Catalina Lauf is running for Congress in the 11th District:

“Catalina Lauf is a zealot and an extremist, full stop. Her campaign seems to exist only to demonstrate her loyalty to Donald Trump and satisfy her desire to appear on Fox News. Illinois families deserve better than someone who downplays the January 6 insurrection or peddles dangerous conspiracy theories about life-saving vaccines.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

41 Comments
  1. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 9:42 am:

    In a bad year, even a nut like her could win that district.

    However, there’s a lot about her operation that screams “Grift” to me.


  2. - Nieva - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 9:44 am:

    You can get yourself in FB jail for posting a hunting picture with your favorite shotgun. About half the people I know have served more than one sentence in the cold grey walls of Warden Zuckerbergs Super Max..


  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 9:47 am:

    When you peddle in conspiracy theories and retweet those supporting insurrectionists, it’s not surprising that Catalina Lauf has been and is seemingly still locked out of Facebook… it’s about the office shopping grift to those around her, and the ideology that makes the grift possible.

    Wasn’t too difficult to see this. Those “fooled” are the marks… or in on the grift.

    Lauf would be awful for the country and Illinois. Heck, we’re seemingly trying to eradicate Mary Miller, now “this”?


  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 9:48 am:

    - Nieva -

    You think it was hunting pictures that got Lauf in this mess?

    Are you excusing Catalina Lauf?


  5. - Hot Taeks - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 9:54 am:

    Bill Foster isn’t losing. Lauf will be dog walked as usual. Enough with the wishcasting.


  6. - Nieva - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 9:56 am:

    Not excusing OW just stating that it doesn’t take much to get sent up.


  7. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 9:57 am:

    What a shame. Many hoped she would trounce IL Biggest Empty Suit (aka Darrin “Smiley” LaHOOD) She would appeal to more it the region. Foster should whomp Ms. Lauf


  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 9:59 am:

    - Nieva -

    Knowing what we are learning about Lauf, tough to see a longer “Facebook Jail” stint as mere… garden variety?

    Just wondering your thoughts to her, outside this “hiccup”


  9. - RNUG - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:00 am:

    It really doesn’t take that much to land in FB jail. Some of the AI algorithms are just crazy. I’ve been flagged multiple times for posting funny Snoopy memes, plus other fairly innocuous stuff … all of which I appealed.

    That said, with the burn rate Rich noted, she better be raising a lot more money if she expects to be competitive.


  10. - Suburban Mom - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:00 am:

    (Note: I work in social media content moderation, so while I don’t work for FB, my colleagues and I talk about their moderation a lot.) Facebook jail has gotten more aggressive as they’ve automated more of it. I had a friend thrown in Facebook jail for posting a meme with a muppet on it, that was just some kind of “I hate Mondays” thing. It was not obscene, did not involve any profanity, and repeated requests to Facebook for a review or at least an explanation went unanswered. As a result, his small business lost an enormous amount of their Christmas season retail.

    Facebook has clearly been tweaking the algorithm behind the scenes, probably in response to congressional hearings, so they can look like they’re being more proactive. But as with most algorithmic content moderation, The decisions are bizarre, frequently random, and take no human context into account. Who knows why Facebook objected to the Muppet? (The best guess anyone had was that the algorithm may have thought the Muppet’s fur-surrounded open mouth was a different, human bodily orifice.)

    I was discussing Renaissance art with some friends the other day on Facebook, and I attempted to post a very famous painting in which a woman is partially naked, and Facebook would not allow me to post it, and I got a very stern warning about posting pornography.

    Anyway, it’s more likely than not that Ms Lauf was posting some real bad stuff to end up in Facebook jail, because she has not shown very good judgment in that arena. However, it is true, as Nieva says, that Facebook jail can be pretty dang arbitrary, and more so lately.


  11. - Levois J - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:01 am:

    LOL @ Warden Zuckerberg. You’ve given the right wing a new nickname….


  12. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:08 am:

    Foster should be fine, but he could certainly help his cause by being less mediocre.


  13. - A Guy - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:08 am:

    Foster sleepwalks through campaigns. He may DO the favor and beat himself in this race. Hope springs eternal. One of the dwarfs shares a name with him and it ain’t Happy or Doc.


