The Chicago Journal

Louisiana Donors as Key Funders for House GOP Speaker Mike Johnson

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.

Influential Contributions

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.

Biden puts care at the top of his list in executive order

Biden — President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Tuesday to improve access to care for children, the disabled, and the elderly.

As Biden gets ready to run for a second term, his decision shows the seriousness and urgency of the situation.

A call to arms

President Joe Biden has directed nearly every government department to improve treatment options without increasing cost through more than 50 executive directives.

Biden has always advocated for lower health-care costs.

Throughout his first term, however, Congress has mostly opposed his objectives.

Before signing the executive order, Biden addressed the Rose Garden, saying:

“We’re using the power of the federal government to get companies to do what’s good for workers and, I might add, good for business, as well.”

“And folks, care workers deserve to make a decent living and that’s a fight I’m willing to have.”


Several of the Republican-majority House’s social-spending ideas are vigorously opposed by the White House.

In his budget proposal last month, Biden recommended $750 billion in healthcare financing from Congress.

The president’s proposal is similar to one he called for during his campaign: a “21st Century Caregiving and Education Workforce.”

However, during Biden’s first two years as President of the United States, the government failed to authorize a dramatic redesign of dependent care.

The failure can be attributed to Democrats’ opposition to the higher taxes and expenditure required to make it happen.

According to the White House, campaigners, and congressional Democrats, the measures would stimulate the economy by creating employment and allowing people with dependents greater work flexibility.

A senior administration official informed reporters on the novel measure on Monday.

According to the source, President Biden is doing everything he can to increase his personal access.

“This is a case where the president is working hard on the investment angle, has worked hard with Congress – that has not worked out quite as well,” said the official.

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The expense of senior and disability care has climbed by 40% in the last decade, according to White House figures.

Spending on child care increased by 26% throughout that time period.

Child care prices have climbed by more than 200% in the preceding three decades.

The White House also cited a Boston Consulting Group research, which projects that if the health-care crisis is not addressed, economic production will plummet by $290 billion per year by 2030.

Furthermore, prior to the worldwide epidemic, the White House claimed that 76% of parents had difficulty finding inexpensive, trustworthy care.

A second term

Biden’s choice to proceed without parliamentary legislation emphasizes the significance of the issue ahead of his reelection campaign.

Regardless of how outraged conservatives are about the price hikes, the White House has long asserted that Biden’s social-policy program is popular among Americans.

With a second term on the horizon, there may be hints of a renewed emphasis on following through on many of the promises he made with his ambitious Build Back Better project.

The concept was too tough to implement even while Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress.

Many components of Biden’s comprehensive social-spending proposal were supported by the Democratic-controlled Congress, but not all of them, most notably the ambitious child-care program.

Susan Rice, Director of the Domestic Policy Council, noted on the call:

“Too many families are struggling to afford or access high-quality care, and too many care workers are struggling to make a living doing this critically important work.”

“The president’s not going to wait to take action to address our nation’s care crisis.”


President Joe Biden allowed Cabinet-level departments to explore grant programs that may be utilized to support child care and long-term care for government project staff in the executive order.

The plan also outlines how they intend to enhance caregiver work quality, expand veteran access to in-home care, increase caregiver unionization, raise compensation for early childhood educators, and increase caregiver access to in-home care.

Furthermore, the White House is considering requiring that businesses seeking government assistance for job creation have broader access to the health-care coverage of their employees.

In March, the Commerce Department directed companies seeking financing from the $52 billion semiconductor manufacturing and research initiative to figure out how they would help their employees with child care.

Kevin McCarthy still short of votes to become speaker

Kevin McCarthy: On Thursday, Kevin McCarthy’s string of defeats across many voting rounds continued.

The third day of adjournment came and went without selecting a new speaker.

The three-day adjournment was the longest in more than 164 years for a contest.


As the number of unsuccessful votes rose, McCarthy came under increasing pressure to end the impasse.

Given how bleak things seem for his political future, it will be intriguing to see if he can follow through.

The California Republican made considerable concessions to his rivals late on Wednesday, but he still fell short of the 218 votes required to assume the gavel.

Defections and a loss of support as the GOP leader might jeopardize his career if the dispute continues.

