Leahy, Cornyn Cite Blagojevich to Push Corruption Bill

In the wake of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's (D) widely publicized Senate-seat-selling scandal, two prominent senators have begun a push for legislation would increase penalties on public officials found guilty of corruption.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) today renewed calls for passage of the Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act, a bill they introduced in 2007 that would authorize funding for more personnel to investigate public corruption, extend the statute of limitations on some corruption offenses, and expands the scope of the term "bribery."

The bill also increases the maximum prison terms for corruption offenses related to bribery, theft and embezzlement of public funds, solicitation of political donations, intimidation to secure political contributions, promise of employment for political activity, and coercion of political activity by federal employees.

Both Leahy and Cornyn offered harsh denunciations of public corruption in a press release announcing their push this afternoon.

"As we have seen in recent months, public corruption can erode the trust the American people have in those who are given the privilege of public service," Leahy said.

More in Senate races

Dem lawmaker changes hedge fund name after ethics complaint

Read more »