Since the terribly unwise Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 equated speech with money, the wealthy have been speaking ever more loudly and exerting even greater influence in America’s political process.

In the money race for the presidential election, 60 huge donations had made up about one-third of the total contributions to candidates by August. But big money in politics isn’t just about the biggest office. The affluent are making their voices heard loudly at the state and local level, too.

In Illinois, a small group of extremely wealthy individuals is attempting – with considerable evidence of success – to remake the state’s power structure and enact pro-business, anti-union policies.

A New York Times article on Sunday about the effort describes how enormous contributions from a small number of wealthy people are shifting the balance of power in the state.

A democracy cannot long survive as a democracy if it’s for sale to the highest bidder, ignoring the interests of ordinary members of society in favor of those wealthy enough to influence the election outcomes.

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