By Kyle Cheney

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JAN. 31, 2012…..Senate President Therese Murray said Tuesday that she would urge Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to diminish the influence of corporate spending in elections, arguing the advent of so-called Super PACs is “destroying the civility of the political process.”

“It’s pretty scary,” she said, noting that Super PACs – shadowy, often corporate-backed entities that have plowed tens of millions of dollars into early presidential primary states – had pumped $15 million into attack ads in Florida, which is holding its primary Tuesday. “It’s too much money, and who are the people behind this, and what are the reasoning and why are they giving money? It’s pretty scary.”

Super PACs emerged in the aftermath of a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, known as Citizens United, in which the court ruled by a 5-4 majority that corporations and organized labor could spend unlimited amounts to influence elections in the form of independent expenditures, which aren’t directly affiliated with candidates or campaigns.

“The Government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote.

During a morning radio appearance, Murray voiced her support for a constitutional amendment to undo the impact of Citizens United, saying she would support a resolution pending in the state Legislature that would memorialize Congress to act. Her public support for that resolution caught its lead sponsor, Sen. James Eldridge, off-guard, although the Acton Democrat welcomed the news.

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