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Senate Passes Resolution to Overturn Citizens United Ruling
July 26, 2012

BOSTON – State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) announces that the Senate on Thursday passed a resolution calling for the United States Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, restoring the first amendment and ending unlimited outside spending in elections.
 
“This is a growing problem that needs to be fixed,” Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said. “Corporate spending has reached exorbitant levels and it is destroying the civility of the political process. We are facing a serious and direct threat to our democracy and I urge Congress to take immediate action.”
 
"As a cosponsor of this resolution, I am pleased the Senate sent a loud and clear message to Congress - corporations are not people, money is not speech, and Citizens United ought to be overturned," said State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield). “With this vote we call on Congress to take the steps necessary to stem the unchecked flow of corporate spending in elections.”
Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), lead sponsor of the resolution, said, “In two short years, the Citizens United decision has upended our election system, and the voices of ordinary Americans risk being drowned out by the tens of millions of dollars that are being poured into attack ads paid for by corporate donors. The problem is real, resulting in a strong grassroots effort across the Commonwealth coming together to support the only effective, long-term solution: passing a constitutional amendment that will overturn this misguided, destructive decision. I'm proud of the Senate, under the leadership of Senate President Murray, for passing this resolution today and sending a strong message that our democracy isn't for sale.”
 
A poll of Massachusetts voters conducted in February by 7 News and Suffolk University revealed that 83 percent of Democrats polled, 73 percent of Republicans and 81 percent of independents oppose the Supreme Court’s decision.
 
During the 2010 elections, the first since the Supreme Court’s decision, non-candidate spending reached nearly $400 million, nearly 60 percent higher than spending during the 2006 midterm elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
 
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