Perhaps the closest parallel to the current controversy over the outing of the CIA official occurred more than a decade ago.(Emphasis mine.)
In that political dustup, a newspaper columnist wrote a damaging piece in 1992 about Rove political rivals within the Texas Republican Party. Although Mr. Rove denied that he was the leaker, Republican leaders believed he was responsible and canceled his direct-mail contract with the Texas GOP.
The columnist in that episode, as in the Valerie Plame case, was Robert Novak.
UPDATE: Here's a more detailed version of the story:
Sources close to the former president [Bush] say Rove was fired from the 1992 Bush presidential campaign after he planted a negative story with columnist Robert Novak about dissatisfaction with campaign fundraising chief and Bush loyalist Robert Mosbacher Jr. It was smoked out, and he was summarily ousted.2004 ELECTION BONUS: Slater also mentions Karl's konnection to the Swift Boat Veterans who maligned Kerry:
[Rove] denied involvement in last year's successful attack by an independent group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, on Democrat John Kerry's service in Vietnam.But we're sure that Rove wasn't bullshitting when he told Fox News, "This town is built on myths.... And I've become a convenient myth." (The quote appears in Slater's story.)
Much of the early money bankrolling the Swift Boat Veterans, though, came from a Houston homebuilder whom Mr. Rove recruited two decades ago to help bankroll the emerging Texas GOP.
NOTE: You have to register to view the Dallas Morning News article. To avoid doing so, go to bugmenot.com.
UPDATE: This connection was noted on TPM in 2003. It's also in Karl's Wikipedia entry. This week, it appeared in a dailyKos diary that I can't find again, and that diary linked to a MyDD post about it, which I can't find now either (sorry).
UPDATE: A friend found the original Novak column on Lexis Nexis and sent it to me. I put it in a Kos diary so that somebody would see it. Here it is.