  14. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:14 am:

    Oberweis losses general elections constantly, and she lost to Oberwies in the primary.

    She somehow thinks she can beat Bill Foster.

    She’s no Randall Hultgren, that’s for sure. But maybe someone told her how Hultgren beat Foster the last time districts were redrawn, and she could do the same. Maybe she should seek out the endorsement of Dennis Hassert to follow in Jims footsteps.

    Todays IL GOP - It’s turtles all the way down.


  15. - Middle Way - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:14 am:

    This is what happens when you have weak political parties that can’t play the traditional “gatekeeper” role that they used to in the past. You’d think that there would be a learning process after the past two cycles, but it’s not evident yet that the lesson has been learned.

    It’s time for some party leaders/candidates to step up and promote policies and messaging that appeals to the general election voter base in areas where the party is weak (big flashing neon sign saying “suburban women” as Adam Kinzinger noted in his recent Crain’s interview) rather than just to primary voters.

    As a November 22 Wall Street Journal article stated: “Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who has been doing focus groups with voters, thinks there is something broader that the country is seeking and that Democrats [or Republicans] should address.”

    “As much as anything it should be unity,” he says.
    “It is a country that wants to be able to come together. They have been split apart politically. Essentially it’s not a life that we want.”

    Republicans, he says, have “gone from Eisenhower to Donald Trump, and the country needs Eisenhower.” Precisely.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:16 am:

    - A Guy -

    You support Lauf?

    Thanks.


  17. - ;) - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:18 am:

    I am going to bet she does much better than people are giving credit for right now…let’s remember, tough cycle coming up and it is her second go around so more experience and better name ID than last time.


  18. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:32 am:

    = better name ID than last time =

    Does she have ice cream shops with her name on it all over the suburbs.

    Because that level of name ID didn’t seem to help out Oberweis too much.

    Her last go around had some pretty bad gaffs, that she thought were smart ideas even after the fact. Her current behavior doesn’t seem to show any lessons learned.


  19. - OneMan - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:36 am:

    I think I need to get into Digital Consulting.

    Bill isn’t a very dynamic candidate and I suspect she is (almost anyone is a more dynamic candidate than Bill).

    It has the potential to be an interesting race, if she ends up the nominee it might help Bill assuming things, in general, don’t keep Democratic turnout down.


  20. - Responsa - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:39 am:

    In vying for votes both Lauf and Foster will need to somewhat distance themselves from their parties’recent/current two unpopular presidents while each staking their own path as individuals. The political dynamics are going to be very interesting in 2022.


  21. - Nieva - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:44 am:

    O.W. I don’t think she would be a person that I would support but I like some of what she has to say. I am a conservative that voted for Trump and is fed up with much of what is going on in this country. The ‘hurt feelings’ syndrome we are living with makes it almost impossible to discuss any issue without drawing the wrath of the liberal media or individuals that get butt hurt over someone stating their opinion. So no I would take a pass on her but support her right to say what she thinks.


  22. - Louis G Atsaves - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:46 am:

    I got flagged last year for posting “Christ is Risen” (Xristos Anesti) following the Anastasi Services for my Greek Orthodox Church. My appeal was successful.

    Facebook is just awful and getting worse.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:49 am:

    “- OneMan -, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

    Lemme know if you are looking for a a partner in that grift, oh, I mean, consulting…

    - Nieva -

    Fair enough. For me, I don’t mind the grift as much as I despise the idea of her touting and celebrating conspiracy theorists and her idea(s) on fraud and our democracy. And by not minding the grift, I mean it is so disqualifying for me that my hope is the burn rate and those burned use this opportunity to learn that those fleeced seem reticent to learn. Be well.


  24. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 10:56 am:

    Voting for Trump, the whiniest POTUS in 50 years, is a weird way to oppose “hurt feelings culture”.


  25. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 11:03 am:

    she has a fighting chance, voters don’t get proton decay.


  26. - Ugh - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 11:07 am:

    Foster’s campaign is committing negligence if they don’t make sure she has enough petitions to get on the ballot. What a disaster.


