One man, one vote. That's how it's supposed to work, and still does when the election's not rigged and the ballot box stuffed with bogus ballots.
But what happens after the vote? Can every man or woman expect to have the same influence on the candidate who's gotten elected?
Could the citizens who voted for (or against) the reelection of Judge Barbara Crowder in 2011 expect to have the same influence as the 10 attorneys from the Simmons firm in Alton who each contributed $1,000 to her campaign?
Not unless they were asbestos attorneys wanting trial slots set aside for them on an upcoming docket. (Unfortunately for Simmons, after word of the contributions got out and the quid-pro-quo nature of the transaction seemed obvious, Crowder was reassigned to a less taxing caseload.)
How about citizens who voted for or against Judy Cates in her race for a seat on the Fifth District Appellate Court in 2012, when Simmons attorneys contributed a total of $45,000 to her campaign?
When the Simmons firm and its employees contributed more than $185,000 to candidates in the 2014 election cycle, including 12th and 13th Congressional District candidates William Enyart and Ann Callis, did they expect to have more or less influence than the rest of us?
Whom does Dick Durbin represent? Us, or major contributor Simmons?
When our neighbors in Missouri voted for or against Chris Koster in his race for state attorney general in 2012, how much influence did they expect to have compared to John Simmons, who gave $100,000?
If he wins the Missouri governorship this fall, who will have more influence on Koster – them or Simmons, who made more than $1 million suing Republic Services in 2013 over its smoldering landfill in Bridgeton, while Attorney General Koster was also suing the firm and receiving sizable donations from Simmons at the same time.
Whom would Koster represent as governor – the average Missourian, or Simmons, who's contributed $275,000 to his current campaign?