Following the Thursday adjournment, Kevin McCarthy said that talks were still going on, but he would not give a “timeline” for the 218 votes.

“So if this takes a little longer and it doesn’t meet your deadline, that’s okay,” said the Republican.

McCarthy responded to criticisms that the problem had not been resolved in time for this week’s speaker election.

He said they tried to get everything worked out before January 3.


Republicans have had discussions to decide on a future course.

According to a source, McCarthy’s supporters and opponents tried to push for a deal on Thursday night to show that they were making progress.

While it seems like they have made a lot of progress, there are still a few things to iron out.

It’s also a problem that four Republicans are leaving on Friday due to various family issues.

Several sources claim that an agreement between Rep. Chip Roy of Texas and McCarthy’s team is about to be finalized.

If they can reach a consensus, they will have the support to ask for a late conference adjournment.

But that wouldn’t be enough; McCarthy still wouldn’t have the 218 votes he needed.

Others in the group are still struggling with unresolved concerns.

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Legislators and moderates are dissatisfied and frustrated with the concessions.

Many believe that while the new GOP majority may encounter challenges in its efforts to rule, they will ultimately be overcome.

Despite the tough headwinds on Thursday, Kevin McCarthy showed a relentless mentality.

He said that he would continue to encounter opposition unless he came to an agreement with his detractors.

“It’s all going to be this way until an agreement comes,” said the Republican.

“It’s easier if we’re able to all get an agreement together.”

More concessions

On Wednesday night, rumors of a number of additional concessions began to spread.

Two sources claim that Kevin McCarthy was open to changing the rules, so one member may ask for a vote to oust the current speaker.

Instead of the requirement stipulated in the conference rules that such a vote be made by half of the GOP, he initially proposed a five-member barrier.

After the House adjourned on Thursday, McCarthy told reporters he wasn’t concerned about giving just one member the power to call a vote without consulting the speaker.

“I’m not afraid,” he said, “I won’t be a weaker speaker.”

Kevin McCarthy also gave his approval for the House Rules Committee to include more Freedom Caucus members.

The Committee determines which bills should be taken to the floor and which ones should be given priority for the holdouts.

It also includes recommendations for member term limits and border security.

Republican sources claim that even if the offers are accepted, he won’t have the 218 votes needed to become speaker.

Giving concessions could win over more supporters, but other opponents raised issues that haven’t been fully addressed.

McCarthy and concessions

The Republican has already made a lot of concessions to his opponents, but so far, these have not been enough.

According to sources, the conversations between McCarthy’s supporters and holdouts on Wednesday were the most serious and fruitful ones to date.

A breakthrough was achieved when a super PAC with ties to McCarthy elected not to run in safe-seat open Republican primaries.

It became one of the top demands from the conservatives, but McCarthy fought until that point.

On Thursday morning, a Republican said they were open to discussion despite their displeasure with the concessions.

Some worry that lowering the threshold for a speaker’s removal to one member will make legislating on topics like funding and the debt ceiling practically impossible.

“I don’t like the rules, but [I] am willing to hear discussions,” said the Republican. “I think they’re a mistake for the conference.”

“These handful of folks want a weak speaker with a four-vote majority.”

“The public will not like what they see of the GOP, I fear.”


House adjourns for third day without picking a speaker in longest in 164 years

Donald McEachin died from cancer on Monday

Donald McEachin, a Democratic Representative from Virginia, was pronounced dead by his office on Monday.

McEachin was 61 when he died.

The announcement

According to Tara Rountree, McEachin’s chief of staff, the Virginia Democrat has battled cancer since 2013.

“Valiantly for years now, we have watched him fight and triumph over the secondary effects of his colorectal cancer from 2013,” said Rountree.

“Tonight, he lost that battle.”

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Donald McEachin won reelection earlier this month after defeating Republican opposition figure Leon Benjamin.

The Democrat, whose constituency is based in the state capital of Richmond, won 64% of the vote.

Additionally, McEachin was first elected to Congress in 2016 after services in the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates.

“We don’t do this for glory or fame,” the Democrat said on election night in early November.

“We do this because we like service.”

Donald McEachin was one of 213 Democrats elected to the next Congress to 220 Republicans.

However, two races are yet to be defined.

Special elections will decide McEachin’s replacement in the heavily Democratic district.

Furthermore, Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, has not yet set a date for the special election.

Cancer discussion

Donald McEachin opened up about his battle with cancer during a screening of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” two weeks ago.

“I can’t stress to you enough the importance of early detection,” said McEachin.

“I know many of you have watched my journey, and I’ve had a number of health issues.”

Read also: Student loan blocked by Republicans


Aston Donald McEachin was born in Nuremberg, Germany, on October 10, 1961.

McEachin’s father served in the military.

In his adulthood, Donald McEachin was a lawyer who graduated from the University of Virginia Law School.

In addition, he received his Master of Divinity from Virginia Union University.

Many paid their respects as news of Donald McEachin’s death began to spread.

Senator Mark Warner wrote a tribute to McEachin on Twitter, saying:

“Up until the very end, Don McEachin was a fighter. Even though he battled cancer and faced trials in recent years, he never lost focus on social and environmental justice.”

“Tonight, Virginia has lost a great leader and I have lost a great friend.”

Meanwhile, Senator Tim Kaine reminisced about his connection to McEachin.

“I met Donald McEachin in 1985 and we became fast friends,” he wrote in a statement.

“He was a gentle giant, a compassionate champion for underdogs, a climate warrior, a Christian example, an understanding dad, a proud husband, a loyal brother.”

McEachin’s congressional colleague from Virginia, Gerry Connolly, joined the tribute, describing him as “a noble friend, husband and father.”

“There was no better ally to have,” said Connolly. “I will miss him terribly.”


Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin dies at 61

Student loan blocked by Republicans

Student loan debt is a problem many American citizens face, but President Joe Biden has offered a policy of forgiveness.

However, a group of Republican-led states argued on Wednesday that the policy should be put on hold while related lawsuits unfold.

Additionally, they noted that the Biden administration had extended the pause in student loan repayments.

The argument

Republican states received an appeals court order blocking the implementation of the program.

They said the extension showed the court order in place would do no harm.

In a new filing, Republicans wrote:

“The Department [of Education] can point to no emergency or imminent harm because, just yesterday, the agency extended the payment pause on student loans until the summer of 2023.”

Read also: Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan faces lawsuit seeking to block his plan

Payments pause

Federal student loan payments were due to resume in January after a year-long pandemic hiatus.

On Tuesday, however, the Biden administration said the hiatus would extend to 60 days.

The extension will take place when the pending litigation of the forgiveness program is resolved.

If the program is not implemented and the dispute is not resolved by June 30, payments will resume after 60 days.

The filing

Wednesday’s filing comes in response to a request from the Biden administration asking the Supreme Court to lift the hold on the student loan forgiveness program.

The program would cancel up to $20,000 of credit to individual borrowers who earned less than $125,000 in 2020 and 2021.

Republican states also blamed the government’s reliance on the pandemic as an excuse to obscure Biden’s goal of fulfilling his campaign promise to pay off student loan debt.

Biden’s student loan policy was going to go in effect this fall.

However, the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit blocked it in a lawsuit raised by the following:

  • Nebraska
  • Missouri
  • Arkansas
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • South Carolina


The Circuit alleges that Miguel Cardona, Secretary of the Department of Education, overstepped his authority.

Cardona canceled individual debts while implementing the program.

They also allege that the department violated administrative law by launching the policy.

Additionally, the states point to a Texas federal judge’s ruling in a separate case that overturned student loan policies.

The administration, in turn, filed an appeal with the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

According to Wednesday’s filing, the ruling will remain even if the Supreme Court decides to lift the suspension.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration suggests bringing the case to the Supreme Court if the 5th Circuit allows the verdict to be overturned.

Read also: President Joe Biden announces plan to cancel some federal student loans

The student loan program

US Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued in the Supreme Court petition that suspending the program would leave millions of economically vulnerable borrowers in limbo.

Additionally, people won’t know how much they owe and may be unable to make financial decisions without knowing their future repayment obligations.

Prelogar also explained that the program is a legal effort to ensure borrowers affected by a national emergency are not worse off with their student loans.


GOP-led states press Supreme Court to keep Biden student debt forgiveness on hold

Drag in danger as Tennessee law seeks to ban shows

Drag has been on the rise for the past few decades but now shows in Tennessee are in danger of being banned.

Reports say Tennessee Republicans want to ban drag shows on public or private property.

The report

In a reverse turn of events, GOP members introduced a bill that would make drag appearances a crime if legislated.

Under Bill SB.3, charges range from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Although the bill is broad, it ranges from comedy to drag shows to story hours at local libraries.

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Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson makes it clear that the laws will identify those in drag.

“I don’t want to ban a theater company from doing a production of Mrs. Doubtfire in a public park,” he said.

“Most people have seen that movie where Robin Williams was dressing up as a woman. We don’t have an issue with that.”

“We do have an issue with men dressed as women simulating sex acts in public parks in front of kids.”

The bill

If approved, Johnson’s bill will change a Tennessee state law that prevents adult-oriented businesses from operating within 300 meters of a school, public park or a place of worship to include “cabaret shows for adults.”

The law stretches to exotic dancers and “male or female impersonators.”

If the bill passes through the Republican-controlled Legislature and wins Governor Bill Lee’s approval, first-time offenders could be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

Additionally, the offense is punishable by up to one year in jail and a harsh $2,500 fine.

Repeat offenders will be charged with a Class E felony, resulting in a harsher sentence for drag queens.

Finally, the sentence could go as high as six years in prison with fines of up to $3,000.

Read also: Hillary Clinton calls out Republicans on their hypocrisy

Jack Johnson

The Tennessee Senate Majority Leader won re-election in the midterm elections and vowed to uphold the state’s conservative values.

One of Johnson’s success factors was his belief that marriage should be the sacred union of a man and a woman.

This week, Jack Johnson joined Tennessee House Majority Leader and fellow Republican William Lamberth to present a new bill.

The bill would prevent doctors from providing life-saving and gender-affirming health care to transgender young people under 18.


Republicans submit bill that would criminalize drag performances in Tennessee

Scott Lennox, Chicago resident, threatens Republican candidate

Scott Lennox, a 21-year-old Chicago resident, sent violent threats to the Republican candidate for governor of Illinois, Senator Darren Bailey.

The Chicago resident allegedly called Bailey’s office last Friday.

According to the Cook County Attorney’s Office, Lennox left him a lengthy audio message.

The threats

According to a bond proposal from the prosecutor’s office, Scott Lennox left a string of violent threats via voicemail.

“I’m going to skin Darren Bailey alive, making sure he is still alive … and screaming in ******* pain,” Lennox allegedly said.

“I know where he lives, I know where he sleeps, I know where his kids sleep.”

“Yeah, that’s right, so he better kill himself, and if he doesn’t, I am going to kill him,” the voicemail concluded.

The transcript comes from a document filed in the Cook County Circuit Court.

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Tracing the calls

The voicemails trace back to Scott Lennox through caller ID.

Additionally, the Illinois Secretary of State interviewed Lennox.

According to court documents, he admits to the calls and reads:

“The Illinois Secretary of State Police deemed (Lennox) was not a credible threat and did not arrest (Lennox) or transport him to any location for further questioning.”

The case was referred to the Illinois State Police, who arrested Lennox after questioning and examining his phone.


Scott Lennox appeared in court on Wednesday to face charges of crimes including:

  • Threatening a public official
  • Harassment by electronic communications
  • Telephone harassment.

However, he was given a $ 75,000 bail with electronic surveillance.

Additionally, Lennox must stay away from Bailey, his family and associates.

Finally, Scott Lennox is not allowed to post threatening messages online.

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Senator Darren Bailey released a written statement from his campaign to address the situation.

“Divisive, inflammatory, and misleading rhetoric is driving hatred across our state as some attempt to label political opponents as dangerous threats.”

“Whether we agree or disagree on policies, we are all Americans,” he continued.

“I pray this young man gets the help he needs.”

Incumbent Democratic Governor JB Pritzker echoed Bailey’s sentiments despite being his opponent.

“The violent rhetoric and division we’re seeing across our country is unacceptable,” he tweeted.

“Hatred in any form has no home in Illinois.”

In addition to being a senator, Darren Bailey is the co-founder and former president of a private Christian school.

Before that, he was the local school board president for the Clay County Public School District.

Schools linked to Bailey are under soft lockdown, prosecutors say.


Chicago man accused of leaving voicemail with death threats at office of Republican candidate for governor