Very convenient that much of the public and media attention this week is focused on Brian Mulroney at the Oliphant Inquiry and the nanny business at the fortuitously-timed parliamentary hearings, because otherwise more attention might be being paid to these revelations from an Ottawa courtroom, where Mayor Larry O’Brien is on trial and the ears of many prominent Conservatives are burning:
O'Brien claimed "some very prominent Conservatives" wanted the two to come to a business arrangement about who would run, Kilrea testified during the first day of testimony at O'Brien's influence-peddling trial.
"There are some Conservatives that like you and they would like not to see you hurt," Kilrea said O'Brien told him during a face-to-face meeting in July 2006.More from the Globe:
"They'd like to do something to make a business arrangement for you and to make sure there's only one of us in the race."
Kilrea had worked on the campaigns of now-Transport Minister John Baird and Pierre Poilievre, currently the prime minister's parliamentary secretary.
He testified that O'Brien indicated he could get him a federal appointment if he quit the race.
"He said, what if my team found you other employment?" Kilrea testified.
Kilrea quoted O'Brien as telling him: "John Baird is the key. John Baird is the one that makes this happen."
The job offer was a five-year appointment to the National Parole Board at a salary of $110,000 a year, he said. Kilrea said O'Brien called back within a few hours of his face-to-face meeting and told him he was "in the queue."
O'Brien indicated that had been arranged by John Reynolds, Harper's campaign co-chair in the 2006 election, Kilrea testified.
There are also federal reputations at stake, as Mr. Kilrea testified Monday that Mr. O'Brien told him that senior Conservative officials would help him obtain the federal job.Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers
The trial is scheduled for nine weeks and is expected to hear from a number of Conservative officials, including Mr. Baird, the current Transport Minister, and Dave Penner, director of appointments in the office of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.