Molly Ivins Was on to Rove Long Ago
March 14, 2007
Oh, how I miss Molly Ivins today! The irreverent columnist who died in January would be having a field day with “mistakes-were-made” Gonzales, and especially with that foul runt Rove, who barely squealed away without indictment in the Affair Libby and is now ensnared in the FBI prosecutor scandal.
Not the first time, Molly would tell us.
Back on August 25, 2000, she wrote the following:
“Rove, as all the world knows, has been a longtime Republican political operative in Texas prior to heading to Washington with Bush. During that time, Texas Democrats noticed a pattern that they eventually became somewhat paranoid about: In election years, there always seemed to be an FBI investigation of some sitting Democrat either announced or leaked to the press.”
Now, does that sound familiar at all?
Rove developed his M.O. back in the 1980s. As Lou Dubose write in The Nation back on March 5, 2001, Rove was working on the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Bill Clements in 1986 and came up with an unwarranted allegation that an electronic bugging device was found in Clements’s office. The FBI investigated, with agent Greg Rampton in the fore.
It was this same Greg Rampton who, three years later, started investigating Jim Hightower, the great populist who was stirring up a lot of trouble as Texas Agriculture Commissioner. At that time, Rove was working for Hightower’s opponent, Rick Perry. “Rove later admitted under oath that he had met with Rampton during the summer of 1989 ‘regarding a probe of political corruption in the office of Texas agriculture commission Jim High Hightower.’ And in June of 1990, Perry sent out a fundraising letter claiming that Hightower’s office was rife with corruption and was under investigation by the FBI, though there no indictments until after the 1991 general election, in which Hightower lost his reelection bid.”
Both Ivins and Dubose recall testimony Rove gave before the Texas legislature in 1991. Rove was asked about how long he’d known agent Rampton.
In a precursor to classic Clintonian dodge ball, Rove responded: “Ah, Senator, it depends—would you define ‘know’ for me?”