  27. - A Guy - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 11:10 am:

    ==You support Lauf?==

    I honestly don’t know her. I do recall going to a Hultgren/Foster debate in Geneva 10 years ago or so, likely sponsored by Sominex, watching 2 of the most unstimulating orators on Earth. They made NPR look like a fireworks show. It’s not hard to imagine almost anyone being more stimulating than either of them.
    When I say “possibly beat himself” see example of the ice cream magnate.


  28. - Socially DIstant Watcher - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 11:12 am:

    ==he cold grey walls of Warden Zuckerbergs Super Max==

    RAOTFLMAO

    Seriously overblown metaphor. Social media sanctions mean they can’t vote, can’t step outside their bedroom without permission, can’t choose their own meals or when they eat meals, can’t visit with friends, can’t hold down proper employment, the list goes on. But sure, social media is the whole of life, build your campaign around that idea.

    The need for victimhood is soooo strong.


  29. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 11:27 am:

    ===that was just some kind of “I hate Mondays” thing. It was not obscene,

    While your friend may have posted it with no intentions he ran afoul of two problems. I hate Mondays has been used by White Supremacists as cover for the n word. It’s not used as much as it was, but it’s definitely part of the alt-right meme machine. Second, remember the song I Hate Mondays was about a shooter at a school and so social media is careful about it. Understanding that your friend had no idea, it seems strange, but there is a reason the algorithms look for that.


  30. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 11:30 am:

    On her campaign finance report I was shocked to find out she only paid WinRed $50,000. However, the rest of the cash furnace went primarily to low return direct mail and social media fundraising. If she’s not in on those scams, she’s getting scammed.


  31. - Publius - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 11:32 am:

    I think a lot of us belong in Facebook jail. We spend a bit too much time on there. A frind of mine just yesterday said he was taking a break from it for awhile. Running a business directly from Facebook is a bit risky.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 11:35 am:

    Those with an R by their name in this midterm will likely do “better” than in past tussles merely by the midterm.

    If abortion becomes a real issue, it’ll be a real national issue and even in Illinois, abortion “would be / could be” changing the playing field in ways tough to counter.

    There’s no one better in recent Illinois history that Jim Oberweis at winning primaries and then to lose so spectacularly. Ives has potential, but Oberweis is the “tin standard” to the goldenness of being a loser.


  33. - Numbers matter - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 11:38 am:

    She is a horrible candidate for that District. A very uninformed person with nothing to offer her district other than free tickets to a Marjorie Taylor Greene event. Republicans need to get a real candidate. Foster is very beatable.


  34. - DuPage Dave - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 11:47 am:

    I think the main fact is that Lauf is too Trumpy for the district.


  35. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 12:49 pm:

    The Republicans need a mayor or county board member someone from area who won something and is half way normal. She has no background or service in area


  36. - duck duck goose - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 12:54 pm:

    ==the country needs Eisenhower.”==

    Ike is one of my all-time favorite presidents. But I don’t think he’s currently eligible to be on the ballot.


  37. - New Day - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 12:56 pm:

    I hope this isn’t too politically incorrect to ask, but other than being a very attractive young woman, what exactly does Lauf have going for her as a candidate? What experience is she bringing? Yea, I get you can say that about a lot of Congresscritters, but this one seems like a particularly empty suit.


  38. - Fav Human - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 1:23 pm:

    what exactly does Lauf have going for her as a candidate?

    Nothing.

    But does anyone really believe she will win the R primary? She surely won’t be the only candidate, and I can’t imagine a more realistic candidate won’t show up.

    And her burn rate suggests she’s some consultant’s early Christmas, too.


  39. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 1:30 pm:

    ===suggests she’s some consultant’s early Christmas===

    Looks like her entire raison d’etre.


  40. - SWSider - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 2:38 pm:

    I have no doubt Lauf and her team will win this cycle. I am not at all sure that their idea of “a win” is actually winning a campaign.


  41. - supplied_demand - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 4:36 pm:

    ==The ‘hurt feelings’ syndrome we are living with makes it almost impossible to discuss any issue without drawing the wrath of the liberal media or individuals that get butt hurt over someone stating their opinion.==

    You don’t like people who play victim, but you support Trump? He has the biggest victim-complex I’ve ever seen.


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