Ol' Karlheinz has a lot to learn about influence peddling

Well, i promised a bit on ol' Karlheinz Schreiber, and here it is. This is mostly from memory while waiting for a pizza to warm up, so smallish errors might creep in, since I'm too lazy to look around.

First off, every day its looking more and more like several Blogging Tories reported on the first morning of "testimony": Mulroney may have been a little sleazy, but didn't do anything illegal. Schreiber is essentially stalling as long as possible to avoid extradition to Germany on fraud charges. The Liberals are trying to milk this hearing to discredit Harper, and little more. The NDP are trying to paint the Liberals and Conservatives with the same brush. Finally, Harper is perfectly clean and smelling like a rose.

There may yet be some wrinkle, some small piece of news, some evidence, that will change some of these apparent conclusions: but every day the chances get less and less. First Schreiber claimed that Harper promised to help him out of his legal troubles; then Mulroney promised to get Harper to help him out of legal troubles; then Mulroney's lawyer promised to get Mulroney to get Harper to help him (Schreiber, if you're confused about the pronouns by now) out of his legal troubles. Either way you look at it, even the NDP admit that it seems that Harper either promised and then failed to deliver, never promised, or most likely heard about this for the first time on C-PAC at the same time the press did.

Meanwhile, Schreiber gave Mulroney $300,000 for an armoured vehicle contract. No, wait, $500,000 for an armoured vehicle contract but only $300,000 for trying and failing to secure the contract. No, hold that thought, it was $500,000 for the Airbus scandal, but $300,000 for the Airbus scandal and failing to get the vehicle contract and then another $100,000 (or maybe it was $50,000) just for being a good sport about the whole thing.

Schreiber gave money to Jean Charest. And also some other Liberals. And some other Conservatives. No, just other Conservatives, not other Liberals. No, silly me, it was several Liberals and some Conservatives...or maybe vice versa. Can I be released on bail now?

Which comes to the point I've been eager to make [and by "eager" you mean "not willing to tear away from that bottle of Christmas rum to post on the blog more than once a week", right? -ed]: if the $300,000 really was paid to Mulroney in 1993 in return for Mulroney's help securing a contract, should Mulroney be subject to even the smallest amount of legal trouble, seeing how at the time he was on his way out. Even the dumbest observer should have noted that Mulroney was not a person likely to secure you a lot of government contracts. As his wikipedia page (today) reports:

Mulroney entered 1993 facing a statutory general election. By this time, his approval ratings had dipped into the teens, and were at 11% in a 1992 Gallup poll, making him one of the most unpopular prime ministers since opinion polling began in Canada in the 1940s. When Mulroney announced he was stepping aside as leader of the party, his standing was 21% in the latest Gallup Poll in February 1993. The consensus was that Mulroney would be heavily defeated by Jean Chrétien and the Liberals if he led the Tories into the next election--ironically, the same situation that led to Trudeau's departure from the scene nine years earlier. He announced his retirement from politics in February and was replaced as Prime Minister by Defence Minister Kim Campbell in June.
There wasn't much of a soul who seriously believed the Conservatives would win the 1993 general election. Few outside of Alberta/BC predicted the rise of Reform to the detriment of the Tories, its true, but even if nobody figured 2 seats for Campbell's government not a soul in the world would believe Mulroney to have influence in 1994 or beyond.

Except, it seems, Karlheinz Schreiber.

He was so confident in Mulroney he offered him half a million dollars? And then paid $300,000 despite the big man failing to do as he (allegedly) promised? If he was peddling influence, he was doing it so utterly incompetantly that Mulroney should be walking free even if every NDP fantasy turns out to be true.

So that's my big piece about Schreiber: send him back to Germany where he again gets to be questioned regarding a scandal featuring a major 1980s G-8 player: Helmut Kohl(!).