Brad Schneider is the Democrat candidate for Illinois' 10th Congressional District. He is challenging freshman Rep. Bob Dold. A central theme of Schneider's campaign is his experience in the business world, specifically as a small business owner. It's a shrewd political posture for the moderate voters in the suburban Chicago district. They are easily turned off by the anti-business rhetoric coming from most of those on the left. But, according to his own disclosure filings, Schneider's claim to be a small-businessman seems to be bogus.
The second sentence of his campaign bio reads:
As a small business owner, Brad helps family-owned businesses address the challenges of today’s economy.
This small business is Cadence Consulting, which Schneider says he founded in 2008. The firm's website doesn't list any clients, but that isn't particularly noteworthy. Lots of firms don't publicly list their clients. What is noteworthy is in FEC financial disclosures filed by the candidate. In these the candidate discloses that he had ZERO income from his business going back to at least January 2010 and that the business had less than $1,000 in assets. Cadence may just be America's smallest small business.
Mr. Schneider also touts his position as a "Managing Member" of two subsidiaries of Cadence, Lead-Out Capital Partners and Lead-Out Third Solutions Investment. According to his FEC filings, though, he didn't earn any income from either of these "businesses."
I guess one could go ahead and set up an LLC and a website and call oneself a small business owner. But, that isn't really the point of being a businessman. The point is to, ahem, conduct business, which Mr. Schneider apparently hasn't done for at least two years.
The value of business experience in Congress is to have lawmakers who understand the challenges of the marketplace and how government policies can impact businesses and the economy. That understanding doesn't come from simply having a business card that says you're a businessman. It comes from doing the job.
Something Brad Schneider hopes the voters of the 10th District don't understand.
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Schneider's FEC filing below:
IL-10 Schneider 2012-1