There is some disagreement as to the origin of that expression, which used to mean specifically by fair means or foul, that is, legal or illegal (crooked). The term dates back to the time of the English theologian John Wycliffe, who used it in his Controversial Tracts (c.1380).
Such controversial tracts were pointed out today in an editorial I was reading about a new website that came out today.
The website is called sarahpalingayrights.com
The editorial alleges the IP address was traced back to obamadefense.com
ObamaDefense.com was traced back to FightTheSmears.com
It’s a GREAT read I highly recommend — read the whole article here.