Believe this, and they’ll tell you another

A Tyco International spokesman claims the company doesn’t know what it was paying Jack Abramoff to do with Karl Rove. R-i-i-i-i-ght.

Tyco International apparently doesn’t care how its shareholders’ money is spent:

Mr. Abramoff bragged of his “contact” with Mr. Rove when Tyco International Ltd. sought action on tax legislation in 2002, according to Senate testimony by Tim Flanigan, a former Tyco official. “At some point after he joined the engagement team, Mr. Abramoff told me that he intended to contact Mr. Rove directly or indirectly to communicate Tyco’s position” on the tax issue, said Mr. Flanigan, who also once worked as Mr. Bush’s deputy White House counsel.

A White House spokesman says Mr. Rove doesn’t remember talking to Mr. Abramoff about Tyco. A spokesman for Mr. Abramoff declined to comment on whether he lobbied Mr. Rove on the issue. A Tyco spokeswoman says the company doesn’t know what Mr. Abramoff did on its behalf. A tax provision Tyco opposed eventually was defeated.

If this were true, it would amount to a confession of managerial negligence. But of course it’s not true. Tyco knew what it was doing: it was buying influence with the GOP. And Karl Rove, on behalf of the President of the United States, was willing to help Abramoff sell influence.

Hat tip: Huffington Post.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: