Wealthy Louisiana Backers Rally Behind Speaker Johnson
Newly-elected Republican House Speaker, Mike Johnson, has discreetly garnered a group of influential political backers from Louisiana who could potentially play a significant role in boosting GOP fundraising during his tenure as the Speaker of the House.
Influence and Optimism Among Major Donors
In the wake of Speaker Johnson’s election, major donors with ties to Louisiana are now finding themselves in a position of increased influence. A knowledgeable source close to Johnson, who requested anonymity to discuss private donor matters, revealed that these backers are likely sensing a newfound significance.
Financial Boost for the National Republican Congressional Committee
Speaker Johnson’s ascent to the position has already had a positive impact on the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the official campaign arm for House Republicans. On his first full day as speaker, the NRCC achieved a remarkable online fundraising milestone, raising $175,000, marking its best online fundraising day in over a year and a half, according to Politico.
A Fundraising Challenge for Mike Johnson
In addition to his role as the Speaker, Johnson has taken on the role of fundraiser-in-chief for House Republicans. However, following the footsteps of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a renowned fundraiser, will be a formidable challenge.
Contrasting Fundraising Figures
During the 2022 midterm cycle, a super PAC aligned with McCarthy, the Congressional Leadership Fund, impressively raised $350 million. In contrast, Speaker Johnson’s campaign and leadership political action committee combined to raise just over $1.5 million, a significantly smaller amount compared to the average House member’s fundraising of $3.51 million that cycle, as reported by OpenSecrets.
Pressure to Raise Millions for 2024 House Races
With immense pressure on Speaker Johnson to secure substantial funds for the 2024 House races, the spotlight turns to his circle of top Republican donors in Louisiana, who may be called upon to step up.
The Role of Donald “Boysie” Bollinger
One of these influential donors is shipyard magnate Donald “Boysie” Bollinger, a longtime supporter of Johnson and the Republican party. Bollinger’s political influence extends far and wide, having served as a state finance chairman for various presidential campaigns, including those of Presidents Donald Trump, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and others. Johnson’s campaign received significant donations from Bollinger, further solidifying his role as a key supporter.
The Legacy of Joseph Canizaro
Joseph Canizaro, another major Republican donor in Louisiana, also played a pivotal role as Trump’s co-finance chair during the 2020 election. Canizaro, a commercial real estate titan, contributed to Johnson’s reelection effort, showcasing his commitment to the cause.
Oil and Gas Industry Support
Many of Johnson’s major donors come from the oil and gas industry. Contributions from individuals within this sector have significantly bolstered Johnson’s campaigns since his initial run for Congress.
John Atkins, a partner at the Louisiana-based Atco Investment Company, made notable contributions to Johnson’s campaign, highlighting the investment firm’s ties to the oil and gas industry.
Aiding Success through Industry Support
Employees at the oil and gas exploration company, Will-Drill Resources, have also been steadfast contributors to Johnson’s campaigns, further emphasizing the backing he receives from the oil and gas sector.